Archive for August 24, 2012

Artist of the moment….Ed Mell…


This artist is also best known for his panoramic landscapes. Unlike the previous artists that work in this manner this artist chooses to abstract his landscapes, especially the skies, which gives his paintings a very contemporary and modern feel.

A short interview with Ed Mell talking about his paintings and positive aspect an art show has on all those involved.

The artist loves to take something and magnify it for his paintings. A small flower when left in his hands can be transformed into what looks like a decorative stained glass window. Perhaps that is why this artist for some reason reminds me of John LaFarge. LaFarge was an excellent painter of anything, and even worked in stained glass for some of his career. If I could transform an artist’s work to appear on stained glass, no ones work could be more exciting to look at than Ed Mell.

The artist is highly diversified in his output working in oils, watercolors, and even sculpture.

The artist was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942.

In the 1980s he was one of the most successful illustrators in the nation.  Ed Mell was based out of New York City. He accepted an offer to teach a summer art class on the Hopi Indian Reservation. It was very relaxing for him to be around 200 people rather than 10 million. He was enchanted by the landscape and after one year and half back in New York City the artist decided to head west and moved to Arizona.

The job market for illustrators was very slow however in Arizona. He became friends with a pilot who took him across the Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon, the artist was able to see parts of the land and sky that no other artists or photographers and seen! It awakened his senses as an artist.

What to learn from this artist? The most important idea in his way of thinking is that THE MORE YOU PAINT, THE BETTER YOU WILL BECOME AT PAINTING.  I like to say practice might not make you perfect, but it will make you better.

Another montage of the artist’s works starting around 17 seconds in. The beginning credits are in Russian, stay tuned for the art a few moments into the video.

high price range:  Oils is $64,000 and for a bronze $20,000.

low price range: original select oils $3,000 to $4,000.

If you are a painter take a moment and think about what your flat paintings might look like in three dimensions. Some of our greatest artists were amazing sculptors. Not only Walter Winans, the shooter and Olympic medalist, but also artists like Frederic Remington and Charlie Russell did some sculptures. I attended a seminar with the famed watercolorist Mary Whyte and she stated she took up sculpting after an injury curtailed her drawing and painting. She said it was far more difficult than drawing or painting because you had to finish all the edges.

Think how your work might look in a bronze or crafted out of some recycled materials.






Artist of the moment…..Le Thanh Son

A short clip featuring a montage of the artist’s work. Don’t be worried the very beginning has Russian words, the clip is mainly artwork set to music.

The artist is from Vietnam and was born in 1962 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

He is best known for his painting of the lush green countryside of his native country.  The colors of the plants and flowers sparkle against his subdued paintings of the sky. The plants seem to jump out at the viewer.

In 1986 he graduated from college after attending the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema.

In 1990 won a prestigious art award for young artists in Hanoi.

high price range: $10,000

low price range: $2,000

Le Thanh Son works mainly with oils on canvas. Collected by Bill Gates and President Bill Clinton. Member of Vietnamese Fine Art Association.

on line and land based galleries: Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.!i=1617223364&k=rPr89Wf

Son was most influenced by the French Impressionist painters. He emphasizes texture as much as color in many of his works.

For some art homework try a painting of your favorite place you would like to visit, but haven’t yet.

Happy painting!


Artist of the moment….Kenneth Riley….

The artist is one of the few remaining links we have to the golden age of illustration. This would include such artists as N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle. Has worked with Robert Lougheed, John Clymer, and Donald Teague.

The artist was born in 1919 in Waverly, Missouri.

He is known for his paintings of the Indian people. Similar in genre to Howard Terpning, with a more contemporary and modern artistic feel.

The artist has been a member of the Cowboy Artists of America since 1982.

As a young artist just starting out he worked with the artist Harvey Dunn. Dunn had studied under Howard Pyle. Riley studied art in New York City at both the Art Students League of New York and the Grand Central School of Art. Grew up in Kansas. Attended college at Kansas City Art Institute.

In 1973 he and his wife made their move west and settled in Tucson, Arizona. The couple now live in Santa Barbara, California.

In the 1960s he won a very important commission from the United States government. The United States Parks Service hired him to paint landscapes of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Not only did the artist receive a handsome check for his efforts, but it moved him along his career path and made him focus on painting western scenes.

Winner of the highest award for a western artist, the Prix De West prize in 1995.

Included in many prominent collections including the White House and the Smithsonian.

I enjoy the artist for his use of color.

As with most old school artists he works in many mediums. Watercolor, pencil, ink, oils, prints, and gouache. For his commercial art career the artist worked for popular magazines Life and National Geographic.

Founding member of the National Academy of Western Art.

High price range: $112,000

low price range: $ 5000 to 7,000 for a pencil drawing. Prints start around $500.

Buy prints at the Greenwich Workshop, famous for prints from famous artists such as Howard Terpning, John Weiss (painter of canines), and Bev Doolittle:    More prints are also availabe from this gallery located in Dayton, Washington:

His advice to young artists, DRAW DRAW DRAW, THERE ARE NO SHORTCUT. Study the masters, but develop your own style.

For me this artist’s greatest asset is his use of color. The purples and reds that we see in the Indian’s clothing, are a perfect compliment to their skin tone. Also a master at making the background shapes into  an abstract explosion of color.