Archive for October 25, 2012

Artist of the moment …….. Georges Rouault

In the gallery below all works, except the first, are by Georges Rouault. The first one is by his mentor Gustave Moreau.

Price range information:  The artist worked in many mediums. Etchings can be had from $100 to $1000. Oils can get up $578,000. Aquatints can range from $1,000 to $20,000.

The artist was born in Paris, France in the year 1871. His family was rather poor. Rouault was an expressionist painter and produced a large amount of original art as well as prints. He loved the arts as a child and was encouraged by his mom. He became an apprentice to a local glass painter at the age of fourteen.

By working with painting glass, this lead the artist to  his technique of a heavy black ouline in nearly all his shapes. Whilst he was an apprentice Rouault continued to study art taking evening classes. In 1891 he began studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. This is the official art school of France. As a student he became the favorite student of the professor and reknown painter Gustave Moreau. Moreau was a painter of the surreal and painted in a romantic/ mystery genre. Below is an example of Moreau’s singature style. The two had great respect for each other and when Moreau died in 1898, Georges Rouault was made curator of the museum dedicated to Gustave Moreau.

As Rouault became older religous themes made their way into the artists work eventually become his favorite subject matter. The artist made many works of Christ.

Beginning in 1930 the artist had shows worldwide and was reknown internationally.

Like all French artists, this guy was very unique!  Toward the end of his life he burned nearly 300 works of art that he started but never finished. He burned them as he thought he wouldn’t live to finish them.

George Rouault passed away in 1958 at the age of 86.

I also found it interesting that his training in painting glass, was apparent in finding his own unique artistic style. Very similar to Grandma Moses who started out doing embroidery and when her hands became too bad to do needlecraft began painting.

The University of San Diego had a special exhibition of the artist’s Miserere series. Here a curator talks about the show.

As an expressionist painter it is thought that the artist was heavily influenced by Vincent Van Gogh.

From a style standpoint I would compare him to another French artist, Bernard Buffet. Both used great colour and flat shapes. Both also used black lines to outline the shapes used in their works. I wrote about Buffet not long ago, he was very productive and when he could no longer create art due to Parkinsons disease, he put his head in a plastic bag, taped it around his neck, and committed suicide. Both artists had oustanding use of colour and enjoyed flat shapes.

Try an expressionist painting today!

Only two more days until I see Vincent Van Gogh again!


Artist of the moment…. Political Satirist Gerald Scarfe….

All of the pictures in the gallery are the work of Gerald Scare, EXCEPT the last picture, which was done by Sebastien Kruger.

The artist hails from the United Kingdom and was born London in June of 1936.

Here are some caricature drawn and painted by Gerald Scarfe in 2008. These were on the walls whilst you waited in line at Wimbledon.

A collaboration with the artist, sometimes referred to as the fifth member of the band, and Pink Floyd.

A great clip featuring Scarfe and the Victoria and Albert Museum and how it inspired him to an artistic career.

Average price ranges:  Working mainly as an illustrator I was able to find his work available in pen and ink, lithographs, and paintings. One work in pen sold at auction for $6,200. Lithographs available from $50 to $2250. Pastel range: $1,000 to $2,000.

He has done editorial cartoonist work for media companies in the United States ,such as the popular magazine the New Yorker and also Time magazine. He also worked across the pond working for The Sunday Times and many other magazines.

Another great caricature artist is Sebastien Kruger of Germany. Kruger is known for his paintings of the Rolling Stones. Some of his Keith Richards paintings are just amazing! Below is an example of a Kruger.


The artist is married to movie actress Jane Asher, the two were married in 1981. Asher dated Beatles star Paul McCartney for five years, the two were engaged to be married. After finding Sir Paul in bed with another lady she left him and met Scarfe in 1971. The couple have one daughter and two sons.


As a child the artist suffered from severe asthma, causing him to spend much time in bed. This caused him to draw as a means of an outlet both. He became a huge fan of Ronald Searle. For his education Scarfe attended Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design. He also attended the London College of Printing and East Ham Technical College.


The artist has also worked with Disney, helping to make the 1997 animated hit Hercules. Scarfe was in charge of character design, and teaching the lower level Disney artists how to portray the emotions he desired.


Designed a series of five postage stamps featuring famous British comedians.


Scarfe has also worked as theater set designer.

This artist is just great! Who doesn’t enjoy a great caricature, even if they are mean. As a former caricaturist myself, you have find out what features are different than a normal sized face and EXAGGERATE the difference. A big nose, becomes a honker.  Big lips, become even bigger like Angelina Jolie with snake poison in them!  Another artist I learned a great deal from drawing cartoons are Tom Richmond. We worked for the same caricature company, not at the same location however, and he went on to become a great cartoonist working for Mad magazine.


Al Hirschfeld is my favorite of all time. He used to draw awesome figures with a simple line. He drew many sketches in pencil on paper. He would then draw over them with ink. A celebrity artist, yet because of his simplistic and elegant style a self portrait by the artist could be had for less than four thousand dollars even at his peak!  Chris Rommel is another great caricature artist to check out. David Levine was another great caricaturist working in a pen and ink style.


Scarfe is awesome just to show people how brilliant a life in commercial art can be. One can be sure he has brought smiles to millions of people that look down at politicians with disdain. I went to a show called Hogath vs. Hockney last week.  He is a throwback to a simpler time when the artist’s pen was mightier than a sword or gun. A critic didn’t like a work that Hogarth had etched. Well Hogarth didn’t appreciate his disdain so he reworked the picture of himself with his dog. This time a book was placed below the dog. The dog was urinating on the book!


How about drawing a caricature today! Despite your political association, DRAW BOTH PARTY MEMBERS. I would take this a step further and draw any political figure because you can compare them to other artists and see if they exaggerated the same parts of the face that you did!