Archive for December, 2012

Artist of the moment……..Amleto Dalla Costa…..

Amleto Dalla Costa was born in 1929 in Milan, Italy.

His surrealistic vision of women remind me a few artists. The first is Alex Katz. Katz was the first American child born to a family immigrating from Russia. Similar to Dalla Costa, Katz paints the figure from a relatively close space, its as if the viewer is suffocating the subject by standing too close. Both artists also paint flat, rather than 3 dimensional figures.


Another artist that comes to mind for his use of Art Deco era patterns and styles would be Erte. A great example of his style is below. Erte’s given name was Romain de Tirtoff.


A link to the artist’s own personal website:

Price range info:  The artist has worked in mediums such as oils, acrylics, and prints. Each is available for less than one thousand dollars.

The artist currently resides and works out of  Milan, Italy.

Dalla Costa’s work with the female figure brings to mind a great deal of mystery. Often cloaked with dark colours and shapes the viewer seems to have caught the ladies by surprise!  Perhaps alarming them with our presence!  In addition to Katz, the artist also reminds me of Bev Doolittle, with his sense of design. One shape might become two female faces!  Dalla Costa a master at design as well as color.

Dalla Costa has participated in more than 200 exhibitions over his long career.


Lets take a look at some painters of SHOES…..

I enjoy looking at objects that humans have in common over the centuries. Items such as shoes, combs, rings and jewelry, coffee cups all interest me a great deal. It intrigues me to see the changes in technology and human desires on the change of these products over the years.

If you love shoes, the first artist to talk about would be Wayne Thiebaud. I have written about the artist’s wonderful paintings of food such as cakes and donuts, but he also has made some wonderful art concerning shoes. This piece is titled Shoe Row.  Thiebaud is still alive today and was a leader in the Pop Art movement.


Below is a great color version of his artwork.


Another artist working with shoes, in this case ballet shoes, is Deborah Bays. Bays works frequently in pastels and oils working mainly with the still life. She even sells her prep drawings and sketches of ballet shoes alongside her original art. From a collector standpoint its fun to see the process of an idea from a sketch to a finished painting.  An example of Deborah Bays artwork is below. She achieves great depth in her paintings of shoes by placing them at great angles to lead the viewer into a painting. Similar to the way an artist might place a long stemmed flower on a table to give the art dimensionality.


Here is a wonderful drawing made by the artist and our suject du jour!


A link to the website of Deborah Bays:

And of course we cannot forget my favorite artist of all time Andy Warhol. The master business artist made his way to the top by taking the ordinary and making it come to life on paper. Simple items from a cigarette package or soup can or shoe were made in exquisite works of art. Warhol made many works using shoes as the subject including heels, boots, and flats. Below is a clip from the Museum of Modern Art located in Nice, France that has a  serigraph by Warhol that was embellished with diamond dust. What a great sense of design by  the master!

Here is a gallery showing the many varieties of shoes painted by Andy.

When it comes to painting the footwear of cowboys and the western life no one is more skilled than Nelson Boren. The artist paints his shoes with the people wearing them. The viewer is left to imagine what the rest of the person looks like and if there are a pair of shoes what the situation might be. Boren enjoys working in watercolors. Below is a wonderful example of his artwork.


A link to Nelson Boren’s website:


My favorite work of art I have seen personally within the past month were wonderful paintings with shoes as the subject by Van Gogh. The pieces are part of the exhibit at the Denver Art Museum until January 2013. I highly recommend visiting the show and you can see how great Van Gogh was with color. In one still life we see a grouping of brightly lit oranges on a table that appear ready to burst with color! Below is an example of  Van Gogh’s work with shoes.



Its true, I saved my favorite shoe artist for last! He comes from Holland and his name is Diederick Kraaijeveld. He works with one of the things I love BASKETBALL. He also doesn’t use any paint.  He uses found wood for his art and the wood is already colored so he sees no reason to change it.  Under his artistic medium it lists colour salvaged wood!  How unique! Below an example of the Kraaijeveld style.


A link to the artist’s website:

In this clip we visit the artist’s studio warehouse. Its great to see all the different shapes and colours he has found over the years. As he says in the beginning of the clip, he makes nice things out of what people throw away!


I hope this post got you to think about the many types of shoes warn by people throughout the world. Not only in modern times, but over the thousands of years. From a simple sandle to a Jimmy Choo they are fantastic subjects for their designs and color!


Artist of the moment…….Fletcher Martin…..

Fletcher Martin was born in 1904 in the city of Palisade, Colorado. He was basically self- taught as an artist. Growing up his family moved in various cities in the west. His father owned and ran the local newspaper in Palisade.

The artist didn’t graduate from high school. He started working in the print industry at the age of twelve.

Martin gained national recognition as an artist by working as a war correspondant for LIFE magazine. This took place in 1943 and the article was thirteen pages in length. His art was also featured on the cover of the magazine. Below is a picture of his cover art for the LIFE magazine issue.


Martin was the recepient of some Works Progress Murals. He was known for painting prize fighters and boxers. He himself was a boxer in the Navy.

Fletcher Martin also taught art at the collegiate level. He was part of the faculty at University of Florida, State University of Iowa, the University of Florida, the San Antonio Art Institute, and Washington State University.

Of course when it comes to subject matter, the artist reminds me of the great George Bellows. Below is a great example of a fight scene lithograph by George Bellows. Bellows is also reknown for his outstanding landscapes.


In this clip from Sotheby’s of Australia see a famed work by Fletcher Martin come up on the auction block. His painting is featured at the two minute mark into the segment.

Fletcher Martin was an avid sports enthusiast who was himself was a boxer in the Navy.

Steve Huston is a wonderful artist that I have had the pleasure of seeing him give a demo in person. He uses sand paper on most of his works at some point in his painting. His process involves making a color statement, then sanding some paint off, and repeating the process. He enjoys working with the male figure and paints construction workers and boxers. Below is an exampleo of Huston’s artwork. Huston worked in the commercial illustration field designing movie posters for ten years before turning to selling his originals in galleries.


Fletcher Martin is included in the Denver Art Museum collection and the United States Library of Congress.

Martin passed away in 1979 at the age of seventy five.

Price range information:  The artist has many lithographs that range in price from $50 to $3,000. Works in watercolor and acrylics can be found $1,000 to $3,000. Woodcuts start at a few hundred dollars. Works in oils range from $1,000 to $84,000.

The most remarkable item about this artist is his background. If you take the opportunity to view drawings by any of these artists working with the boxing figure, you will notice that each does an excellent job of making the arms in their paintings appear to move with their soft edges. Also each artist is a wonderful draughtsman with a heavy emphasis of dark and light in their works.

Try drawing or painting a boxing figure today!


Artist of the moment……Melinda Hackett….

Melinda Hackett is known for her paintings which remind the viewer of advertising layouts and graphics design from the 1960s and 1970s. Even though as a child I grew up in the eighties, I loved visiting grandma’s house as a young boy and spending hundreds of hours making my own cards and posters using the Spirograph.

This was an artistic set for beginners to craft great abstract shapes using various plastic pieces into great works of art. The patterns were repititous yet different, a great lesson for anyone wanting to become a better artist. Remember Andy Wyeth thought of himself as looking at the world in a very abstract way. I would say he just looked at objects with a very close eye for detail. For example he would find the pattern in very small minute details of the individual hairs making up a butterfly’s wing.

The Spirograph game  was sold starting in 1965 and was designed by a British artist. The shapes created were something that new to the viewing public and were called hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The former is made by making a roulette on the inside of the circle. The epitrochoid is made by using a roulette on the outside of the circle.

Below is a commercial for Spirograph from 1973. Even beginning artists like myself were able to make fun and exciting biomorphic shapes.

A short clip featuring Melinda Hackett talking about her art with a show called Culture Catch!

Here is a clip from a show given for the artist in April 2008 in New York city.

Melinda Hackett was born in New York city in the year 1961. For her collegiate studies she attended Hobart William Smith in Geneva, New York earning a bachelors of art degree. Hackett went on to graduate school at Parons School of Design in New York city.

When looking at Hackett’s artwork I am reminded of the great illustrator Charley Harper. Harper had a great knack for capturing animals (mainly birds) and reptiles with very simple shapes. The  work below is a painting titled “Waterdrop” made by Charley Harper. Harper was a lead illustrator for the Ford magazine but was also able to supplement his magazine earnings by selling prints of his very unique style. Harper had a great eye for making fun shapes and repeating patterns.


Another artist that comes to mind when viewing Hackett’s art is Yasmine Esfandiary. She comes from Iran and also a great eye for making fun and exciting patterns for the eye. Below is an great example of Esfandiary’s style of art. The shapes are pure eye candy! And the color!


A link to Melinda Hackett’s website:

Price range information: None available.

Melinda Hackett lives and works out of New York city.
Hackett works in both oils and watercolors. For painting supports she works with canvas and paper. Her works are very large in scale with smaller sides measuring at least forty inches and larger sides measuring up to 70 inches!

I think everyone should have at least one abstract piece of art in their collection. Just to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee, and look at the fun shapes and color on the canvas. With a great abstract artist such as Hackett, the viewer can look for hours at a time and never be bored!


Artist of the moment…..Maurice Utrillo

Maurice Utrillo was a great painter of cityscapes. Utrillo was born in France in the year 1883. His birth name was Maurice Valadon. His favourite city to paint was Paris. The background of his family is quite interesting. His mother was a teenager at the time of his birth. She was a model for several well known French painters such as Renoir, Berthe Morisot, and Toulouse Loutrec.


His mother’s name was Marie- Clementine Valadon. She was a trapeze artist who had a bad fall and gave up this career. She started to pose as a model for many well to do Parisian painters including Berth Morisot and Toulouse- Loutrec. She had her son Maurice without being sure about the father. Marie Valadon was not only able to learn differet techniques and was a great amateur level painter, she also became a mistress to many of the artists for whom she posed, as a result she was never completely sure about her son’s father. Eventually a Spanish painter named Miguel Utrillo y Molins signed the paternity papers.

The artist started having mental problems at the age of twenty one. Rather than be violent his mother encouraged him to paint! He enjoyed working in a plein air fashion capturing remarkable views of the city Monmarte, Paris.

You may have seen his cityscapes on postcards from France, they are very popular in fact worldwide.

Below is a clip showing some cityscapes done Utrillo.

I compare the artist most with Guy Carleton Wiggins. Guy Carelton Wiggins is my favourite painter of snow and the city. He uses a wonderful palette of greys for his snow. His snow also has remarkable movement across the picture plane in his works, many times his scenes depict heavy snowfall and blizzard like conditions. Both artists also paint similar buildings and windows. Below is fantastic example of Guy Carleton Wiggin’s style. Just looking at this wonderful painting gives me the chills!


Below another montage of the artist’s work.

Price range information: I was unable to locate a consistent pricing schedule. Many reports I looked at said Utrillo is among the most forged artist in the world. Artists copy both his originals and his prints. If you would like to purchase a work make sure that is certified by more than one art appraiser.When the artist was into his forties, he had  international recognition as a fantastic painter.

When Utrillo turned 52 years old he married a woman named Lucie Valor. The couple settled down in Paris.  Utrillo enjoyed drinking heavily. He passed away in 1955 aged 71 in Paris.

The artist didn’t attend an art school and was self taught.


Artist of the moment….Jagganath Panda….

The artist was born in New Delhi, India in the year 1970.

Below is a brief interview with the artist taken in 2009. Takes place at Gallery Alexia Goethe Gallery.

Here Panda talks about his work of art titled THE CULT OF SURVIVAL II, takes place in 2011.

For his artistic education the artist earned a bachelors degree from the B.K. College of Arts and Crafts. Panda went on to earn a masters degree from the same institution. The artist also earned another masters degree from the Royal College of Art.

Panda has a unique style showing his wonderful drawing skills alongside a high level of creativity in design. In some works Panda uses such items as foil, thread, various papers. The artist uses a very limited palette.

Price range information:  Panda has worked in acrylics which range from $1,000 to $120,000. Oils which range from $1,200 to $133,000.  The artist has done works in watercolor but not enough to make a price schedule, just occasional works appear on the market.

Panda is a Surrealist painter that tries to add his thoughts on the world to his art, one recurring theme is over population of large city areas. Panda is living thru a period of time in India that is very much like the Industrial Revolution of the United States. With large masses of humanity fleeing the countryside and rural areas of the country for the opportunity and riches of the big cities.

Panda is a great Surrealist painter that reminds me of the wonderful Hungarian artist C. Pol Molnar. Both artists do a great job of creating a mythical atmosphere to life. I love looking at the horizons lines of both artist’s and the amount of depth both are able to achieve. Below is a great example of C. Pal Molnar’s style.


Panda currently lives and works out of New Delhi, India.

Winner of the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award.

Panda is a wonderful painter that exemplifies what a modern Surrealist artist can be. I enjoy trying to decipher the many messages that exist in his paintings. From urbanization themes to the select use of funky fabrics and graphic design, his artwork has a contemporary feel. Even on smaller works the artist does a great job at creating mood and atmosphere. The viewer has the feeling of looking at a space that is very real, and seems larger than it appears.  I also enjoy the edges of artists work, they are like the artist very unique!


Artist of the moment….Jim Isermann…

Jim Isermann was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the year 1955.  His style of  artwork bring to mind  the Op Art Movement and artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. He also has added to the Op Art movemet in a way that Bridget Riley and Vasarely did not, by moving into 3 dimensions. Isermann has completed many large scale public commissioned installations and sculptures.

Below is a clip showing some works from the Mary Boone Gallery.

In this clip an interview with the Princeton University of Art Musuem.

A link to the artist’s website:

(If you visit the website a great slide show of the artist’s work can be see by just remaining on the artist’s website homepage.)

Price range information: The artist has sold works in pencil that cost around $1,000.

For his artistic education Isermann earned his bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1977. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts.

Recepient of the National Endowment for Arts Fellowship in both painting and sculpting.

The idea I enjoy most about this artist is his ability to use his art skills in the designing of household furniture items such as rugs and furniture.  As a business major myself I am so enthused by the movement of fine art into the commercial art from artists like Isermann and Rex Ray. Both artists not only sell original works of art, but also giclees and prints of their works. Both also earn a great deal of money from royalty contracts from their furniture sales.

Below is a great example of the artist Rex Ray, a modern artist who recently went to collaboration with Samad carpets to make wonderful carpets. Below is a Rex Ray carpet design. Its just great to see artists that are successful in both home decor and fine art.



Iserman currently lives and resides in Palm Springs, California.

For artists that would like to broaden their sales with some commercial endeavors please read about artists like Rex Ray, Amelia Caruso, and Jim Isermann. Besides rugs and carpet these artists have licensed their art to be used on blankets, sheets, cell phone covers wall paper and various other home furnishings. Isermann has also produced works using stained glass.

Isermann is part of the teaching faculty at the University of California, Riverside.

Some commission projects include UCLA Hammer Museum, Princeton University, and Stanford.

For some art homework think about seeing your favorite work of art available as a carpet or mosaic tile.



Artist of the moment…..Hisashi Otsuka

Hisashi Otsuka is recognized as one of the few living master artists of Japan. Otsuka is certainly my favorite Japanese artist! He is great at design in a variety of genres associated with Eastern culture such as the fighting figures named Ronin. Ronin is another term for a samurai who is without a master. The artist is also well known for his elegant portraits of women dressed in spectacular robes. Otsuka is also famous for his choice of medium, ink on fabric. Otsuka was born in 1947 in Japan. He got his start in the art world thru designing textiles and kimono robes. He was able to apprentice under a master kimono maker in Taeko Jo.

In 1979 the artist relocated to Hawaii and would eventually become an American citizen.

Otsuka is just a great all around artist capable of working in a variety of mediums. He reminds me of the artists here that were prominent artists in the art deco world, but also made great inroads into the world of fine art. If you enjoy Otsuka be sure and check out the art of ERTE, a prominent artist of the 1920s whose great design instincts made his works highly sought after in many mediums such as paintings and clothes.


In this short interview the artist tells us about the unique applique he uses for his work with ink on silk. Part One.

Part Two of the interview with Hisasha Otsuka

Price range information:  Otsuka has produced many collotypes and lithographs that range in price from $100 to $700. He has also made paintings using lacquer based dyes that can range from $7,500 to $30,000. Works done using oils on silk, rather than the artist’s usual method of lacquer based dyes, can reach up to $20,000.

A link to the artist’s own personal website:

Has been part of shows in Beverly Hills, New York city, Indianapolis, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Hawaii.

Otsuka grew up in Japan and visited Hawaii for the first time in

The main idea I take away from this artist is his ability to blend and mix thoughts. Eastern vs. Western painting ideas. Ancient composition skills from master Eastern artists of yesteryear blended with modern and bright vivid color palette of the modern era. Its great fun to watch artists that have extensive careers in design from industrialized areas of business art such as clothing or furniture design.


In this manner I am reminded of the great American artists that started with commercial illustration and moved onto lucrative and successful careers in fine art such as Steve Huston and Howard Terpning. Terpning is the most highly sought after Western themed painter that is alive today. Paintings of the artist have broken the 1 million dollar barrier. Both Huston and Terpning learned their design skills through working in the commercial advertising field as a poster painter of movies.



Artist of the moment…..Dutch Artist Corneille….

Dutch artist Corneille was born  in the summer of 1922 in Belgium. If you do a “google” search for Corneille many artists will appear most of them French. The Dutch Corneille’s given name was Guillaume Cornelius Van Beverloo.

Below is a montage of works by the artist.

He moved with his family back to the Netherlands when he was twelve years old. Corneille studied art at the Academy of Art in Amsterdam.

The movements associated with the artist are the REFLEX and COBRA movements. Corneille even published poetry in a magazine that was published focused on the movement.

In some future posts I would like to write about artists who become collectors. These personality types are awesome to read about because you can learn about what inspires them and also what they look for in  great works of art. Some great collectors I know about are John Singer Sargent and Jeff Watts. I am sure many others have fascinating collections and I look forward to writing about them. Corneille was also an avid collector, but mainly of antique African artifacts.

Corneille relocated to Paris in the 1950s and lived in France the remainder of his life.

The artist visited Israel many times. He died in Auver-sur-Oise, France in 2010. The artist was 88 years old.

Price range information: The artist has done many lithographs and silkscreens. Lithographs can be between $100 to $3,500.  Gouache works can be found between $10,000 to $25,000. He has also done occasional works in terracotta and resin but not enough exist to make a consistent price schedule.

If you are visiting Paris find works by the artist located in the Centre Georges Pompidou.

I so enjoy looking at works from an unusual perspective and Corneille does this with his bird’s eye paintings of the landscape. I enjoy looking at the world through a worm’s eye  view or bird’s eye view, something out of the norm.

Outside of his brothers of trade that formed the REFLEX and COBRA movements I liken the artist’s work to that of French painter Bernard Buffet. Buffet was a highly productive artist that was collected worldwide. Towards the end of his life he developed Parkinson’s disease. He was no longer able to paint and suffocated himself to death as a result. Both Buffet and Corneille used flat shapes never blending edges. Both artists also had bright and vivid color palettes. Both drew with very simple shapes that you would associate with an intermediate artist concerned with shape but not dimensionality.



When I think of Corneille it brings to my mind an artist with a whimsical style who remained as expressive as a child at play with crayons, throughout his entire artistic career. Here was an artist that really enjoyed the creative side of making art.


Artist of the moment….Kerry James Marshall…..

Kerry James Marshall is a well known artist who is known for his paintings of people and the effects of racism. He was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama.

In this clip Marshall talks about growing up in many locales across the United States where race became the number one topic on peoples minds. His family lived in Birmingham, Alabama and he grew up there as a youngster. Then the family moved to Watts, one of the toughest places to live in Los Angeles, known for drugs and gangs. Then the family moved to South Central Los Angeles. The Black Rights movement and Civil Rights movement both had an long lasting effect on the artist towards his views on racism.

For his collegiate education the artist attended the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Whilst in college Marshall was able to study under the great African-American printmaker Charles White. Below is a great example of Charles White’s  signature style. White was also briefly married to Elizabeth Catlett, the great American born artist who moved to Mexico and became famous for her ability to use art to help change people’s lifes for the better. White was known for several WPA era paintings.


Marshall now lives and works out of Chicago, Illinois.

The artist is very innovative and enjoys painting on unique surfaces such as plexiglass.

Marshall has won the MacArthur genius grant taking the prize in 1997.

In this clip the artist talks about wanting to portray people of color in fine art. It is far more common in modern times that we have many celebrated African American artists such as Mario Robinson, Dean Mitchell, Kehinde Wiley, the Saar family, and Samella Sanders Lewis. Marshall seems to think every people of color were seen as only periphery of the paintings, not the focus.

He is married to the actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce. Bruce has appeared in the television show as “Prison Break.”

For his portrayal of African Americans the artist works with characters that seem to be out of stereotypes that took place during the Jim Crow laws era. He painted people as black similar to coal, rather than shades of darkness. In this manner the artist reminds of Kara Walker. Walker is the famed artist who portrays usually on the silhouette of the people she portrays. Many times Walker plays with feelings of hate and racism that took place in the 1800s. With her samed silhouette style the artist seems to say like Marshall you are either black as coal, or you are not with no middle ground. Below is a wonderful example of Kara Walker’s art and I have written about the artist before.


Also like Kara Walker the artist has even portrayed the transportation of slaves to America in works from the 1990s. He forces to confront their feelings, for the most part negative, about being a person of color in the United States. He even has done paintings questioning if the media finds women of color as desirable as other women.

The theme that I enjoy most about Marshall’s work is his ability for him to accurately portray the amount of style involved in everything that goes with being a person of color. As Marshall says an black person doesn’t walk, you learn to walk with style. EVERYTHING becomes a statement of style and culture and Marshall does a wonderful job portraying that in his artwork.


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