Archive for January, 2013

Artist of the moment….Peter Shire…..

Peter Shire is an American artist  that was born in Los Angeles, California  in the year 1947. He makes wonderful sculptures with geometric and organic shapes. Shire also makes ceramics and designs furniture. The artist still resides and keeps a studio in Los Angeles.

For his collegiate art education Shire attended the Chouinard Institute of Art located in Los Angeles, Calfornia.

Below is a clip with the an interview featuring the artist.  Shire explains some ideas behind his sculpture work.

Shire has done a great amount of public and private commissions  with a majority in California. Shire has received many awards for his public works on display throughout the city of Los Angeles. He also works in smaller sizes often producing cups in ceramic.

In this clip we see Peter Shire at work on a very large sized public commission in California.

Peter Shire is part of museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city, the Brooklyn Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum located in London, England.

First exhibition took place in 1990.

Price range information:  The artist has worked in enamels which range from $200 to $2500. Human size larger sculptures range from $2,500 to $10,000. Some of these may even contain moving parts, such as something that his moved by wind.

In this clip see some of the artists enamel jewelry pieces. Shire is sometimes associated with 1981 to 1988 group Memphis Group. This was a group of Italian designers who used a similar palette and many times the same shapes.

Shire reminds me of the great modern abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky is my favorite abstract artist because his sense of design was so great. His works have great movement across the canvas and beautiful color. Below is a great example of Kandinsky’s abstract style, to me Peter Shire is the three dimensional version of him!


Try an abstract work today!


Artist of the moment….Lyuba Titovets…


What a great clip here! Watch Lyuba Titovets painting!

A show given with the artist and her husband when they had been together 20 years.


Lyuba Titovets much like her husband, enjoys painting landscapes. She also loves to paint flowers. I enjoy her bold use of color and her compositional style. In many of her floral works she goes to a great deal of effort to portray different textures. For instance the softness and delicate feel of a flower petal, the grainy feeling and texture of wooden tables, and the feeling of atmosphere that surrounds her still lifes. Very interesting and unique design with great execution.  Titovets has indeed learned to paint her “voice.”

Lyuba has been a lifelong student of art beginning when she was only five years old taking drawing classes. At the age of seven years old she was chosen to participate in an elite artist program in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Titovets continued to study art and went on to earn both a bachelors and masters degree in fine arts  from the State College located in St. Petersburg.

It was here that she met her husband Aleksander, Titovets.

Titovets has taken part in many group and solo shows in Europe, Russia, and the United States. In addition she has displayed her works of art in such locales as Westminsters Abbey in London, England. In the United States she exhibited with the Oil Painters of America.

Came to the United States with her husband in 1992.

Both artists are included in the collections of the King and Queen of Spain. Lyuba is also collected by well known actress Sophia Loren.

The artistic family is based out of El Paso, Texas. The couple has two daughters. Both artists split the daily household chores and its Lyuba who takes charge of the children on most occasions. Aleksander will take care of packing and crating of paintings.

If you do a web search you will see that both artists are incorporated out of Texas and both enjoy working on building the business.

The enjoy living the life as an artist and both support each other if some struggles come about.

If you enjoy this painting couple be sure and check out the Ivanov family whose work has appeared on the cove of American Art Collector. The husband goes by Aleksey and his wife goes by Olga, the Ivanovs. You may see them in Denver at Abend Gallery. They have even been featured on the cover of American Art Collector. Below is an example of their mixed media work.


Lyuba works in oils and also acrylics.

Price range information: Oils range from $2,500 to $8,000. No price range for oils.

Oddly enough the two even paint together on different canvases.  Enjoying the same taste in painting genres and music and the arts. Both are huge fans of classical music and the opera.

Artist of the moment….Aleksander Titovets…

Price range information: Titovets works in oils with prices ranging from $3,000 to $14,000.

Alexsander Titovets was born in Siberia, Russia in 1960. As a reader you know I love reading about art families from the Wyeths to more recent posts such as the Saar or Frost families, lets take a look at this well known family of Russian painters, the Titovets. This post will be only Aleksander and the next post will be his wife Lyubov. Both are representational painters working in an impressionist style.

For his artistic education Aleksander attended the Saint Petersburg University College of Fine Arts. For me I can usually recognize those artists of the Russian way of painting for their color palette. Much of the composition is the same as here in the United States, but in snow scenes and or other landscapes they enjoy painting with spectacular blues and sometimes a cobalt/ turqoise mixture that just makes their landscapes jump out. A mixture of warm and cool greys and then BAM!  an explosion of color that gives a wonderful sense of color and impressionism.

The artist came to the United States along with his wife in 1992.

In this clip we hear about the beginning of Aleksander’s art career in “El Paso, Texas.

In his artistic statement Titovets explains like all artists he paints what he knows. I realize this can be frustrating as an artist, but eventually you will come up with your own style and some subjects or patterns that you love to paint. Like Warhol with his soup cans or Robert Indiana with his LOVE series you just have to explore and fine an artist who inspires you. For most artists the still life is quite boring to paint. But once you find an artist that has mastered composition and who has worked with a subject for many years and the artist can design a great picture in their head, as a viewer you can tell they have mastered the subject.

Hilo Chen painting the beach. Howard Terpning painting the American West. Wayne Thiebaud painting the still life. After many many paintings you too will find your favorite color palette and genre to paint.

Titovets made many sketches when he lived in Russia before emigrating to the United States. He uses old sketches or works from memory when painting the magical works that show his native land.

Titovits has been in many presitigious exhibitions including with the Oil Painters of America. If you every have the chance to see a show from the Oil Painters of America make sure and attend. You can see artists such as Jeff Legg, David Leffel, and Daniel E. Greene. When you see masterworks like these its very inspirational!

Included in many prominent collections including the Kind and Queen of Spain.

Has been in several national art magazines including American Art Collector, Art of the West, and Southwest Art magazine.

Comparing him to another artist I chose Joaquin Sorolla. Sorolla was known for his use of very thick impasto paint. I see this in the paint quaility of Titovets as well, on many occasions the paints looks fresh and wet! Below is a fantastic beach scene my Sorolla titled ” Monte Ulia.”

sorolla_monte ulía

Titovets received a great commission for Mrs. Laura Bush to paint her portrait. Titovets is from the same area of Texas where the ex-President’s family live. Below is the painting of Mrs. Bush and it was done for the National Portrait Gallery. What wonderful greys the artist uses!


I enjoy reading about these great Russian Impressionist painters and love the texture their heavy impasto strokes leave on the canvas.

Happy painting!


Artist of the moment…..Wifredo Lam…

Wifred Lam is considered by many to be the most popular painter from Cuba in history.

In Havana City, Cuba there is a musuem named after Lam. Here is a quick clip of the building.

When thinking of this artist it is important to remember that he was trying to push his own culture forward in his painting. A mixture of African and Cuban figures. Lam was born in 1902 in Sagua La Grande, Cuba. Yam had a variety of cultures and influences in his life and it showed in his paintings and sculptures. His father was a Chinese immigrant living in Cuba. His mother was born to a family sharing African and Cuban ancestry. His godmother was seen as a healer in  this society.

As a college aged student Lam hoped to take up law and moved to the urban city of Havana, Cuba. He studied plants and then studied painting and drawing at Escuela de Belle Art.  Young Lam didn’t appreciate the academic style of painting and drawing, he yearned for a more expressive way to execute his drawing. He went off to study in Madrid, Spain.

In Madrid the artist had great fortune to come across the former teacher to Salvador Dali, his name was Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor Zaragoza.

Lam was married when he was twenty seven years old. Sadly his wife and their infant both died from tuberculosis only two years after they were married. Many historians believe this event caused the artist to develop such a dark side.

After the death of his family members Lam took off and explored the countryside of  Spain and lived in Madrid and Barcelona before embarking on a move to Paris.

He was able to meet and learn from his idol, Pablo Picasso.  In fact Picasso became a huge supporter and fan of the artist. Picasso went on to introduce Lam to many other prominent members of the art world such as Joan Miro, Fernand Leger, and Henri Matisse. Picasso and Lam even gave exhibitions together.

The artist continued to travel throughout Europe during the late 1930s and just as World War II was going to start, he was caught and imprisoned and sent back to Cuba. Upon his return to Cuba he became upset and thought the Cuban culture was losing its sense of African pride.

If I were to compare Lam to another artist other than Picasso, because I am sure you know many Picasso works, it would be Manuel Carbonell. I plan to do longer entry on him since he is perhaps the most collected sculptor hailing from Cuba. Carbonell exaggeraed his figures in much the same manner as Picasso. When I first saw this sculture I was reminded of the 3D classic movie Avatar. Here is an example of his style of art.


Price range information: The artist has had works painted in oils sell for as much as $4.6 milion dollars. Etchings start around $500 and go to $3,000. Many paintings in gouache and watercolor range from $1,000 to$5,000. Lam has also worked in sculpture but not enough to form a pricing schedule.


This last clip does a wonderful job at showing the many races and cultures involved in Lam’s Afro-Cuban style. Poncho Sanchez is a popular jazz musician and band leader whose music we are listening to whilst seeing the Surrealist paintings of Wifredo Lam.


Happy painting!


Artist of the moment….Ruth Weisberg….

Ruth Weisberg  is known for work with the human figure. Weisberg was born in Chicago, Illinois in the year 1942. She works in many mediums including drawing, printmaking, and installation.

Weisberg has studied art overseas in Italy at the Academia di Belle Arte in Perugia, Italy. Weisberg also earned a masters degree from the University of Michigan located in Ann Arbor.

In this clip from Otis College we see an interview with the artist and her ideas of feminism and art.

Price range information: None available.

Weisberg is part of the teaching faculty at University Southern California Roski from 1995 until 2010. Also taught at Eastern Michigan University.
The artist is part of several musuem including the Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city, the Whitney Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Weisberg enjoys painting two subjects in particular and says so in her artistic statement. One is the power and beauty of the female figure and the other is the struggle and history of the Jewish culture she was born into. She enjoys painting  “answers” to questions that people have in life.  Weisberg thinks art can be transformative and enjoys using her painting prowess to push this theme.

Whilst in Italy the artist honed her printmaking skills. She even has her ideas as to which medium can be used to best express her thoughts and ideas.  Drawing has been her favorite medium to develop and she has always enjoyed drawing throughout her career.

The artist has two children and works out of Santa Monica, California.

Weisberg has been part of more than sixty solo shows and more than 150 group exhibitions.

Her prints reminds me of the fantastic street artist named Swoon and her wheatpaste images. Below is an example of Swoon and her strong emphasis on drawing. The artist is always looking to make the world a better place via art and was involved in the rebuilding of Haiti after the terrible natural events over the past few years. Her given name is Caledonia Curry. She started out years ago as a street artist making wheatpastes all over New York city.


Here is a link to Swoon and her project in Haiti:

Weisberg also reminds me of Delia Brown, the artist and actress who often portrays herself and her friends enjoying themselves in mansions and at pool parties around California. Brown does a wonderful job at exploring high powered and fun seeking women. Below is an examle of Brown’s style of art.



Artist of the moment……Pierre Bittar….

A montage of some of the artist’s work of Cote D’Azure, France.

Pierre Bittar was born in France in the year  1934. His father was a musician.  His mother came from a ruling family called the House of Savoy that ruled Italy for nearly a century.  Pierre Bittar is known for painting landscapes both of the United States and Europe. I enjoy his use of flowers in his landscapes.

Bittar wanted to be an artist from a very young age, five years old! His parents encouraged his love and pursuit of art as a career. From the age of six until the age of eighteen Bittar visited as many museums and saw and studied paintings by masters and his two favorite were Rembrandt and Monet were his two favorite artists.

Composition wise his art reminds me of Bob Pejman. Pejman is known for painting awesome harbor scenes. Here is a great example of Bob Pejman’s style of art.

In 1953 the artist’s dad passes away. He CANNOT WORK and quits his studies. After a short break he finds some evening painting classes to attend at the Academie Leonardo Da Vinci.  In order to pay the bills Bittar takes a job with NCR, a processing company.

1956 he finished his studies and begins to make wonderful portraits of friends and family as landscapes.

1979 wins a Gold Medal Award at the Salon des Artiste Francais, Grand Palais.

In 1980 he quit the data processing company and became a full time painter.

In 1986 a book was made of the artists works.

Since 1992 has ran his own gallery located in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

A link for the the artist’s own website:

With his fantastic Impressionistic style the artist reminds me of master California Impressionist painter Granville Redmond. Redmond was born a few years before the great San Francisco earthquake of 1904. Whilst still a child the earthquake caused him to go deaf. He went on to become one of the best California Impressionists and even appeared on film with the great silent film moviestar Charlie Chaplin.

Below is a wonderful example of Redmond’s Impressionistic style.


In this clip we see Granville Redmond appear on screen with Charlie Chaplin.

In this clip a short interview with Pierre Bittar.

Price range information: Bittar works in oils for the most part with prices ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Bittar does a wonderful job at painting garden scenes also. Mixing great crimsons, mauves, and purples in these works the artist shoes off his color and design skills.

Artist of the moment….Gary Lang……

Gary Lang was born in New York city in the year 1950. He is known for his abstract works. He often works in a grid method taking months to finish a piece. Lang grew up in California and studied at many schools known for producing great artists such as the Chouinard School of Art. The Whitney School of Art and he finally earned a bachelors degree from the California Art Institute in Valencia, California. Lang also went on to earn a masters degree from Yale University.


Below is a great interview with Gary Lang at Edward Cellar Art and Architecture.

With his circles the artist reminds me of the great artist Amelia Caruso. I have done an entry on Caruso for her smart business sense. She has done public art, decorating public utility boxes. She recently moved into commercial art design using her keen artistic designs on various fabrics. Below is a clip of Caruso painting. She mainly paints circles, all freehand, with vibrant colors and patterns.

Caruso has done put her work in public places in Fort Collins. Below is a utility box by Caruso. She paints all of her circles freehand by the way! I love her use of color and the movement of shapes in her work.


Gary Lang is also married to an artist specializing in minimalist paintings using acrylics. Her name is Ruth Pastine. Below is an example of her work. Pastine was born in 1964 in New York city.  Her work is very minimalist in color, but these works have thousands of brush strokes.



Here we see an interview with Ruth Pastine from a public installation done in Los Angeles, California.

Price range information:  Lang works in oils and acrylics. Acrylics range from $1,000 to $8,000.  Oils range from $500 to $1,000.

Lang became enthusiastic about art whilst a very  young age. He loved to draw bugs and flowers. To this day he enjoys the process of creating art. Art keeps him young. Lang talks about feeling most alive when he is painting art.

Lang is part of many museum collections including the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the  Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Portland Museum of art to name a few.

I enjoy art families and love to look and compare the works of this husband and wife artist duo. Both use vivid color in their works and hopefully we can see the couple work on a canvas together similar to the realist painters the Ivanovs.




Try an abstract work today!


Artist of the moment…..M.C. Escher….

If you are bored on a very cold and snowy take one hour and watch this exciting documentary on Escher.

A short briefing on Escher’s use of mathematics and the creation of repeating patterns in his artwork.


M.C. Escher was born in Leeuwarden,  Netherlands in the year 1898. The house he was born in is a museum housing ceramics of the region.  He is known for his many works of art that challenge the viewer to see “hidden images.” A great example of this is the works that have a black fish and a white fish with the same simple shape. Escher was a tremendous graphic artist and I dream of what he could do with such products like artproducts software…

The artist was born Maurits Cornelius Escher. His father was an engineer.

Growing up the Escher was often sick. His grades in school weren’t outstanding but from a young age the artist loved to draw.

Escher attended school in Delft. Also studied at the Architecture and Ornamental Design School in Haarlem. (A side note, if you travel around the world to look at art  as I do, take one day and spend it in Haarlem. I ended up staying there rather than Amsterdam as I loved the slower and more laid back place. Frans Hals paintings are easy to find since this was his territory back in the days of the Dutch Renaissance. )

Among his early learning years Escher’s most important mentor was Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita. Mesquita was a great graphic artist who made woodcuts and linocuts. He also was a tremendous painter. Later in his life Escher  made sure his mentor was not forgotten. Below is a floral work by de Mesquita.


Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita was also a master printmaker and I can’t help but think that is the most important lesson that Escher learned from him. Below is an example of  a woodcut by de Mesquita. Mesquita is an important story in that he was born to a Jewish family in Amsterdam. During a sweep he was taken to the gas chambers and executed. Escher always gave him props and I wanted to mention him since many works were destroyed by the Nazi’s.


Married in 1924 and then moved to Rome until 1935. Then he and the family moved back to the Netherlands where he would live the remainder of his life.

Whilst travelling in Europe the artist became found of Alhambra Palace located in Granada, Spain. The use of mathematics in their design and repititious made logical sense the artist. Here is a fantastic example of the intricate use of design in the palace. Escher was fascinated by this palace and returned to visit on several occassions.


Escher passed away in Hilversum, Netherlands  at the age of 73  years old.

Another great fact about the artist was that unlike some artists who age and are no longer able to work, the artist found a wonderful Dutch retirement home that was meant to be a place for aging artists to live, whilst still being able to engage and participate in the art world. This particular home was founded by Rosa Spier who was a notable harpist. Escher  spent the last two years of his life here. A picture of the home located in Loren, Netherlands is below.

A link to the artist’s own website:

Price range information: The artist stuck to creating prints. Prices on lithographs range from $10,000 to $30,000. Woodcuts range from $1,000 to $80,000.



Happy painting!


Artist of the moment….Sir Terry Frost…Anthony Frost….Lucas Frost….

Terry Frost was born in Britain in the year 1915. He was best known for his brightly colored abstract works. Frost served his country in the second world war. He was captured and was a prisoner of war. Whilst in prison he met a fellow captive named Adrian Heath. Heath went on to become a famous abstract artist as well. Below is an example of his Adrian’s Heath’s artistic style. Its easy to see the influence the teacher had on his pupil.


Below is a clip showing some artwork of Sir Terry Frost at the Tate Modern Musuem of Art in London, England.

When I saw this image below I figured it was a Rex Ray collage and acrylic piece. Ray is my favorite contemporary artist who concentrates on shape and color. If you are in Denver you may see a work of his at the Vance Kirkland Museum. He uses a mixture of paint, collage, and usually seals his work with resin. Very modern feel to his artwork. Here is a Sir Terry Frost painting.


And a photograph of Sir Terry Frost.


And below is wonderful example of Rex Ray’s bright and colorful style. His use of colors and shapes always make me feel relaxed and happy!


Both artists even have a similar palette of colors!  What wonderful abstract works by both artists! Color,shape, and texture give the viewers eye so much to take in.

Since Sir Terry Frost also worked with stained glass and that reminds me of John LaFarge. LaFarge was a wonderful American Impressionist that worked in watercolors and oils and also conquered the medium of stained glass. My favorite stained glass works by the artist are usually floral works, but I love the abstraction and color of this peacock so its my favorite of LaFarge’s stained glass works.


And Terry Pauls work is very modern and this one is titled THE QUAY. For me I can see a female figure in the piece.


Terry Frost passed away in 2003 at the age of 88 years old.

Price range information:  The artist was very prolific and worked in many mediums. Lithographs range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Oils range from $2,000 to $20,000. Collage works range from $2,000 to $10,000. Watercolor and gouache pieces range $1,000 to $5,000.

Frost was elected a Royal Academician in 1992.

He was given knighthood in 2000.

I enjoy his work for the happy, bold, and bright colors used by the artist.

Save the best facts for last! We have another multi generation artistic family! The artist got married in 1945 and had five kids. Two went on to become professional artists. Below is a work by Anthony Frost (born in 1951.)


The other son who became an artist is named Luke. In this clip we see a picture by his father Terry at 1:43 into the clip. At 5:28 into the clip we meet Terry’s son Luke who is an artist in residence. Very artistic family who all have a bright color palette with simple organic and geometric shapes.

And an example of Luke Frost’s work.


700th POSTING!!!!……….Art and the games we used to play as children….

For this special posting I wanted to talk about a fundamental change in one of my favorite games, MONOPOLY.  After so many years with the same game pieces Hasbro has finally come to the conclusion that it is time for a change. I am in my mid thirties and none of my peers even owns an iron!


I don’t own an X box or Nintendo and very much enjoy the process of an old fashioned family game night. Have some friends and family over for some Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, or Monopoly. It is nice to be able to play a shooting game against someone in Thailand, but how about spending some time with your friends and family.


One artist who did a great job in the 1800s at capturing the atmosphere and intensity of two people playing chess, checkers, or developing a war plan would be Carl Wilhelm Antony Seiler. I love the compositions used by Seiler. The viewer always has the feeling something important is being planned or thought about. Very intense, as if watching a live chess match!

Another artist who is a great painter with this genre is Tim Liddy. He is a trompe painter and he paints what appear to be the covers of very old board games from the 1950s and 1960s. Some are made up some are real, the viewer is hard pressed to tell the difference. The artist goes to tremendous lengths reproducing faded colors on the box as well as ver old and dried up scotch tape that barely has any tack left. Here we see a fantastic trompe style vintage Monopoly game by Tim Liddy.


Another artist who uses the name Alec Monopoly loves to paint the Monopoly Man in various poses and situations. The artist is known for doing street and graffiti as well as selling in galleries. Here is a great example of Alec Monopoly and his style. This work is acrylic on newspaper.


An artist working in a similar manner to Tim Liddy, painting the boxes of our beloved games of childhood is K Henderson. Similar to Liddy the artist enjoys painting a trompe surface going to great detail to describe worn tape and faded color on cardboard. Here we see a wonderful painting of a vintage Monopoly game. Below is  sample of K. Henderson’s trompe style.

Monopoly by K Henderson

A link to K. Henderson’s own website:

Micheal Fitts is another artist working with games. He works on scrap metal for instead of canvas and this gives his works a great sense of texture. Below is an example of a series done by Fitts featuring the original Monopoly playing pieces.


Below is another fine example of Fitts’s style and this time his subject is the vintage game OPERATION!


A link to Michael Fitts blog:


The last artist we will look at hails from Canada and his name is Alvin Richard. Working in acrylics the artist creates great visual interest in his work by painting a variety of textures. In this painting we see the smooth and shiny game pieces contrasting with the smooth game board.



Try painting something from your favorite vintage game!


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