Archive for February 18, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Ken Done

Ken Done is an internationally renown artist who comes from Australia. Ken Done was born in the year 1940 in the city of Sydney, Australia. He created a great commercial business for himself with his artworks adorning items from clothes to household goods. The name of this company was titled “Done Art and Design” and he and his wife Judy were the partners behind this company.

Done spent much of his childhood in Sydney and when he was only fourteen years old he left high school and enrolled at the National Art School in Sydney.

When he finished school in 1959 he joined an advertising company and spent the next decade of his life visiting various parts of the globe.

In 1969 he moved back to his native land of Australia. In 1975 Done decided to devote himself to painting full time.

In this clip featuring Ken Done we learn about a series of paintings done that depicted some small Japanese submarines that attacked Sydney’s Harbour and twenty one people died. Its nice to hear him talk about this incident and how he went about painting it because many of scenes more or less are a celebration of life on the coast of Australia. At the time he also had developed cancer and had money problems. A great interview to watch!

In this clip we hear Ken Done talk about what gave him the confidence to give up advertising and become a full time painter.

His company that he started with his wife was very successful in overseas markets. His artwork graced the cover of fashion magazine Hanako every week for a decade.  The company also won a prize for being the best  in the fashion industry in Australia in 1993.

As a full time painter he had his first solo exhibition in 1980.

In this clip we visit the show Done was talking about on Australian television about the Japanese midget submarines attacking the harbour. We visit the show at the gallery that commissioned him to do the project.

Produced works for the opening and closing ceremonies of 2000 Summer Olympic games.

Winner of Australian father of the year in 1989.

There is a museum dedicated Ken Done in a suburb of Sydney called the Rocks.

If you enjoy Ken Done and his paintings of harbours please take some time to check out the work of Malcolm Morley.  Done paints more a flat picture plane. Morley came to fame as a photorealist, but has since loosened up his style. I so enjoy looking at Mr. Morley’s paintings of yachts and harbours.  Below is a great example of Morley’s take on a harbour scene.





I enjoy the work of Ken Done as most of his work celebrates life and makes me feel uplifted when I look at it. Very simplistic yes, but very playful and colorful as well!


Artist of the moment……..Marie Hull

Price range information: Hull worked mainly in oils but also produced a fair amount of watercolors. Oils can be found from $5000 to $30,000.  Watercolors range from one to three thousand dollars.

Marie Hull was not only a great realist painter, but also lived a very interesting life. Marie Hull was born in Summit, Mississippi in the year 1890. In 1975 the governor declared “Marie Hull” day. Hull painted many portraits over her life and in the gallery you can see two great examples. The first is a self portrait by the artist the first painting in the gallery. The last is another wonderful portrait of Governor Lowry Bailey of Mississippi.

Hull was not only a visual artist, but also a writer and mentor to many up and coming artists of the South.

Its fascinating to me how old artists are when they realize they want it to be a career. For Hull it happened to her at the age of twenty.

Hull also studied music and practiced the piano in high school. Hull was able to learn a great deal of discipline from the daily practice, but she didn’t love music.

How come the artist was so late at choosing art for her career path?  During her k – 12 years no art appreciation or education classes were given. Art was not part of the public school education curriculum.

For her collegiate studies Hull attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi earning a music degree. She then played the pipe organ in church services and also gave private piano lessons.

A well known painter of the region Aileen Phillips Shannon moved to Jackson and Hull was able for the first time in her life to take painting lessons! Phillips Shannon was known for her landscapes and portraits. Below is a great example of her work with the landscape.


After studying with Phillips for brief period Hull knew she wanted to become an artist. She joined a local art association that concentrated on having an annual show at the state fair. Phillips then moved away and Hull after many battles with her parents, went to Pennsylvania to study at the Academy for one year.

After some teaching at the collegiate level Hull moved to New York to study at the Art Students League.

This time when Hull returned to Mississippi she was able to make a great living using all of her skills. Not only teaching music, but she was able to establish herself as a commercial artist. She was an illustrator of childrens books.

Hull would marry an architect. Hull traveled throughout the United States in order to paint and her husband loved to follow along to study the various styles of architecture.

The thing I like most about Hull was that due to her very late development of her art skills, she didn’t want this to happen to anyone else and Hull loved to teach to children. And remember this is in the heart of the deep south, Hull even taught art to African American children.

Hull has many attributes to respect as an artist not only a great musician, but a great visual artist. And I always enjoy artists who teach young children art lessons. Hull never stopped learning as an artist, and also never stopped teaching! What a wonderful combination.

If you enjoy Marie Hull be sure and check out another great painter of birds and flowers with a colorful palette, Ann Craven. Craven was born in 1969 and below is a great example of her style of painting.



Artist of the moment….Larry Zox

Price range and medium information:  Zox worked made screenprints which range from a few hundred dollars to three thousand. Zox was highly productive with the medium of acrylics and these works can range from $4,000 to $20,000.

Larry Zox was born in the year 1937 in Des Moines, Iowa. Zox is considered both an abstract expressionist and a colorist. I would lean toward the color field definition as he played with color much more than the abstract expressionists. Also Zox enjoyed using basic geometric shapes in his work much more so than the abstract expressionist painters.

For his collegiate education Zox attended Drake University and Oklahoma University. Zox also participated with many artist-in-residency programs at Yale University, UNC – Greensboro North Carolina, and Dartmouth.

Zox was a recipient of many art awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A montage of work by Larry Zox below.

Zox passed away in 2006 at age of 69 years old from cancer.

Zox had a brother-in-law that is a well known and collected painter of the landscape named David Prentice. He was able to serve as a studio assistant to many well known abstract painters like Robert Motherwell and Jaspar Johns. He was born in 1943 and continues painting to this day. I enjoy his works for his use of color in the landscape and the great paint quality of his finished work. Many different textures are included in his paintings. A great example of Prentice’s work is below.


If I was to compare Larry Zox to another still living painter it would be the artist Romero Britto. Britto hails from Brazil and is collected by many celebs including Elton John and Michael Jordan. Though he has done a great deal of work with characters and cartoons, I love his work that emphasizes colors the most. Below is a great example of Britto’s work with color.


For some fun try working on a painting that deals only with color and color field painting!