Archive for April 19, 2014

Artist of the moment……Billy Dee Williams


Surely everyone is familiar with some of this actor’s work in Star Wars or currently he was celebrity on Dancing With the Stars, Billy Dee Williams. Billy Dee Williams was born in 1937 in New York City. For his artistic education Billy Dee Williams attended National Academy of Fine Art and Design located in New York City.

Williams refers to his art as “abstract reality.”

Williams grew up in Harlem and was raised mainly by his grandparents as his parents worked several jobs. Williams loved to paint, but found the materials very expensive and took up acting as a way to earn money to pay for his art supplies.

Billy Dee Williams is part of the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

In this clip we visit a gallery in Toronto for a show featuring the work of Billy Dee Williams. The clip includes a great interview with Billy Dee Williams:

Williams paints with oils and acrylics. Williams works with acrylics using the brush and also the airbrush.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $50,000.

What a talented artist capable of working in many different mediums. Other well known actors who paint would be Eve Plumb from the Brady Brunch who was already profiled here. The actor Tony Curtis was also a talented painter and will be an upcoming post.

Billy Dee Williams was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship at the age of nineteen years old.





Artist of the moment…….Clay Rice


Clay Rice is the grandson of the silhouette artist Carew Rice. Like his grandfather both artists specialize in making cut paper silhouettes. Though his grandfather was famous for his cut paper work and Clay Rice saw him work many times, the artist didn’t begin to take cut paper silhouette work with the vigor of a professional artist until he was in his twenties.


Clay Rice has done by his own account more than 900,000 portrait works. Most of these works take around one minute to complete as you can see in the film clip.In this clip we watch as Clay Rice gives us a live demonstration of a cut paper silhouette:

Rice has also produced children’s books containing his fantastic cut paper artwork. Rice has won awards for his children’s books. Clay Rice has very high standards for himself as he hopes to win a Caldecott award which is given for outstanding pictures and illustrations in children’s literature.

In addition to children’s books Rice’s work has appeared in the television series Army Wives.

Rice says he has been doing silhouette cuts for a little more than three decades time.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Another great family of artists.





Artist of the moment…….Soyer Family…….Moses Soyer


Here we have another great family of artists, the Soyer family! We start with Moses Soyer…

Moses Soyer was born in Russia in the year 1899. Soyer was one of three boys from this family who went on to lengthy professional art careers. Moses Soyer came to the United States with his family and settled in New York City in the year 1912. His father was a Hebrew scholar.

Soyer is classified with the Social Realist artists, and for good reason, the Depression had a huge impact on the artist. Soyer was part of the WPA project along with his brothers. Moses Soyer used these paintings to push for the changes he wanted to see in America.

For his artistic education Moses Soyer attended Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design.

After the Depression Soyer worked with ballet dancers. These are great paintings that remind me of Edgar Degas.

Moses Soyer passed away in 1974.

In this clip a brief selection of works from Moses Soyer:

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $50,000. Soyer worked in watercolor, graphite, oils, and pastels.

The best thing I like about this artist is his keen sense of design. Many smaller works have three heads or figures each looking a different direction. This gives the work a great sense of life, but his brushwork makes it look as if it were executed with one simple stroke reminiscent of John Singer Sargent.