Posts Tagged ‘acrylic’

Artist update Mickalane Thomas

Mickalane Thomas is my favorite artist working with collage and mixed media. Thomas is renown for her large figure works of African American women. She usually includes Swarovski rhinestones in each work. Below is an image of the artist beside one of her works. The artist attended Yale.



In this clip we visit a show in 2014 that features the work of Mickalane Thomas. The show takes place at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery:



Artist of the moment…..Nja Mahdaoui

In this clip we see Nja Mahdaoui working live for a royal charity benefit. What graceful line work, even if you don’t know Arabic as I do not. The lines are very free flowing.

price range information: none available.

Nja Mahdaoui was born in Tunis, Tunisia in the year 1937. The artist is renown for work involving text and oriental patterns. For his collegiate studies the artist attended the Grand Academy of Arts Santa Andrea in Rome, Italy. Mahdaoui also studied in Paris at the Oriental Department of the School of the Louvre.

With his emphasis on patterns, signs, and text Mahdaoui is a great example of the current culture of Tunisia, a very modern Pop Art if you will.

Has exhibited at the British Museum.

Worked with Gulf Air to help design their exterior.

Artist of the moment…….Eric Daigh….the push pin artist

Eric Daigh was born in Orange, California in the year 1977. The artist gained national acclaim when he won a the ArtPrize for one of his push pin portraits. He is the essential modern artist making use of all of the technologies such in his process as he uses photographs as a basis for his work. He then uses computer software to help aid him in color placement. He uses a very simple palette, think of a computer printer, he uses only black, white, red, yellow, and blue.

He is now based out of Michigan. For his collegiate studies he attended the great University of Montana at Missoula! The best small town city in America! I am biased as I lived there for 4 years but what an artistic community!

The artist is well known for what he uses to depict people, push pins! In some cases he has used more than 100,000 push pins in some of his works.

A clip from when he appeared on Sunday morning talk show on CBS.

A clip featuring the artists work at Northwestern Michigan College.

I consider Eric Daigh to be a pop artist for the fact that pop art was about looking at simple things, lets say a fire hydrant, with new eyes. This is a clip showing the largest ever mosaic made using push pins. The subject is an ordinary door handle that is made spectacular using Daigh’s push pin method. The work used more than 109,000 push pins. This work was done to fulfill a commission request from Acura motors.

I love to talk about art and business coming together. Make sure and check out some commissioned cars that were painted by famous artists like Warhol, Frank Stella, and Roy Lichtenstein. The cars began in 1975 with a design from Alexander Calder. This clip goes from the beginning until 2010. What a novel idea and I give kudos to BMW for their unique concept:

Mediums used: In addition to push pins Daigh has made his work out of duct tape and acrylic paint. This method of filling in the grid is reminds me of the great Chuck Close. Close started out in the 70s by using the airbrush to make very tight and hyper realistic works. He then found a method using paper pop which made the face into a grid of abstraction. An example of Close’s style done with a child is below.


I so enjoy looking at the way this artist sees the world. His process is very interesting and I hope one day to view his art in person. His works are done on board and it would be interesting to see the colors on the pin sort of float above the surface.

A link to the artist’s own website:

Get out there and paint!


Awesome Acrylic Artist series…..Sue Averell

Great interview with the artist  from 2007.

The artist from another interview in 2007.

Price ranges: Couldn’t find any price on originals but the artist has prints on and starting at $28. So the artist has a keen sense for business success! Takes commissions.

The artist’s own website here:

The artist paints mainly landscapes and botanicals with her bold and colorful style.  The artist is highly collectible and has works in four different continents.  As part of her painting preparation she makes a full scale replica of her subject to help her plan her painting strategy.

mediums used: acrylic

surfaces used: canvas

The artist attended college in Pasadena at the Art Center College of Design.

This artist is known for her thickly painted canvases that are alive with color and fun shapes. In the drawing of her petals I am reminded of calligraphic strokes. If I had to have one word to describe her work it would be festive.  The drawing technique is representational and filled with expression. The flower doesn’t necessarily have to look like exactly like a flower to be a great painting, if it feels like a painting it can also be a strong piece. Some collectors include the author of the Twilight film and book series as  well as Cisco the computer company.

on line and land based gallery: Richard Danskin Gallery in Palm Desert, CA.

Today try to take an early spring flower like a daffodil and draw how it feels! Exaggerate the warm and cool colors!

Happy painting!


Awesome Acrylic Artist series…..Audrey Flack….



On line and land based galleries:  Gary Snyder Gallery in New York City.

mediums: acrylics, oils, photographs, bronzes, pencil, lithograph, screenprint

low price range: lithographs around $200 pencil drawings $500 or so.

high price range: $90,000

surfaces: clay, canvas, paper

Below is a clip featuring Will Barnett and the Audrey Flack. The artist is on first for around 2 minutes and then Barnett speaks. This video was from 2008 so Mr. Barnett was only 97 years old. Now at nearly 101, he turnes 101 on May 25, he still loves art! That is just awesome! The artist was featured in American Artist magazine around the New Years holiday.

This artist is proud to be a woman and loves to talk about art!  In the interview clip at the Art Hamptons she even states that there is no life without art! I couldn’t agree more! This artist is inspiring as she always grows never satisfied with working in only one medium or genre.

The artist started as an Abstract Expressionist painter. She knew Jackson Pollack, Warhol, and DeKooning. This phase lasted a few years and then she became hooked on photorealist painting.  After working as a painter she then switched to sculpting. The artist is just wonderful at creating.

Her main emphasis is that the best art is art that is easily understood by the masses.

The artist was born in 1931. Attended college at Cooper Union in New York from 1948 – 1953. The artist also attended Yale and received a masters degree from the college.

She has an interesting and to me boring style of working. She projects a slide onto the canvas and then uses an airbrush to paint. I love to see the drawing and finished piece.  I find it much more expressive to draw it first and go through the struggle of making the drawing work.  Too many shortcuts for me in her method of producing painting. .  In the 1970s she was mainly a photo realist.  In the 1980s she began expressing herself  in bronzes.

The artist thought the world was falling apart even back in the 1970s and wanted to make sculptures that wouldn’t fall apart or disintegrate. Her sculptures show the strength of woman and their power.

The artist is part of museum collections from Guggenheim, the Met, and the Museum of Modern Art. The artist was the first of the photorealist painters to be purchased by the Met museum.

The artist lives and works out of New York City. She has taught at many colleges and universities and is currently a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania.



Awesome Acrylic artist series……John Pugh…

A short clip some murals painted by the artist. Really helps you see that the artist can paint any texture realistically!


Another clip showing the artist working on a piece.

mediums used: acrylics, various mixed media, sculpture

surfaces used: sides and wall of buildings

Sorry I couldn’t find any price ranges. No prints or posters available, ONLY MURALS!


Keep in mind that the people you see are part of the painting. The person in the cafe, the gentleman watching the boat in a bottle, even the woman looking into a building which was a college commission done by the artist. I continue to be amazed at the level of depth achieved by the artist.


For this artist a small work is 10 by 20 feet! He loves to paint murals that fool the eye! After doing so many works on the sides of buildings and flat surfaces he has become a master at the trompe style of painting. By exaggerating perspective and  using the human figure so the viewer can relate to the work, he tricks you into believing the image is reality.

The artist has done many many public commissions from local state, city governments, and universities, as well as private clients.

The artist is having his website updated so stay tuned for more.

He started painting murals in the 1970s. He has traveled the world over painting murals in the United States in the lower forty eight as well as Alaska, Hawaii,  Taiwan, and New Zealand. The artist describes his painting style as narrative illusionism.

The artist attended California  State University at Chico and finished college in 1983.

Not only does he do amazing work with acrylics, but in some cases he also produces sculptures. In addition to making art on several times he has been asked to help with architectural and building designs.


The artist currently lives in Santa Cruz, California. If you are in the California area close to Los Gatos I highly recommend to visit the towns museum as the artist is giving a lecture and meeting the public. The reception and lecture take place on April 26th, 2012 and start at 6pm in the evening.

In the picture gallery you can see a book that he has out showing his many murals that was printed in 2006. I researched on and and a used book can be had for $30. A brand new hardcover will put you back $150.

John Pugh finds great satisfaction in his work. He believes people in general liked to be tricked in a visual manner. When working life size people also can feel or imagine themselves in the picture.

What can’t we learn from this artist! A highly intelligent painter and this guy is a modern day Michelangelo for the amount of public commissions he paints. Think about how long it would take you to design such a large piece. He has painted sides of buildings as long as 80 feet! Just amazing!

Happy painting!





Awesome Acrylic Artists series………Yayoi Kusama

A clip showing the artist and her career.

A clip showing the many mediums used by the artist.

Sculpture and installations done by the artist.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this artist today on March 22. She was born in 1929. One of the foremost artists of Japan working in a variety of visual mediums as well as writing.

low price range: for small pumpkin sculptures around 5,000 prints from 5,000  and up

high price range: for an acrylic she has garnered $5.1 million. This artist set the record for a living female artist at auction! Awesome!

mediums used: acrylics, oils, screenprint, silkscreen, ink, pastel, installations, sculpture, etchings, video art, fashion design, collage

surfaces used: canvas, paper

The artist is highly collected and known for repetitious patterns and explosive color.  Some of her favorite subjects are butterflies, flowers, and pumpkins. I just love the willingness of the artist to learn a new medium.

She was born in Japan to an upper middle class family. The artist was taught a strictly Japanese style way to paint and didn’t enjoy it. She studied American and European artists and moved to New York City. She became a fan of the Ab-Ex movement and did several works in this style during the 1950s.  Her work stood next to the other great Pop Artists of the day such as Andy Warhol and George Segal.

Another theme of the artist is the dot. The artist gained some fame during the 1960s for organizing festivals where all the participants were naked save for painted polka dots.

In the early 1970s she moved back to Japan and became an art dealer. The country’s art scene wasn’t the same as New York. The artist’s business failed and she checked herself into a hospital on her own will for mental problems.  She still lives in a hospital but went on to resume her artwork and published a series of books including an autobiography.

I find it inspiring that someone who is similar to Van Gogh in having mental issues, is so productive in her artistic output. Writing books, designing clothes, making video art, installations, and sculpture. It seems that she feels at ease when she is doing something artistic and you have to admire that!

Has had many shows at museums such as the Tate modern and Museum of Modern Art.

How about trying a different medium today in honor of this artist’s birthday!

Happy creating!




Awesome Acrylic Artist series……Ben Schonzeit…

In the gallery notice the  last piece. If you are adept you can find wonderful watercolor pieces done by the artist to friends and family on envelopes. Most even have the postage stamps still attached. Nice to see the looser side of a photorealist painter!

Below a clip with an interview in the artist’s SoHo District of New York City.

Part two of the interview.

One of my favorite painters of flowers! He uses acrylics but sometimes on polyester instead of canvas or board. When I first began studying artists I didn’t really pay that much attention to the photorealist painters. It was a mistake. The work is very expressive and many times the artist have fun by inserting their name on license plates or marquees in the painting. Also the composition aspect of the photorealist works always is interesting, even if the subject matter is trailer parks!  Of course I am referring to the artist John Salt who loved to paint mobile homes in a photographic manner.

The artist Ben Schonzeit was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York . He now lives and works in New York City.

A link to the artist’s website:

The artist attended college in New York City from Cooper Union.

Please also realize how large the paintings are. Many of the flower works are exceeding 5 feet on one side. The artist as a child painted murals on school windows. As he grew older he painted on walls and also designed theater sets.  Started exhibiting with the Photorealist painters in 1969.

surfaces used: linen, canvas, polyester, paper

mediums used: oils, acrylic, murals, glitter, watercolor

online and land based galleries:      This is in New York City.     This is also in New York City.

The second to last painting in the gallery is a mural painted by the artist. It measures a 13 feet 8 inches by 9 foot 1 inch! It is a spectacular piece with a very complex design. It was painted to remind viewers of what the artist saw in his own neighborhood. Long before the Ipad and internet kids played board games(now called bored games to most children!) like monopoly or dominoes. The piece was done for the New York City Center of Cultural Affairs located in Brooklyn, New York.

Awesome Acrylic Artist series….Tom Christopher…

A clip with the artist from a show given in Ontario, Canada. He speaks about inspiration and painting.

This artist paints wonderful city scenes concentrating on New York City.  I enjoy his compositions, use of bold color, and liberty to use artistic license to change boring shapes into fun and loose shapes.  In Denver we have many loose painters of the city scape whom I admire, but no one ever took the shape of traffic lights and molded it to their liking. The artist has even tipped the traffic light poles to fit his desire of an exciting competition. Many scenes are flush with bright light by using very light greys and whites.

The artist also loves to paint bicycles. The rider in most cases is headed off the page at an angle giving an added sense of depth. The people are never the forefront of the scene but rather support it and are always in motion, always in a hurry.

The artist is most interesting to me as he used to be  a courtroom artist for CBS.  No doubt you have seen pictures on television of poorly drawn courtroom characters. Here is an artist who broke away from drawing people and found his niche painting landscapes. He became adept at capturing emotions in the courtroom and now can capture the emotion of people walking in the streets with minimal brush work.

Mediums used: acrylics, oils

Surfaces used: canvas

The artist paints quite large and some cityscapes are as large as 4 by 5 feet.

The artist was born in 1952 in Hollywood, California. Studied at Pasadena Art Museum. College studies at Sonoma State and Art Center College also in Pasadena California. The artist was also a teacher at Parson’s School of Design.

low price range: $ 5,000

high price range: $ 17,000

On line and land based galleries in Paris, Osaka, Tokyo:

Name of land based gallery is Gallery Tamenaga.

Great website about the artist loaded with info on the artist!

Try a loose landscape today!

Happy painting!