Posts Tagged ‘children’

Artist of the moment…….Shuzo Ikeda


Shuzo Ikeda was a Japanese woodblock artist renown for his imagery of children. Shuzo Ikeda was born in Aikita prefecture, Japan in the year 1922.

One great aspect about the art of Shuzo Ikeda is his use of wood grain pattern that appears in finished works. Many Japanese printmakers use this idea and the viewer can see that wood patterns can be found in reflections of bodies and water. Very innovative use of the surface.

Shuzo Ikeda passed away in 2004.

Price range information: Sorry none available.


The artist reminds of Disney master Mary Blair. Both artists created imagery of kids at play.

Another artist with a somewhat similar use of subject matter is the American painter Margaret Keane. Recently a movie about Keane was released called “Big Eyes.” This movie by Tim Burton is a great movie about art and how Margaret Keane’s husband got her to believe for a period of time it was better for the world and themselves if the everyone thought he was the painter rather than her. A true story also!



Artist of the moment……….Charles Blackman


Charles Blackman is one of the most famous painters in Australia’s history. Charles Blackman was born in Sydney, Australia in the year 1928. Blackman is best known for his works of children and also the characters of the famous novel Alice in Wonderland.

Blackman left school at the age of 13 and began work as an illustrator with a leading newspaper called the Sydney Sun. The artist would go on to attend college at the East Sydney Technical College.

In this clip a brief documentary on the artist. Works are shown beginning at the one minute mark:



Price range information: Prints start at $5,000. Originals can reach as much as $400,000. The artist has worked in tempera, oils, watercolor, and ink.

In this clip a short interview with Charles Blackman:

I enjoy the childlike quality of Blackman’s art. His style of drawing and painting is just perfect for his chosen genre of children’s stories including Alice and Wonderland.



Artist of the moment………….Street Artist Seth GlobePainter


Seth GlobePainter is a fantastic street artist from France renown for his imagery that shows children at play and leisure.

Below a brief interview with the artist from March of 2015:

Below a link to the facebook page of Seth. Many fine examples of his work here:

The government name for Seth the artist is Julien Malland. He is now based out of Paris,France.

My favorite aspects of his design are his use of basic geometric shapes with bold color.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Seth GlobePainter is the director and on screen reporter for a show on French television titled “Globe Painter.”





Artists of the moment……..Street Artist Duo Icy and Sot



Icy and Sot are a wonderful street artist duo from Iran whose work is often deals with differences with the west and more conservative and traditional eastern cultures. Icy was born in 1985. Sot was born in 1991. They are brothers.

Icy and Sot were from Tebriz, Iran and are now based out of Brooklyn, New York.

Below some great examples of Icy and Sot’s public works:

Below a link to the website of Icy and Sot:

In this clip a short interview with Icy and Sot in which they share with us why their work is seen as criminal in Iran:

Price range information: Sorry none available.

A behind the scenes look as the artist duo prepares to go on tour promoting their art:

What a great team of brothers, similar to Os Gemeos (the twins) of Brazil!


Artist of the moment…….Beth Lo



Beth Lo is a ceramics artist renown for her work depicting the figure, mainly children. Beth Lo was born in Lafayette, Indiana in the year 1949. Lo attended the University of Michigan earning a bachelors degree in general studies. Lo went on to study ceramics and earn an M.F.A. from the University of Montana at Missoula. She studied with a renown ceramics artist Rudy Autio.

After Autio retired in 1985, Beth Lo took over his post as a professor.

price range information: Sorry none available.

The artist is based out of Missoula, Montana. She is an art professor at the great University of Montana at Missoula.

In this clip we take a trip to Missoula to visit the studio of the artist. I would fast forward to the 1:54 mark in the clip where the interview begins:

Lo is a past grant winner of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lo’s plates remind me of Picasso’s. Her work’s seem to be more narrative in nature, but I enjoy the end result. What a master at creating figurative work either flat or in three dimensions.




Artist of the moment………Ai Xuan


Ai Xuan is the half brother to the more famous artist Ai Wei Wei. Ai Xuan was born in Jinhau, China in the year 1947.

For his artistic education Ai Xuan attended the China Central Academy of Fine Arts located in Beijing, China.

Ai Xuan works in oils and watercolor and inks. When he was at his peak, Ai Xuan was  still a slower paced painter, finishing around 12 canvases per year. As he has aged he only completes around 2 pieces per year in oils. Ai Xuan paints much faster using the mediums of ink and watercolor.

Price range information: Works range from $50,000 to more than $5 million at auction.

In this clip we view Ai Xuan’s most celebrated work, his work with children.

Another family of awesome artists!


Artist of the moment…..photographer Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt was an American photographer who was renown for her “street photography.” Levitt was renown for her photographs of the Big Apple, New York City. Helen Levitt was born in Besonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. At the age of eighteen she began to work for a company specializing in commercial photography and the portrait. The artist quit high school and decided she would teach herself the art of photography.

In the mid 1930s she would meet french photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Shortly after meeting the photographer Levitt switched to using the same type of camera Bresson had.

First photographs of Levitt were published in a magazine in 1939.

What I enjoy most about Levitt is the idea of capturing New York for the lower and middle class people that lived there. Especially intriguing are the shots of children at play. They seem so carefree and natural rather than posed. Another theme I love is she saw the value of street art in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Its awesome to be able to compare street artists from older times to the very impressive form and gallery level street are we see in the present day art world. Levitt enjoyed shooting art that was created by children.

Helen Levitt had a solo exhibition of her work in 1943. This was a show having to do with her photographs of children.

The artist also worked in the film industry. Levitt was a writer and head of cinematography.

Winner of two Guggenheim Fellowships.

In this clip a great montage of images by Helen Levitt:

Levitt passed away in 2009 at the age of 95 years old.

price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $55,000.


Artist of the moment…Jessie Willcox Smith

Jessie Willcox Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1863. Jessie Willcox Smith was renown for paintings and illustrations of children. When looking at this artist’s work I am reminded of the drawings my grandmother made when she was a teen.

For her artistic education Smith attended the School of Design for Women and the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, both located in Philadelphia. Also mentored underneath master illustrator Howard Pyle.

In 1888 first had her artwork published.

Her work was on the covers of Good Housekeeping magazine many times over a fifteen year period.

In this clip we view  a montage of works by Jessie Willcox Smith set to music:

A great story here from the antiques roadshow. A clever buyer found this an estate auction and is shocked, as was I, to find out the retail price for this painting.

Jessie Willcox Smith passed away in 1935 at the age of 71 years old.

price range information: Like many artists from the golden age of illustration posters can be found. A poster can be considered a print, and many “posters” that are in good condition are quite valuable with artists like David Klein, the old TWA artist or Jules Cheret selling for great prices at the auction houses. Posters can be found for a few hundred dollars up to oil paintings which might cost as much as $400,000.


Artists working with the face and figure…. Norman Rockwell…..


For sure this is one of America’s most beloved artists. He was a highly productive painter and and produced more than four thousand works over his lifetime.

From a design stand point I enjoy the interaction of the figures he paints. Be it a young child whose face is red from playing tag or an old person in a barber’s chair getting a haircut the artist was great at portraying expression. Most interesting for me are his self portraits and in fact in one painting he portrayed himself three times in the picture.

Some works by the artist and the last picture is the image where the artist has portrayed himself three times in the painting.

A museum piece made in 2007 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where the artist lived from 1953 until his death in 1978.

Part two of the Stockbridge, MA museum interview.

Part three of the interview.

The artist was born in 1894 in New York City.

He painted his first commission at sixteen years of age.  Illustrated his first book  only one year later at seventeen years of age.  He created many illustrations and some of his most famous work was done as the lead illustrator of the Saturday Evening Post. He worked at this position for more than forty years. He also did illustrations for Boy Scouts of America and Boys’ Life. Illustrated forty books in his lifetime.

As an illustrator he designed calenders, greeting cards, posters, books, sheet music, stamps, and even painted murals. The artist was well schooled in a variety of mediums working in charcoal, watercolor, gouache, and oils.

low price range: many lithograph prints sell in the hundreds of dollars. Sometimes great prints can be found for five hundred dollars.

high price range: $15. 4 million for a painting titled Breaking Home Ties.

Many art critics didn’t take the artist seriously as a fine artist for all his illustration work. Some critics thought the work was too sweet or had too much kitsch, the same problem that plagued Thomas Kinkade. For me Rockwell was far better at designing and painting than Kinkade. At least with Rockwell you don’t have paintings with light coming from all directions.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg each own some of the artist’s work. Spielberg owns a sketch of the triple portrait work.  Both men have the artist’s work in their offices and where they work daily. Norman Rockwell is even a character in the Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones.

Attended college at the National Academy of Design as well as the Art Students League of New York.

Passed away in 1978 aged 84 years old.

I encourage you to look at the many great figurative works made by the artist. Check out or purchase a book of his art, its fantastic!