Posts Tagged ‘cityscapes’

Artist of the moment……Clifton Karhu


Clifton Karhu was a wonderful printmaker born in Duluth, Minnesota in the year 1927. Karhu was fortunate in that both of his parents were artists, but he decided to join the Army.

Karhu was stationed in Japan, and the artist fell in love with the culture and atmosphere.

After his stint in the military was finished he enrolled at what is now called the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Its easy to see the love that Karhu had for the Japanese culture. The artist had a twin brother who said that Clifton didn’t own any western clothes and preferred to wear a kimono.

After working mainly in oils and watercolors the artist studied and mastered to art of woodblock printing in the early 1960s. After this time period he was considered one of the best of all time as far a woodblock printing and was included in top printmaking shows worldwide.

Here we view a montage of works by Clifton Karhu:


Most of Karhu’s work has to do with the landscapes of Japan. What I enjoy most is his use of color and strong graphic design. We can learn a great deal from studying the work of this artist!

For instance if you have the same shape repeated over and over such as a window with square or rectangle shape. Just repeat the shape FREEHAND! Don’t use a ruler and try to make each window exactly one half inch for example. Just use an approximation and go with it! Your work will look much stronger as a result.

Clifton Karhu passed away in 2007.

Price range information: Sorry none available.



Artist of the moment…..James Romberger

James Romberger is an American artist born in Jefferson, New York in the year 1958. Romberger has made wonderful landscapes of European cities but is renown for his artwork depicting the lower East side of New York City. For his artistic education the artist attended the Munson Williams Proctor Institute and the School of Visual Arts of New York City.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

A link to the website of James Romberger:

Romberger has worked for many of the leading cartoon and comic book companies including Marvel.

Romberger works with pastel as his choice of medium.

In this clip we visit a show featuring James Romberger and Rick Prol with our dear friend James Kalm:

Romberger is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum.

And to close we have an interview with the artist at a book fair that took place in Brooklyn in 2013. The artist talks about drawing out his ideas for this book.

What I enjoy most about this artist are the unique vantage points used. The artist gives us a tremendous feeling of space in his portrayals of urban life.


Artist of the moment…..photographer Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth was born in Geldern, Lower Rhein, Germany in the year 1954.  For his artistic education Struth studied with the husband and wife team Bernd and Hilda Becher at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art. Some subjects the artist has explored include portraits, interior design and decoration. Struth was also very interested in architecture and also did a large body of work showcasing the fronts of buildings.

Other popular series include skyscrapers and cityscape.

In this clip a retrospective of Thomas Struth’s career:

Thomas Struth has received commissions from the King and Queen of England.

Struth has exhibited at the Tate Liverpool and was also included in a Venice Biennale.

Struth divides his time amongst Berlin and New York City.

The artist is married to an author named Tara Bray Smith.

In this clip a brief interview with Thomas Struth:

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $100,000 for the most part. At auction a work has broken the one million dollar barrier.

The Becher family were great teachers!


Artist of the moment….James McNabb

James McNabb is a contemporary artist who creates spectacular cityscapes using wood. McNabb also creates unique furniture designs. He likes to call his style “sketching with the band saw.” Each piece is individual cut with a band saw and the artist uses scrap wood for his artwork.

Some pieces might have only one type of wood, for instance black walnut. But many works of art include many varieties of wood, thus giving more eye candy to the viewer.

price range information: Sorry none available.

In this clip we see some works by the artist including his renown circular cityscapes and his furniture designs are included.

I love cityscapes and had never seen them portrayed in wood. Very interesting!


Artist of the moment…..Raymond Jonson

Raymond Jonson was an American modernist born in 1891 in the city of Chariton, Iowa. For his artistic education Jonson attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Jonson also attended the Chicago Art Institute.

In the beginning of his career the artist was based out of Chicago. A major influence was the artist Bror a.k.a. as B.J.O. Nordfeldt, who was a modernist painter that moved to America from Sweden.  Below an example of Nordfeldt’s style.


Jonson is renown as the founder of the Transcendental Painters Group of Sante Fe, New Mexico. The artist relocated to this region in the mid 1920s. He founded the Transcendental Painters Group in 1938.

Jonson was a longtime professor at the University of New Mexico located in Albuquerque.

In this clip we view a work titled “Arroyo 4” at auction:

A major influence on Jonson was the painter Wassily Kandinsky and his infamous Armory show in Chicago of 1912. This clip talks about this show and many works of Jonson are featured.

Raymond Johnson passed away in 1982 at the age of 91 years old.

price range information:  Most works priced between $5,000 and $100,000.

Below we get a further look into Jonson’s group, the Transcendental Painter’s Group:


Artist of the moment……David Kapp

David Kapp is known for his wonderful paintings of the city. Kapp was born in 1953. He went on to study at the Windham College in Putney, Vermont earning a bachelors degree in art. For his master’s degree the artist attended Queen’s College in New York city.

In this clip we see our beloved art critic friend James Kahn visit a gallery show. The part of the clip featuring Kapp starts around 4:33 into the clip.

A link to David Kapp’s own website:

Interview with David Kapp.

If you enjoy this artist please check out some other artists who paint wonderful scenes from a bird’s eye view such as Raphealla Spence.  Spence hires a helicopter to fly her above the cities she would like to paint. The artist has  produced some outstanding views of New York city and Venice, Italy. She is highly realistic and puts much detail in her art. Below is great example of her overhead view of Las Vegas. The neon lights are painted at the time of the sunset making for spectacular colors reflected everywhere in the scene.

A link to Raphaella Spence’s own website:


Another artist working by this method of riding in a helicopter first and then he paints from it immediately is Stephen Wiltshire. This artist is amazing as he is autistic and paints from his memory of going above certain cities. The artist is British and had done many  fantastic paintings of London, England. Below is an example of Wiltshire’s style of art.

A link to Wiltshire’s own website:

This lovely drawing of Rome was done after the artist flew over the city for 45 minutes. He returned to earth and made this wonderful panoramic drawing from memory! It measures 7 yards in length!


Kapp also does a wonderful job capturing the color of reflected lights. Similar to Mark Lague. Lague paints the urban scene and has done a great deal of work at nighttime. If you look closely at his taxi cabs and other vehicles you can see the fun he has by taking a red or blue light and reflecting it off many surfaces.  Lague paints differently than most artists finishing one small section of his painting entirely before moving onto the next section. Below is an example of Lague’s cityscape.


Prince range information on David Kapp: None available. He works mainly with oils on linen and paints very large with many works that have small sides measuring 60 inches or longer. He works with both oils and oilstick on linen.

Next time you have the chance to snap some pictures or even remember what you saw when you were above the clouds, take some inspiration from these artists and make an awesome work of art.

Artist of the moment…..Maurice Utrillo

Maurice Utrillo was a great painter of cityscapes. Utrillo was born in France in the year 1883. His birth name was Maurice Valadon. His favourite city to paint was Paris. The background of his family is quite interesting. His mother was a teenager at the time of his birth. She was a model for several well known French painters such as Renoir, Berthe Morisot, and Toulouse Loutrec.


His mother’s name was Marie- Clementine Valadon. She was a trapeze artist who had a bad fall and gave up this career. She started to pose as a model for many well to do Parisian painters including Berth Morisot and Toulouse- Loutrec. She had her son Maurice without being sure about the father. Marie Valadon was not only able to learn differet techniques and was a great amateur level painter, she also became a mistress to many of the artists for whom she posed, as a result she was never completely sure about her son’s father. Eventually a Spanish painter named Miguel Utrillo y Molins signed the paternity papers.

The artist started having mental problems at the age of twenty one. Rather than be violent his mother encouraged him to paint! He enjoyed working in a plein air fashion capturing remarkable views of the city Monmarte, Paris.

You may have seen his cityscapes on postcards from France, they are very popular in fact worldwide.

Below is a clip showing some cityscapes done Utrillo.

I compare the artist most with Guy Carleton Wiggins. Guy Carelton Wiggins is my favourite painter of snow and the city. He uses a wonderful palette of greys for his snow. His snow also has remarkable movement across the picture plane in his works, many times his scenes depict heavy snowfall and blizzard like conditions. Both artists also paint similar buildings and windows. Below is fantastic example of Guy Carleton Wiggin’s style. Just looking at this wonderful painting gives me the chills!


Below another montage of the artist’s work.

Price range information: I was unable to locate a consistent pricing schedule. Many reports I looked at said Utrillo is among the most forged artist in the world. Artists copy both his originals and his prints. If you would like to purchase a work make sure that is certified by more than one art appraiser.When the artist was into his forties, he had  international recognition as a fantastic painter.

When Utrillo turned 52 years old he married a woman named Lucie Valor. The couple settled down in Paris.  Utrillo enjoyed drinking heavily. He passed away in 1955 aged 71 in Paris.

The artist didn’t attend an art school and was self taught.


Artist of the moment…..Anthony Klitz…..

The artist is my favorite for when it comes to capturing the essence of a city. He specialized in painting London, England. Its quite refreshing to see an Impressionistic style rather than the photorealism that seems to dominate the London landscape scene.

The artist was born in 1917 in Southport. He attended Cheltenham Art College for art and was also interested in architecture.

He worked mainly with oils on canvas and was very prolific as an artist.

For his Impressionistic style I found it interesting that he relied on very little colour, he used a very muted palette.  The residents of London say their city has a very particular pearl like lighting, which is captured perfectly by Klitz.

When it comes to landscapes and galleries or musuems, I find that people are most drawn to what they see or think they can see from across the room. The best aspect of Edward Hoppers work is that you can tell what the subject matter is from clear across the room. With this artist’s work I can tell from looking at the thumbnail what the subject matter is, for example Piccadily Circus. It easy for the image to connect to the viewer.

Other artists who work in a similar manner sometimes using only black and white in making their landscapes would be Robert Kipniss and Steve  Graber.

The artist took part in World War II. He served from 1939 to 1945. After the war he came to London in 1950.  The artist came to study under Australian artist Hayward Veal, it was during this time when he developed his own style of landscape painting.

Of all the landscapes I have seen of London the works by Anthony Klitz impress the most as they leave so much up to the viewer. He is the perfect balance of not saying too much, but rather just making a simple artistic statement.

Low price range:  Many oils available from a few hundred dollars.

High price range: Larger sized landscapes for $4,000.

The artist passed away in 2000 while in Dublin.