Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Artist of the moment……Ohno Bakufu

Ohnu Bakuful was a wonderful painter and printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan in the year 1888. Ohno Bakufu loved to paint flowers. Another favorite subject for Bakufu was fish. The artist also made landscapes. Bakufu is not associated with the sasuka-hanga or shin-hanga movements. He is in his own category. The artist very loosely organized and watched over the production of his prints.

Ohno Bakufu passed away in 1976.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Another reason work by Ohno Bakufu is hard to define is that the artist did not employ text at all in his work. Many woodcut artists use text in their work, Bakufu avoided this process.


Artist of the moment…….Doctor Edgar Burke

Doctor Edgar Burke first profession was as a medical surgeon. Burke was born in 1889. Burke also loved sports and was an avid hunter, fisher, and birds. The artist enjoyed pigeon racing.

Edgar Burke was based out of New Jersey.

Here is an example of Burke’s style of wet fly patterns. The artist created several patterns and was an avid fisherman.


Most of his work is done with gouache or watercolors.

Over his artistic career Burke illustrated books dealing with birds and fishing.

Burke passed away in 1950.

price range information: Sorry none available.

If you enjoy birds some great artists to check out are the legendary John James Audobon and Isabelle du Toit.


Artist of the moment….Barcelona Street legend Pez

Pez was born in Spain in 1976. Pez means Fish in Spanish. As he states often the artist has been making people smile since 1999 when he began his street art career.

A link to the website of the street legend Pez :

Below is a short biographical documentary given by the artist in Spanish and translated to English.

In this clip we see the artist work with two other graffiti artists on a piece. Very cool time lapse video.

Pez has even been featured in Time magazine.

A great montage of works by Pez. The images go fast so you may have to pause a moment to enjoy each one. Make sure and smile!

And here a visit to London to watch Pez create a unique canvas.

This link is great to see some of Pez’s art move to a commercialized style. I love these bags perfect for back to school. What a fun style that reminds me of Brazils Romero Britto. Both look to exude fun from the viewer.

Below is an example of Romero Britto’s style.


I love street art that makes me smile!


Painters of food….1600s master painter Jan Davidsz de Heem…

A clip showing many works of the artist.

low price range: $3,000

high price range: $55,000

The artist was born  on April 17th of 1606 in Uttrecht which is located in the Netherlands.

His style would be a mixture of Dutch and Flemish baroque styles.

He painted wonderful tulips. The style of painting very light flowers against dark and subdued backgrounds makes the flowers jump to the foreground. In the white and red tulips he didn’t use grey as many artists did, but rather a much cooler stark white. The contrast in the flowers is amazing.  More amazing to me that more than likely it was painted one flower at at time.  Even wealthy citizens only displayed the flowers one at a time.

The artist painted wonderful crabs. The crab as a shape can be used to give added depth in a painting.  Rather than think of it as a crab think only of the shape, which to me is an arrow. Use the crab to point to something else in the painting and the viewers eye will immediately be drawn to it.

As a student he started working under his father, David de Heem. After this he studied with Balthasar Van Ast. As owner of an art student sometimes he would have his own sons paint the works, and he would sign it! So regardless of the period there always seems to be an artist who is just trying to maximize profits. Peter Paul Rubens, Andy Warhol, and Thomas Kinkade are three artists who made a great deal of money by having a large number of artworks on the market.

The artist had three sons as well as several apprentices in his workshop. One artist apprentice was Abraham Mignon, one of the first artists I wrote about in this food series.

During much of this time period the style of painting was to make portraits of the subjects.  For me this artist used so much color in his paintings. His parrot tulips seem even brighter with the earthy browns in the background. The artist was a master at painting varied textures such as fruits, snails,

As a painter he was in such demand he could never make enough paintings! A great problem to have in my opinion! He was active in the Antwerp and Utrecht. In museums around the world around 100 paintings are in collections, only 18 are signed and dated.  When painting very large works he was still able to use delightful color to make his large scale works just as lively as his smaller paintings. Painted mainly with oils on panel.

Any time you are struggling with colors or ideas for a still life check out any of the Dutch and Flemish painters of the Baroque Era. They were fantastic and rendering textures and one painting might have 6 textures to play with.

Happy painting!


The artist died in 1684.

Painters of Food……Contemporary artist Nancy Switzer….


The drawings in the gallery were done by her college professor in Rhode Island.

low price range: 10 by 20 inch work $6,000.

high price range: for 15 by 60 inch work around $13,000.


on line and land galleries:  Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado.

Clagget/Rey Gallery in Vail, Colorado.

mediums used: oils

surfaces used: canvas

The artist is well known for painting glass containers, spoons, bottles, paper bags, and fish. The fish are great for their contrasting colors and light. I first became aware of the artist at a museum show and her paintings of paper bags. She looked at the paper bag as only an object with color. The background paint was just as thick as the thin paper bag. The artist uses as much artistic license as any realist in her quest for a great painting.

This artist had the most impressive painting I saw this month at Gallery 1261 in downtown Denver.  What attracted me most was the orange in contrast to the fish. The fish were placed so the painting seemed much larger than 10 by 10 inches. Thick and bold juicy paint that reminded me of a Sorolla painting.  Please check out  the reflections of light on the fish’s scales. I had never been so intrigued by a fish painting!  Its great to look back and see how someone painted fish nearly 400 years ago and what a current artist is producing. Her style is so expressive when compared to say a fish painted by Abraham Mignon.

The artist was born in 1958 in Freeport, Texas. She was born into a family of musicians.  Although her mom used to encourage her artistic talents, she decided to study music and planned to earn a living as a musician. Switzer didn’t believe you could earn a living as a visual artist.  Back in 1993 she played the violin with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.  In the early 1990s she moved to Colorado to follow her new vision of earning a living as a  professional visual artist.  Attended the Rhode Island School of Design and Virginia Commonwealth University after starting studying music at North Carolina School for the Arts. The artist earned a both a bachelors and masters degree for visual arts.

She credits her drawing teacher at the college in Rhode Island with the structure of her style. He once made his students draw a crumpled piece of paper for 20 hours. I have enclosed three drawings in the gallery of work done her professor, Akira Arita. He studied at the Royal Academy in Japan. His drawings remind me of the graphite master Stephen Graber.

Today’s art challenge:  Go to the fridge and pull out of stick of butter or margarine and paint. Make a palette using complimentary colors and don’t worry about blending edges, stick with strong shapes and bold color. Use simple geometric shapes.

Happy painting!


Painters of Food…..Jacob/ Jakob Gillig….

mediums used: oils

surfaces used: canvas

low price range: $5,000

high price range: $35,000

The artist was born in 1636 in Uttrecht, Holland.

Gillig didn’t start painting until his twenties. When he first started painting he signed his work with the name Gulek.  He never registered with the artist’s guild. He worked as a merchant and then as a prison warden. He got married to a daughter of a well collected marine painter named Abraham Willaerts.

Whilst I couldn’t find an absolute master artist that he worked with it is believed he studied with William Ormea who specialized in fish paintings, thus giving the artist the inspiration for so many wonderful paintings of fish.  Ormea loved to paint marine scenes in the background with ships and in the foreground would paint fresh water fish.

Early on his paintings Gillig painted sea water fish, later in his career he mainly painted fresh water fish.  The artist was a brilliant art marketer and was highly collected in his home city of Uttrecht. He worked in a variety of sizes and would charge more for paintings where he spent a great deal of time painting the individual scales on a fish. Note the liveliness of the fish tails in his works, similar to a flower leaf for giving added depth to a painting.

Another artist I will profile later, Abraham Mignon, was thought to be inspired Gillig and became more famous than Gillig.  Mignon was also from Uttrecht.

From an artistic standpoint besides the wonderful triangles and diamond shapes formed by the fish, the artist painted rope with fine detail in most of his works. At the end of the rope many loose strands are coming apart, this also gives his paintings added depth.

His work is in national museums in Holland, Germany, and Hungary.

In this food series it will be great fun to look at the works of old masters such as this artist and see how the same subject matter has been handled during different eras of art.

The artist painted portraits as well as still lifes when he began painting. After some portraits that didn’t really turn out he stuck to painting the still life and mainly painted fish. The two portraits shown in the gallery are part of a museum collection in Britain.

I enjoy his works because you should paint what you love. His paintings of fish show a great sense of design, the fish are usually arranged in a triangle or diamond shape. Fish are interesting to paint as their grey scales reflect light.  When I see a painting done of fish, I compare it to the ones by this artist.

He died in 1701 in Uttrecht, Holland.

How about trying a fish painting today! Be creative!  Enjoy yourself!