Posts Tagged ‘surrealism’

Artist of the moment…..Hilary Harkness….

The artist is best known for painting the female figure set among submarines or other large vessels. Most of her paintings make a social commentary on the current and past women of the world and where they are headed into the next century.

The artist was born in the year 1971 in Detroit, Michigan. The artist attended the University of California at Berkeley for her bachelors of art degree. For her M.F.A.  Harkness attended Yale University.

Lives and works out of New York City.

On line and land based gallery:  Mary Boone Gallery in New York City.

Short interview with Hilary Harkness and another artist, Andra Ursata.

Artist and art critic James Kalm visits the Mary Boone Gallery in New York city to view a show given about Hilary Harkness.

For a short period in her life the artist lived in San Francisco. Here she talks about her experiences of living on both coasts, and how each helped to develop her as an artist and as a person. She loved San Francisco but had to move back to the east coast as she couldn’t find a gallery that would take her. She definitely had the last laugh!

The thing I like about this artist is her ability to overcome obstacles in order to achieve her artistic goals. After leaving the east coast and moving west she thought she would stop painting, but living in the Bay area she continued to paint.  Although she tried without success to find gallery representation in San Francisco, she was able to achieve her style. No more mimicking other artists or themes she wasn’t that interested in.

She is now my definition for a modern day Surrealist painter. She has created her own universe void of men and their destructive ways. Her paintings of submarines showing the entire crew to be women are full of detail and bring a new definition to Rosie the riveter!  The new century has seen women move into the workplace faster than ever, in her universe women can be called upon to do anything a man can, only successfully. The more I look at her art, the more it makes me smile. Her vision is somewhat true, as men are shrinking from the workforce at an alarming rate, but this is due to the fact more women are attending college and the industrial jobs that men used to have exclusively go to machines or have disappeared altogether.

The artist seems to make a point of women being seen as sex objects but the paintings are funny in that the women in each painting are trying to be sexy and controlling over each other rather than any man. Is the artist trying to state that even if you remove men from the picture entirely, the women might try to be more controlling or act sexier towards each other?  As I look through her well painted ships its seems I can always find myself another question to ask about a particular painting.

A link to the artist’s website:

Low price range: Graphite drawings starting around $3,000. Original oils at $20,000. The artist paints very slowly and with a great amount of detail only finishing around five paintings per year.

High price range:  Oil painting for $66,000.

I hope this artist inspires you to never give up no matter how many people don’t have confidence in your abilities. Always believe in YOU!

Artist of the moment….Chilean realist Claudio Bravo….


The artist was born in Valparaiso, Chile in the year 1936. His father was the owner of a ranch. His mother ran the household and Bravo was one of seven children. The artist was well versed at all aspects of art and even toured a short time as a professional dancer in Chile.

The artist showed signs of potential at an early age. He was not very good at math and science. In order to get better grades in his math and science classes he would offer the teacher a portrait. Bravo went on to study from the ages of eleven to twenty years of age with Miguel Venegas. Chile was heavily influenced by the european style of art and the artist’s main mentor, Venegas, was devoted to realism and not modern flat and cubist art.

The artist had his first solo show at the tender age of seventeen. All the works sold to family and friends and Bravo gained large support throughout the community.

Bravo attended college in Santiago, Chile studying literature and music.

The artist admired Salvadore Dali and the Surrealist movement.  Brave also admired the Renaissance era painters.

Bravo lived around the world in such places as New York City, Morroco, Chile, and Spain.

Bravo worked in a variety of mediums including watercolor, oils, bronzes, crayons, pencil, and pastel.

Like other prominent artists he painted many people belonging to the upper classes. The artist even painted royalty. Among his clients were Imelda Marcos and her husband the famous dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Francisco Franco the dictator from Spain. He also painted the publisher of Forbes magazine.

Bravo started selling portraits in Chile. He did so well he saved enough to sail for Paris. Due to bad weather he stopped off in Barcelona and eventually ended up in Madrid, Spain.  He painted the local well to do crowd and was highly successful.

As with most dictators, they try and control thoughts!  Franco was highly conservative and the artist felt restricted in his paintings. One day his sisters brought home some packages and the artist found a new work in painting packages. He became obsessed with creating trompe textures in his art.

A great collection of the artist’s work. Notice the great use of edges on both the corners of tables and also windows. The artist was able to create tremendous depth in his works. Also notice the many different textures the artist was able to create. His paintings of overlayed fabric are spectacular!


High price range:  $1.172 million for a work done in oils.  $216,000 for a work done in pastels.

Low price range:  Pencil works start at $5,000. Charcoals start near $10,000. Lithographs start at $1,000.

The artist passed away in 2011. He was living in Morocco at the time.

I enjoy this artist for his fantastic works with painting fabrics and the still life.  The artist was best at creating depth and by creating many different surface textures from wood to cloth, that kept the viewers eye moving about the picture. Another texture and surface the artist paints very realistically is glass.


Its GREAT to create!


Artists working with the face and figure….Daniel Merriam…

This artist might be considered a modern day Dali clone, many of his figures are of the fantasy type.

A video of the artist drawing in France.

Around 4 minute video showing works of the artist.

Second part of the Art of Daniel Merriam.

low price range: many books  starting below $100 as well as calenders.

high price range: original watercolors or acrylics sell for 3,000 to 6,000 for the most part. As well as painting the figure the artist is also adept at painting houses. Most are Victorian in style and exude some elements of fantasy. The artist works mainly with watercolors and uses a dry brush method giving his works an oil painting like quality. For most artists houses are quite difficult and I think its because of so many straight lines that are used. If you see works by this artist or others such as Richard Schmid, notice the many varieties of greys and think of the different techniques used to make a straight edge. The back of knife, a finger, a comb brush, anything can be used to make a nice edge.

The artist was born in York, Maine in 1963.  The artist was one of seven children. He taught himself how to draw and paint when he was still a child.

Studied mechanical and architectural design. He then got into architectural design in the family design firm.  At was at the urging of his boss, his father, that the artist started to chase his dream of being a professional artist.

The artist then moved on to doing commercial work. He did both commercial illustration work and architectural design work. In 1987 he changed his focus on becoming a gallery level artist.

Has had over one hundred exhibitions world wide.

The artist has some books that are collectors items you can find on amazon many for one hundred dollars or less. The artist has been featured in national art magazines such as Watercolor Magic, Art and Antiques and American Art Collector.

The artist has won many awards for his illustrations.

A link to the artist’s own personal website:

The artist also produces sculptures. For a nine by 22 inch work in marble expect to pay around $9,000.

The Victorian style houses you see in his works are drawn from his childhood. He grew up in Naples, Maine and the town had not only Victorian style houses, but Gingerbread, and Colonial styles as well.

Of all the works of art produced by this artist I find the houses the funnest to look at. Very atmospheric and the houses seem to have a great sense of depth developed   by a mixture of greys.

One line and land based gallery: Visions Fine Art Gallery in Sedona, Arizona.

Try and creating a surrealistic painting today. For inspiration refer to this artist, Salvador Dali, and Leonora Corrington.

Happy painting!


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