Posts Tagged ‘water’

Artist of the moment…..Jason De Graaf….

This hyperrealist painter is best known for his paintings of reflections of glass. In this clip you can see my favorite painting of his, the painting with the reflections of pine trees. The actual images start at 44 seconds into the clip. The show took place at Jacana Gallery located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Jason De Graaf paints with acrylics on canvas.

The painting with the pine trees is my favorite work by the artist and is 24 by 36 inches going for $5,900. Painted in acrylics.

Jason De Graaf was born in Montreal, Canada in the year 1971. He currently lives and works out of Quebec, Canada. The artist works with photos and applies his own color technique. He enjoys painting items that are transparent such as glass, water, and marbles.

For his artistic education De Graaf attended Dawson College located in Montreal, Canada.

Some other photorealists artist would be Don Eddy, Robert Bechtle, Richard MacLean, Hilo Chen, Ralph and Mark Goings. Two galleries that do a great job of showing high quality photorealist works would be the Louis K. Meisel Gallery located in New York, New York. The latter gallery would be the Plus One Gallery located in London, England.  Jason De Graaf is featured at the Plus One Gallery.

Meisel Gallery:

Plus One Gallery:

A link for the artist’s own website:

Lets take a closer look at some paintings. Its very easy for the viewer to find the subject of the painting. Often its the largest object in the work, located in the middle third of the painting, and has the brightest reflection of light.  De Graaf is a master at mixing organic and geometric shapes, such as the cylinder shape of a glass and the fun shapes that evolve when water is forced to leave the glass. Or the abstract patterns that exist on crumpled up aluminum foil.

Another interesting aspect of his method is the use of black. Many painters don’t like to use it, for fear of taking the color out of the picture. My favorite painter of the western theme, Howard Terpning, prefers to mix his own black using burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.

Although working from photographs the artist isn’t bound to them from start to finish. He uses colours by intuition and tries to capture the beauty of everyday things. Be it a drop of water, the reflections that appear on foil, or even the reflections that exist on the surface area of a still glass of wine. Each is brought to life and given a splendor usually reserved for painting living items.


Artist of the moment…….Mike Francis……

This artist hails from the United Kingdom and was born in 1938 in London, England.

The artist is best known for his paintings combining the female figure with water.

A brief clip showing works from Mike Francis  from the Plus One Gallery located in London, England. The artist sells work via this gallery.

The artist lived in New York City and started his art career as an illustrator based out of Soho and Hatton Garden.  He is also the most clever artist when it comes to naming his paintings, giving the viewer a good laugh or making them think about what he is trying to portray in a certain work of art. For me the artist is far different than the many photorealists working out of London, its his use of color.  His reflection of summer sun off of a swimming pool takes the viewer the smells of summer, chlorine and sun tan lotion!

For his education attended the  St. Martins and Central School of Art in London, England.

Online and Land Based gallery: Plus One gallery London, England.

Mediums used: Watercolour, Acrylic, and Oils.

High price range:  Oil for $8,000.  Acrylics for $3,200

Low price range:  Oil for $300 in 2011 at auction. Acrylics from $1,500.

If you enjoy this artist check out the artist Hilo Chen. He also paints women on the beach with few clothes, but he adds droplets of water to them giving the figure a wonderful sense of life and the work an awesome sense of depth.

First one man show for Mike Francis took place in 1960 at the Furneux Gallery located in London, England.

In 1972 won a very prestigious award, the National Gallery of London’s 150th Anniversary Award.

A link for the artist’s own website ( much more info here on the artist! ) :

After visiting the website I found that when you view his work, he wants the viewer to slow down and take it all in. If you look closely you will be surprised at something in the painting. I enjoy most his point of view. Similar to Raphaella Spence or Stephen Wiltshire whom both travel in helicopters to find the composition. This gives them very unique views of cities that have been painted a million times like New York or Venice.

As most artist he started loving to create art at an early age, he remembers drawing all the time as a six year old. No matter if he is sick, too lazy, or too busy he makes sure to put in some easel time every day. He has finished over 500 paintings over the years.

Try a pool painting today!


Artists of the moment…..Lin Fengmian…..


The artist was born in 1900 in Guangdong.

A clip featuring the artist’s work set to fantastic Chinese music.

The artist was born in 1900. When he was born his name was Lin Fengming. He was an innovator as far as painting for mixing eastern and western painting ideas. He worked mainly wit ink and watercolor on paper.

high price range: $1.5 million for an oil painting titled OPERA SERIES: BEAUTY DEFIES TYRANNY.

low price range: $30,000

Fengmian was born in Guangdong and participated in a work- study program in China. The artist travelled through out Europe in the 1920 staying in Germany and Paris for long periods of time of time. In 1925 he started teaching art in China. In 1928 he formed his own school for art and was the first principle.

The artist had a large output, but due to unfortunate circumstances many of his earlier works have been lost or destroyed. During the Sino-Japanese war, many works were destroyed by Japanese soldiers. During a cultural revolution in China many works were also destroyed.  Lin Fengmian himself ruined many works of art
by soaking the art and trying to flush it down the toilet. He was still sent to prison for a length of four years his ideas and paintings.

He was let out of jail in 1977 and the government assumed he would head for Brazil to live. Instead the artist lived in Hong Kong until he passed away in 1991. During this time in Hong Kong the artist started to recreate some of his many destroyed art works.

This artist was great and an awesome example of how the pen is mightier than the sword. I consider him to be a precursor to modern contemporary artists such as Ai WeiWei. Both stood for their individual thoughts and ideas. Both were part of a minority way of thinking that was despised by the government. Its easy for me to imagine Fengmian under government surveillance, similar to Ai WeiWei.  Fengmian probably had a little more difficulty as it was easier to contain bad events since communication wasn’t so easy as it is now in the days of cell phones. Think of all the scenes we have seen from Syria or the middle East, this wouldn’t have been possible when Fengmian was in his prime as a master artist.
When Ai WeiWei was taken by the goverment a huge public outcry was felt from around the world. Weiwei was in custody and always had at least two guards at his sides, even when he slept or went to the bathroom. Weiwei was supposedly not to have any social media contact, but soon after being released after eighty one days in prison, the artist was back writing negative comments about the Chinese government.

Artists working with the face and figure….Alyssa Monks…

My favorite contemporary artist working with the figure without a doubt.  When I think of her work I make an emotional connection to her subjects. She is always bringing new ideas to an old genre, wet bodies and wet glass.

A brief interview with a gallery owner discussing Alyssa Monks paintings.

A short montage of more of the artist’s portfolio of women and water.

From her website you can purchase giclee prints of her figure work for around $350 plus tax. The prints are small in size such as 9 by 12 inches, but have wonderful color.

medium used: oils on linen

The artist talking at DFN Gallery about a show.  As far as elegant looking artists she is on par with Raphaella Spence!

Of all the figures I have seen painted by the artist, my favorite are the closeup paintings of a female body pressed against glass. The technical skill level is very high and the viewer feels the “wetness” of the skin as well as the heat of the human body.  Another nice aspect of the paintings is the water droplets. A great painting lesson is to replicate droplets of water, be they on a beverage can or on the human.

The artist was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey in 1977. I find her portraits to be very emotional on many levels. Of all the portraits I have seen the most the two artists that inspire me the most would be Rembrandt and Monks.  In most of her pictures the artist is also the model. The same with Rembrandt and his many portraits. Both artists drew and painted their faces so many times its amazing to see the growth not only in anatomy and flesh tones, but also portraying expression. The artist enjoys using herself as a model because she knows her faults and is very comfortable about her body.

The artist was inspired by Jackson Pollack to start placing the figure pressed up against glass in the shower. She makes the viewer take one shot of realism with one shot of abstraction to produce a very lively picture. Please take notice of the American Art Collector that has a painting of hers on the cover. In reality the actual painting was 5 by 7 inches. Hard to believe something so powerful and intriguing could be a magazine cover and only 5 by 7 inches in real life!  A high technical level of ability mixed with new ideas such as glass, steam, and water make for an exciting future for this artist.

She has work available in a variety of sizes from 5 by 7 inches to works 40 by 60 inches. For prices I could only find an 11 by 16 oils on panel for $5,000. The artist seems to appear in the national art magazines such as American Art Collector and ArtNews.

A link for the artist’s own personal website.

mediums used:   oils on panel, linen

Next up I will write about all the interesting art auctions happening in the past few day. A Warhol painting of Elvis, A Rothko, the Scream by Edward Munch.  The last big auction house sold a little more than $380,000,000 worth of art breaking their estimates.


Happy painting!