Alan Bean - Artist and Astronaut
Captain Alan Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the fourth man to walk on the moon and commander of Skylab 2. "I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has," Bean says.
"I want my paintings to communicate an emotional experience in ways that photography cannot."
Captain Bean creates his original works of art using a unique technique allowing the viewer to actually sense vestiges of the 20th century's most dramatic accomplishments. Pressed into the canvas surfaces are Captain Bean's authentic lunar boot "moonprints," impressions from a core tube-bit used to collect soil samples and marks from a hammer used to drive the staff of the American flag into the moon's surface. Moon dust, trapped on the patches on the outside of his suit, makes its way onto each original as well.
Each print and canvas is an historical record of the lunar experience, as each is signed by moonwalker Captain Alan Bean, with most countersigned by other moonwalkers and astronauts. This may be your only chance to own such a visionary and historic celebration of man's greatest achievement. NASA was sometimes asked "Why not send an artist to the moon." It turns out they did.
Alan Bean—Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II and artist—was born in 1932 in Wheeler, Texas. In 1950 he was selected for an NROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1955, he was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy.
Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, as well as numerous national and international honors, Alan Bean has had a most distinguished peacetime career. His awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal and the Robert J. Collier Trophy. As part of the Apollo XII crew, he became the fourth of only twelve men ever to walk on the Moon. As the spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, he set a world record - 24,400,000 miles traveled during the 59-day flight. He has also launched himself successfully into a new career as an artist.
When he wasn't flying, Bean always enjoyed painting as a hobby. Attending night classes at St. Mary's College in Maryland in 1962, Alan experimented with landscapes. During training and between missions as a test pilot and astronaut, he continued private art lessons. On space voyages, his artist's eye and talent enabled him to document impressions of the Moon and space to be preserved later on canvas. His art reflects the attention to detail of the aeronautical engineer, the respect for the unknown of the astronaut and the unabashed appreciation of a skilled painter.
The space program has seen unprecedented achievements and Bean realized that most of those who participated actively in this adventure would be gone in forty years. He knew that if any credible artistic impressions were to remain for future generations, he must paint them now. "My decision to resign from NASA in 1981 was based on the fact that I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has," Bean said, "and I hope to communicate these experiences through art."
Bean's book Apollo - An Eyewitness Account which chronicles his first-person experience as an Apollo astronaut in words and paintings was received with critical and popular acclaim upon its publication in 1998.
One of the giants of comic book artistry, Alex Ross rose to creative prominence in a genre many assumed was a thing of the past. His unmistakable trademark illustrations are instantly recognizable - photorealistic drawings with painted colors, iconic poses, and a vibrant creativity that fans instantly connect to and celebrate. Ross became one of the wealthiest and most storied artists in the business, while also introducing new fans to the medium. Known as a flawless draughtsman and craftsman with an innovative painting style, Ross' art has been said to exhibit "a Norman-Rockwell-meets-George-Perez vibe," for its realistic, human depictions of classic comic book characters and attention to detail, along with his pulsating, energetic colors. In the comic book universe, his artistic credentials are nonpareil, a perspective best illustrated by Comics Buyer's Guide decision to retire the Favorite Painter award from their CBG Fan Awards due to Ross' domination of that category (which he won seven years in a row). "Ross may simply be the field's Favorite Painter, period," explained senior editor Maggie Thompson. "That's despite the fact that many outstanding painters are at work in today's comic books."
In retrospect, it seems obvious that Ross would become one of the most sought-after and well-respected comic artists in the industry. Born in Portland, Oregon in 1970, and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Ross debuted his talents at the tender age of three when, his mother says, she noticed him drawing the contents of a television commercial he'd seen moments before. In fact, Ross came from an creative family. His mother was a commercial artist and enormous influence on him. His grandfather, Ros said, "built working wooden toys and loved drawing." However, It was when he saw Spider Man during an episode of The Electric Company as an adolescent that he found his calling—bringing these characters to life. "I just fell in love with the notion that there were colorful characters like this, performing good, sometimes fantastic deeds," Ross remembers. "I guess I knew this was what I wanted to do." While his mother offered creative inspiration, Ross recognizes his father, Clark, a minister, for laying the moral framework that helps him appreciate the altruistic deeds performed by superheroes. "My dad has given aid, physical aid, not just financial, to a number of charities and causes. He's helped at homeless shelters. He used to run a children's shelter in Lubbock. There was a positive effect to being around him, and his actions tied into what the superhero comics were teaching me. Superheroes aren't heroes because they're strong; they're heroes because they perform acts that look beyond themselves."
As he matured, Ross began developing his draftsmanship skills and closely reading comics, in particular those by Perez and illustrator Berni Wrightson. It was a study in contrasts. "They were at opposite ends of the spectrum," Ross said. Wrightson, co-creator of Swamp Thing, was known for his use of delicate lines to delineate shadow and tone and Perez, for his open style with contoured lines and very little shadowing. "When I was 12, I would imitate Perez's style when I drew superheroes and Wrightson's style when I was doing 'serious' work. I realized there was no one way to go." This philosophy became gospel when Ross discovered Andrew Loomis and the legendary Rockwell. "I idolized people like Rockwell, who drew in that photorealistic style," Ross says. "When I was 16 or so, I said to myself, 'I want to see that in a comic book.'"
At 17, Ross began attending Chicago's American Academy of Art, where his mother had also studied. It was there that he was introduced to other classic influences, such as surrealist Salvador Dali, while he reflected on and honed his creative discipline and artistic talents. "My time at the Academy was really valuable," he said. "I learned where I was as an artist and what kind of discipline I'd already learned. Here I was, drawing from a model for the first time and realizing I could represent the model. Not everyone in the class could do that. It was important to make that discovery." In fact, the Academy enabled Ross to explore fine art in greater depth and Dali became a major influence. "He had a vivid imagination and a hyper-realistic quality that wasn't so far removed from comic books. I began to study the classic American illustrators like Rockwell, J. C. Leyendecker... I've been called 'The Norman Rockwell of comics' more than a hundred times. I'm not going to suggest I'm on the same level as Rockwell, but attempting that sort of realism in my work has always been part of my approach." Of course, the skills he developed while attending the Academy hugely influenced his career later on. "There wasn't any moment where I saw the light and said, 'Painted comics. That's the way.'" he recalls. "It was a by-product of my studies. There wasn't any program that taught me to ink a comic book. There were programs that taught me to paint. I just naturally thought, 'Well, of course I'm going to apply that to comics.' There were also enough painted comics out there—not a lot, but a few—that made me think that talent could be applied."
After graduating from the Academy in 1993 and taking a position at an advertising agency, Ross joined the Marvel franchise at the behest of Marvel Comics editor Kurt Busiek, who had noticed Ross's art and suggested the two work together on a story. Those plans came to fruition in 1993 with their joint creative work, "Marvels," an all-painted graphic novel that explored Marvel superheroes from the perspective of an ordinary man. Published in 1994, Ross and Busiek's collaboration chronicled the life of a photojournalist as he inhabited a world of superheroes and villains. The book, a huge success with critics and fans alike, gave Ross his first real exposure as an artist, both within the industry and outside it. Fans especially connected to the work, noticing Ross's obvious appreciation, even affection, for the characters through his attention to detail and ability to make each character look so real. There was also, Ross said, a sense of accomplishment and wishful thinking involved. "Hopefully by painting the work, you gain a sense of life and believability that will draw the reader in a little more. You can use color and light and shadow and live models to give the work a certain realism. It might be easier to relate to a character if you look at it and say, 'Here's an actor portraying someone. Here's something that looks real.' I thought it would draw people in and maybe add to their enjoyment of the work. There's also a part of me that likes to speculate - 'What if they made a movie about this character.' I realize some of my favorite characters will never get the movie treatment, so it's up to me to present them in a lifelike fashion, to make the movie that would otherwise never get made."
After his debut, Ross was well on his way to artistic superstardom. His lengthy list of accomplishments is a testimony to how deeply fans connect to his work. He continued his collaboration with Busiek as the cover artist of "Astro City" as well as drawing and painting other mini-series, including "Kingdome Come" with writer Mark Waid, a fabled work that presents a possible future in which Superman and several other superheroes returning to tame a generation of savage anti-heroes. The work is highlighted by Ross' reimagined versions of many DC characters, as well as a new generation of characters, including Ross's co-creation of Magog. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz said, "Ross' unique painted art style made a powerful statement about the reality of the world they built." Between 1998 and 2001, Ross drew four one-shot comics to celebrate the 60th anniversaries of certain well-known DC characters - "Superman - Peace on Earth," "Batman - War on Crime," "SHAZAM. - Power of Hope," and "Wonder Woman - Spirit of Truth," before combining creative forces with writer Jim Krueger to create the "X" trilogy. In the fall of 2001, Ross painted a series of four interlocking covers for TV Guide (featuring characters from the WB series Smallville) and designed and sculpted a series of busts based on characters he created for the Marvel series Earth X. "Designing the statues," Ross explains, "was a case where I said, 'Hey, I know I can do this, and before somebody else does it – maybe differently from the way I would like it done – I can sculpt some of the characters for which I'm well-known and make sure they look the way I want them to look.' My comics work notwithstanding, I prefer not having to rely on the labors or plans of others. For the fans' sake as well as for my own, I want to take full responsibility for the projects that bear my name."
Alex's formidable talents have also opened door to other projects outside the superhero comic book universe. In 2001, Ross won acclaim for his work on comic books benefiting the families of victims of the September 11 attacks, contributing his portraits of paramedics, police and firefighters. He also earned praise for the limited-edition promotional poster for the 2002 Academy Awards, which depicted Oscar perched atop the First National Building. His feature film work includes concept and narrative art for Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and DVD packaging art for the M. Night Shyamalan film, Unbreakable, which featured an insert with Ross' original art, as well as his commentary on superheroes in the movie's special features. He has created TV Guide covers, posters and packaging for video games, as well as his renditions of superheroes, which have been merchandised as action figures. He has designed DC merchandise, including posters, dinner plates, and statues. Having thoroughly explored the superhero genre, Ross cast his gaze in a different direction, deciding to focus on a comic book project for the real world, Uncle Sam, a 96-page story that took a critical look at the dark side of American history. Like Marvels and Kingdom Come, the individual issues of Uncle Sam were collected into a single volume—first in hardcover, then in paperback—and remain in print today. While critics argue against comic art, reducing it to just a form of escapism, Ross says his art, like most popular art, is the opposite, functioning as a mirror, reflecting cultural mores, social norms, and personal values. "Superheroes are a mixture of every form of fiction," he said, "myth, science-fiction, mystery, and magic – all in one giant pot. The best characters embody virtues we may try to find in ourselves." The demand for Alex's work has grown steadily. Without a doubt, he is one of the most gifted talents in comic fine art today.
With great power comes great responsibility. Ross, clearly took that lesson to heart. His career provides another important message - Follow Your Heart. A apt message you might find in one of his stories. "I do the gigs I do because I care about the material," he says. "In some cases, it's because I like the character. In some cases, I have a vision in my head of something I must do. It all involves artistic expression. If I can't get into the work on some artistic level, I can't do it."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Alex Ross. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World Wide Art not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Allison has shown her work in fine galleries around the country, in places as diverse as SOHO, Maui, Kennebunkport, and Key West. Her portraits have hung side by side with such esteemed artist as Peter Max and Romero Britto. Her paintings have been purchased and shipped around the world to places like Monte Carlo, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, Luxembourg, Jerusalem, Paris and London.
Allison was invited to paint a portrait of the First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Allison had the privilege of presenting this portrait to the First Lady, and it was then shipped to her at the White House.
She was also invited to paint portraits of Their Royal Highness, the now late King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Noor. That same portrait of the late King Hussein was featured in an interview with Queen Noor conducted by Katie Couric on the Today show. Queen Noor mentioned to Katie that it was her favorite portrait of her late husband.
Allison's paintings can aldo be found in the collections of Barbara Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Robero Britto, Phil Ramone, Luciano Pavarotti, John Stango, Universal Studios Orlando, Warner Bros. Studio Stores, The Walt Disney Gallery, Tears for Tears, The Indigo Girls, Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Buckley, Deborah (debbie) Gibson, Robert Cuccioli, Lea Delaria, and Liza Minelli.
"My art is inspired by the works of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. Boldness and simplicity are the keys to the success of my portraits. The Vibrant color of the background accents the shapes and shadows and enhances the three-dimensional appearance." - Allison Lefcort
In 1973 Allyson sculpted her first piece as a get-well offering for her significant other. Manipulating the clay, there soon appeared a caricature of a bunny rabbit holding flowers. This proved to be so popular; other critters were soon popping up as gifts for friends.
Allyson's love of Disney's Fantasia, and the rich history of the Disney Studio was the inspiration for her first sculptures. Allyson began creating bronzes of her sculpts that were offered as limited editions through the Disneyana convention and Walt Disney World.
Her most recognized work (sadly no longer there), and the one that is still her favorite, is the 10 character panels for the Warner Brothers flagship Store in NYC. Each panel measured 10' long by 5' high and depicts Warner Brothers animation thru the years. She likes to call it her Mt. Rushmore of projects.
Looking for new outlets for her creativity and always seeking inspiration from other mediums, she was inspired by the colorful vintage tiles found on Catalina Island. Used on buildings and structures all over the island, and sold as souvenirs to the many tourists that frequented there, they were a unique art form that personified the Catalina culture. Sadly, the Catalina Island tile and pottery plant ceased to exist after the 1930's and it was almost a lost art form for many years. Taking photographs and studying the technique Allyson thought "what a great medium, how do I turn it into my animation art".
After many trial and errors over the course of the next two years the Animation Art Tile was born in 1988. All of Allyson's Art Tiles are made with the same old world technique known as "cuerda seca" or dry-line that was used by the Catalina Tile Company.
Once an image is selected, Allyson draws the original by hand, always keeping in mind on how best to keep the character's integrity, yet to allow for the transfer of the image and the colored glazes to the tile for maximum effect.
1. Once the original art is finished and sized to for maximum effect, a screen is made that will allow the transfer the image onto the tiles surface. The art is applied using the "cuerda seca" or dry-line technique. A very special formula for this has been developed that resists the flow of wet glazes so that they will remain separated until fired.
2. Special ceramic glazes are mixed and then hand applied to the tiles surface and allowed to dry prior to firing. This glazing process can take from one day to several weeks depending on the size and complexity of the image being reproduced.
3. When the tiles are finished, each has unique texture and coloration of glazes, separated by the deeply indented lines. This technique gives each of the tiles a distinctive look and feel that only the Catalina Style can replicate.
From tiny 2"X 2" tiles, to full wall sized creations, Allyson's tiles are a tribute to the fantastic history of the animated character with a touch of the glorious California past.
The Painter of our American Childhood1941 - 2019
Close your eyes and think back to your childhood, back to a time when everything was not only new and exciting but also possible, when having a storytelling grandpa and a lemonade stand and a bicycle to race through the streets and down the hills in your neighborhood were the keys to a happy life. The world portrayed by artist Bob Byerley is not his alone—all of us are invited to disappear with him into the landscape of uninterrupted imagination, bucolic childhood memories, and dewy-eyed dreams.
Referred to as the "Painter of Our American Childhood" and the "Norman Rockwell of our time," favorably compared with Rembrandt and others Dutch Masters, and celebrated, highly collected, and much beloved by collectors of art everywhere, Byerley, is a realist oil painter of nostalgic Americana. Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1941, Byerley spent his entire childhood on the quiet, shady, tree lined streets and old brick sidewalks of K.C. The artist's photographic memory of his boyhood adventures combines with a talent honed by a lifetime of dedication to creating these charming, innocent portraits of a simpler time. He also brings his mastery of realistic still-life, rendering with microscopic detail the current style of his mature work. The effect of this fool-the-eye realism is so convincing that viewers are drawn in and taken hold of by irresistible urges to peel curling labels from old boxes, pull strings on marionettes, ride homemade scooters, or wipe the chocolate smears from a child's cheek. His technical mastery combined with an unlimited sense of fun transforms even first-time viewers into lifelong Byerley fans.
An only child, he was taught to play piano at the age of five by his mom, a piano teacher, performing his first one-man concert when he was six-years-old. Throughout his childhood, he continued his musical education. At the same time, he began showing a strong interest in art. His musical endeavors were enthusiastically encouraged, his drawing interests, not so much. After high school, Byerley decided to enter college, not as a music major, but as a pre-med student. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and, as fate would have it, in his junior year was required to take three credit hours of fine arts for his pre-med degree. He signed up for a three-hour "Introduction to Art" class. When he walked into the art building, saw the paintings and smelled the turpentine, he knew he was home. The rest is history. He loved the art so much that after one semester, he made the hardest phone call to his parents that he had ever make - "Mom, Dad, I've decided not to be a doctor. I'm going to be an artist." A proclamation that was met by interminable silence.
Byerley went on to receive his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Art from University of Missouri. After graduating, he taught painting and drawing at both the University and at a community college in St. Joseph, Missouri. This marked the beginning of his journey as a professional artist, taking him from abstract and politically charged statements to a long careful exploration of realistic still life, and finally to his forte—realistic, nostalgic depictions of his imaginative memories of his own bucolic childhood. By age thirty, Byerley stopped teaching to paint full time. His primary focus for many years was on still-life paintings rendered in a very detailed, trump l'oeil ("trick of eye") realistic style. In the late '80s, he began to focus on children in his work, capturing the souls of children and the hearts of millions with his terrifically imaginative, fastidiously detailed images of Americana. He is able to express the innocence and fresh-faced imagination of his subjects. His style, attention to detail, and endearing subject matter combine to create images so intriguing viewers can feel trouble coming by the twinkle of a young man's eye or can hear the laughter of a group of children playing on a warm summer day. Byerley is now internationally known for his realistic portrayals of children in nostalgic settings that reflect his own "kinder and gentler" childhood.
Educated in the Old Masters Tradition of painting, Byerley trumpets the concepts of strong compositional design and content in paintings. "Content," he explains, "has to do with the truths of life that we find around us. Truths can not be artificially staged, effected, conjured up, created, or invented to be sympathetic or trendy in a painting. They occur simply, spontaneously and without effort in the moments on canvas." His children are real, not fabricated or sentimental, and imagination abounds. In his hyperrealistic, detailed artworks he focuses on portraying children in nostalgic settings that evoke simpler times, as he paints children doing things rather than viewing things - his kids are alive with vitality and mischief. Viewers are invited to visit the "Old Neighborhood" and appreciate some of the most inspired creative work in realism being done in the art world today.
"Many of the ideas I express in my paintings," Byerley explains "came from my childhood before television. I grew up in the middle of the city in a house that was, strangely enough, surrounded by twenty blocks of dense woods. Each season, those woods were the magic place where our childhood imaginations ran totally free. We dug swimming pools that we ambitiously planned to open for next summer, we built the highest tree houses kids had ever built, we felled trees and filled rabbit holes in order to create five cent a turn bicycle obstacle courses, and we collected. We collected marvelous things. We collected castaway items from the dump that became elaborate scooters and push cars, forts, lemonade stands, airplanes, rafts, spook houses and miniature golf courses. I remember and love those times and that is what I choose to paint."
It was these memories that fuel his depictions of creative children that work together to build structures where they play and use their imaginations, all of which is integral to conveying a sense of timelessness. "In order for an artist to get his idea across or communicate with the viewer he must use universally recognized symbols in his paintings, symbols that all viewers can relate to and understand. Problems occur with some art, when the painter makes up symbols that he may understand but the viewer does not. This often occurs when the artist is working in an abstract or non-representational mode. It's much like a person trying to read a great novel, written in a foreign language that he does not understand. The material is there, but it is incomprehensible to the reader. My symbols are the realistic interpretations of children's faces, which are universal." Therein lie the reasons that Byerley's paintings have enjoyed worldwide acceptance and popularity. The smile of a child is understood around the world.
Byerley and his wife Alice, have four grown children and eight grandchildren. Alice is the brains of their opposition, both business manager and a very fine painter in her own right. They now live in Lee's Summit, Missouri. His work is represented in many fine collections and can be seen in thousands of galleries throughout the world.
An Artist Shares His Technique
Byerley generously shares his creative process, from sketching to boarding to drafting and then finally painting:
"When I get an idea for a painting, I start by doing a small thumbnail sketch. This rough sketch sets the idea in my mind. At this stage I often write myself notes on the sketch itself—for example - cast the primary light from the upper left or dress the subjects in 20s fashions. I then proceed to enhance and modify this basic idea with more detailed sketches. When I am satisfied with the sketches, I begin preparing my board. I paint on board, rather that canvas, for several reasons. When I use a board, I don't have to worry about humidity causing the canvas to shrink, buckle, or get floppy loose in its stretchers. The texture of the weave of the canvas itself is usually to rough for me to render my small intricate details. I also prefer the rigidity of the board to the soft give of canvas. The board I use is Medite, a very high quality hardboard. I cut four foot by eight-foot sheets into 4 X 4, 3 X 4 or 2 X 4 sizes. Using an electric hand sander and 100 grit sandpaper I carefully sand the sheen off the surface of the Medite and vacuum the surface to remove the dust. I then wipe the surface down with a clean damp cloth to eliminate any remaining dust—I then use a house-painting roller to give the board two coats of Liquitex Gesso. This is the paintings ground. I roll the boards back and forth, up, and down until I reach a smooth surface with no roller marks."
"Using a 4H drawing pencil I carefully draw my idea onto the board. When the drawing is completed, I paint a thin wash over the board. This tints the surface and sets the graphite of the pencil so that the pencil marks wont bleed or smudge into the paint. For this transparent wash, I use Burnt Umber and Permanent Green Deep oil paint mixed with pure gum turpentine. I apply the wash over the entire surface of the board with a large soft brush. After the wash dries (usually overnight) I begin my under painting directly over the sketch. This is like rendering the entire painting in black and white in order to establish my darks and lights. When creating the under painting, I use Burnt Umber, Pthalo Blue and once again pure gum turpentine. At this stage, my oil painting resembles a black and white watercolor. When the final painting is dry, I brush its surface with Retouch varnish to restore the sheen and depth of the oil paint, which has gone matte in some of the darker areas."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Bob Byerley. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
"Wildlife artist Bonnie Marris' fascination with animals began at an early age when, at the age of two, she spent hours in front of the wolf cage at the zoo, enraptured by the animals within. The attention to detail evident in her work is a consequence of long hours studying her subjects in the field and her background in illustration.
Bonnie Marris has taken an unusual path into art; she developed her talent by portraying animals "from the inside out." While she was a student at Michigan State University, Bonnie illustrated several major books. One volume she worked on was a leading expert's mammalogy text that contained several hundred drawings and detail studies. This massive project attracted the attention of noted zoologist George Schaller, who invited Bonnie to prepare the art for posters that would support his worldwide rare animal relief programs.
In addition to her accomplished skill at rendering her subjects and evident affinity for the wild, Marris' painting requires frequent and substantive field experience. Each year, Bonnie makes two major trips, and countless smaller ones, to observe and learn about the wildlife she loves.
In 1980, one such voyage took her to Alaska, where she lived in the wilderness for six months. Marris recounts, "To get into a natural environment and see the animals on their own terms is as important as knowing the animals themselves.
For instance, gray wolves on the tundra
Brenders' insistence on anatomical perfection in his paintings stems from his philosophy that nature, itself, is perfection - "That is why I paint the way I do with so much detail and so much realism - I want to capture that perfection" Carl Brenders says.
Born near Antwerp, Belgium, Brenders has drawn since childhood. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Antwerp and later at Berchem. He produced wildlife illustrations for a series of books entitled The Secret Life of Animals . Honored as the 24th Master Artist at the prestigious 2002 "Birds in Art" Exhibition at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, Brenders' work is regularly exhibited at the Museum. His art is the subject of the critically acclaimed book, Wildlife - The Nature Paintings of Carl Brenders (out-of-print). A major retrospective exhibition of 30 of his works, entitled "Artistry in Nature - The Wildlife Paintings of Carl Brenders," opened at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA, before traveling to Cleveland, OH; Louisville, KY and Shreveport, LA.
The wildlife images of Brenders' art are first created from pencil sketches; from these sketches his mixed media paintings of watercolor and gouache are completed with a technique he has developed during the last 25 years. His paintings, encompassing every intricacy of nature, devote equal attention to the detail of the wildlife subject and its habitat as well as to the mood created by the light.
Although Brenders feels that there are not enough hours in a lifetime to do all the paintings he would like, he deems details as small and as common as lichens worthy of his time and attention. For, he says, if it takes a lichen 200 years to grow as large as a coin, surely he can devote the extra hours necessary to perfectly capture its every characteristic.
An intense man who sees minutia that escapes the average viewer, Brenders' art allows us to see what he sees, exactly as he sees it - in comparison, everything else seems out of focus.
A dedicated conservationist, Brenders has raised awareness for environmental and conservation causes with his art which enjoys international acclaim. He is widely collected in North America, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Holland, Argentina and in his native Belgium.
With his studio overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan, much of Charles Peterson's art reflects his love for sailing and the sea. Paintings of the great sailing ships and wonderful seascapes have long provided Peterson with both financial and professional success. Peterson's work has also been featured in the most prestigious galleries in the country and in juried shows of international significance.
But if Peterson's marine paintings have brought professional prestige and recognition, it is his unique "memories" paintings that have brought national popularity. Painted with the same personal interest, Peterson's "Memories Collection" of limited edition prints combine the elements of an old, forgotten site with the very subtle reflection of the special times that are still real for those who remember. New releases are awaited anxiously by collectors all across the United States and Canada. The Memories Collection strikes a chord in all of us who have fond memories of simpler times.
Regardless of subject, Peterson collectors have come to expect a consistent quality that comes only from a lifetime of study and work. Eight years of advanced art training, a successful twenty year career as a college professor of art, and an additional twenty years of painting fulltime have all contributed to the extraordinary watercolor compositions of a true master, Charles L. Peterson.
Some things about Charles Wysocki's life can be anticipated. For instance, he collects Early American toys, tobacco tins, folk art, clocks, crockery and books. High on the list of favorite places are Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard . . . and all of New England.
Other things are a surprise - while he paints typically New England scenes, before his passing he lived in California. Yet one only has to look at his work to understand the person. Born in Detroit in 1928, Wysocki enjoyed an active and happy boyhood, which seems reflected in the spirit of his work. Since early childhood, he had no other desire than to be an artist.
After two years in the Army, Wysocki headed west to the Art Center School in Los Angeles, the city where he met his wife Liz, to whom he attributes much of his inspiration because she grew up on a farm. The aspects of her life that affected him were the basics: hard work, personal closeness and contentment with life's "little things."
Wysocki adds, "I hope my paintings revive pleasant thoughts of a bygone era and express a semblance of order and serenity that fills a need in this fast-changing world. I like to add a touch of humor into my work. I see life on the lighter side, in much simpler and more basic forms."
Wysocki's award-winning art is sought-after internationally and has been published in two books, American Celebration and Heartland.
In a career spanning over 60 years, Chuck Jones made more than 300 animated films, winning three Oscars as director and in 1996 an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. Among the many awards and recognitions, one of those most valued was the honorary life membership from the Directors Guild of America.
During the Golden Age of Animation Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros. most famous characters: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. The list of characters he created himself includes Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, Michigan J. Frog and many others. He also produced, directed and wrote the screenplays for "Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a television classic, as well as the feature length film "The Phantom Tollbooth." In addition, Jones was a prolific artist whose work has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide.
Born in 1912 in Spokane, Washington, Jones grew up in Hollywood where he observed the talents of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. After graduation from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Jones first job in the animation industry was as a cel washer for former Disney animator, Ubbe Iwerks. In 1936 Jones was hired by Friz Freleng as an animator for the Leon Schlesinger Studio (later sold to Warner Bros.) He worked with and for directors Tex Avery and Bob Clampett until the early forties when they left the studio, ad for the remainder of his years at WB he worked in parallel with Directors Freleng and Robert McKimson. He remained at WB until the studio was closed. After a short stay at Disney studios, Jones moved to MGM Studios where he created new episodes from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. While there he also directed the Academy Award winning film, The Dot and the Line. Jones established his own production company, Chuck Jones Enterprises, in 1962 and produced nine half hour animation films for television.
In recent years, Jones' work has been honored at film festivals and museums throughout the world. His autobiography, Chuck Amuck appeared in 1989. Chuck Reducks, his follow-up to the first book, was published two years later. In the late 1970's Jones and his daughter Linda, pioneered a continuing art business featuring limited edition art created by Chuck. In 2000, Jones established the Chuck Jones Foundation, designed to recognize support and inspire continued excellence in the art of classic animation. Chuck Jones passed away in 2002.
In 2009 Daniel briefly departed Pixar to work at Walt Disney Animation Studios as a visual development artist on Wreck-it Ralph and also served as Art Director for Prep and Landing 2. However, in September 2011, Daniel returned home to Pixar where he is now contributing his artistic talents to numerous upcoming Pixar film projects.
As a Visual Development Artist (often referred to as a "Concept Artist") Daniel is one among a team of artists and designers who take on the immense responsibility of pre-conceiving the visual direction and design of an animated film leading up to the animation process. A lofty role indeed, walking in the footsteps of the legendary artists who pioneered this discipline, names like Eyvind Earle, Mary Blair, Tyrus Wong and other Disney Legends whose visual development work a generation ago weaved the very fabric of so many Disney classics.
In 1984, after graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree in commercial art from Northern Illinois University, Bush moved to Minnesota and worked as a commercial illustrator for five years. "it was during this time I began pursuing a second career: my true love, wildlife art," he said. In 1987, Bush won his first major award: the Idaho Upland Game Stamp. In 1990, Bush became a full-time artist.
U.S. Art named Bush among America's Top 12 Most Popular Artists in 1995 and 1996, the results of annual surveys. The same publication also named him a Rising Star in 1995. He received international recognition when he was chosen as an artist for the September, 1996 Wonders of Nature exhibit in Hong Kong. Bush's work has also been juried into many fine art shows where he has received several "Best of Show" awards.
Accomplishments in the young artist's career include being named Artist of the Year for the 1997 Wildlife, Western and Americana Art Exhibit and Sale. He has completed several conservation projects including the 1996 National Fish and Wildlife Print and several state hunting stamps and prints. With a total of nine fund-raising prints, several of which have been commissioned by Ducks Unlimited, the artist remains an active member of The National Audubon Society and Ducks Unlimited.
The publications Wildlife Art, U.S. Art, Midwest Today, Minnesota Waterfowler, and Grander Mountain have all featured Bush's art.
In short, they needed David Willardson.
Born and raised in San Diego just down the freeway from Disneyland, the Southern California artist was a Disney devotee from the very beginning. In fact, he won an "outstanding paperboy" contest to visit Disneyland when it first opened in 1954 and later became a Disney cast member several years later—working the Skyway gondolas (allegedly ushering Walt Disney himself) and the Matterhorn—due to its reputation for hiring cute female cast members.
Caught up in the adventuresome, ingenious make-believe world of Disney animation as a young child, Willardson was deeply influenced by the creativity and whimsy of the characters and the early execution of the cartoon, factors that profoundly influenced his chosen path as professional artist. Lurking behind his beloved Disney characters, Willardson discovered a team of animation geniuses that had left an indelible mark on American popular culture. As a devotee, he set about learning their craft in order to figure out what made his heroes tick. "As a young kid, I started studying the early Disney imagery - how an eye looked, how a hand looked—in essence, I studied them in minutiae," he recalled. "For years, I'd been studying the work of early animation masters like Ub Iwerks. The early animators were world-class draughtsmen. They could draw so beautifully. The shapes and forms they used—bold geometric circles and triangles—helped create a character in its purest form. The characters from that period were absolutely perfect. I figured out what made them work and what didn't." However, he never seriously considered a professional relationship with Disney until he received a fateful call from Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney's head of animation in the '80s.
As the legend goes, Willardson was asked by an ad agency to do a painting of Goofy for Walt Disney World. "I rendered it photo realistically," he said, "just a living being, with dimension, shading, core values and rim lighting." The ad ran nationally, and Katzenburg spotted it. He then called Willardson and asked if he would be interested in creating an entirely new look for the animated movie poster campaigns that featured the reissued classics and new movies. For the next seventeen years, Willardson was the artist of choice for those Disney campaigns. The first poster Willardson created for Disney was for the re-release movie poster for Bambi. His fully rendered images for the Disney animated movie posters include such well-known and regarded movie posters such as - The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Robin Hood, Beauty and The Beast, as well as classics, such as Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and The Jungle Book, earning him a permanent place in animation history.
While painting the characters in the traditional way, Willardson also developed his dynamic, colorful, stylish, painting style that breathes life into each classically rendered portrait, capturing the personality and emotions of the characters, but more so revealing their soul. His fully rendered images of Disney classics are still the most widely used to date, earning Willardson a much-deserved place in animation history. When computer graphics took over much of the former hand-illustration work, altering the creative process, he decided to evolve with the times and closed his design studio in 2003 to embark on a bold new venture as a Disney fine artist.
Willardson is now the creative force of the "Pep Art Movement," a creative new genre in which cultural icons are awash with an infusion of color, personality, and vitality. Unlike traditional "pop art," however, the subjects of Willardson's "pep" art are not soup cans or Brillo boxes or movie stars; they are classic Disney characters. "They were my childhood heroes," he said. "I never lost that." The images in his work express an untapped inner verve bubbling within, giving us an unique insight into their technicolor souls. "And they do have souls," Willardson insisted of his favored subjects.
"I certainly am a product of the pop art movement," he elaborated, "but I also have a great love for action painting, which originated in the 1950s with Jackson Pollack and a number of other artists. Action painting is about movement, action and boldness in the painting. I have amalgamated pop art - which deals with pop culture imagery - and action painting, which is really energy painting." The result is a new genre that packs an energized visual wallop. Willardson's paintings exude such rich soulful personality—the joy, sadness, frustration, and exhilaration first granted them by the old masters. "They are living legends to me," he said, "just like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and James Dean."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of David Willardson. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
My father's hobby was building model trains, and we often built trains together. This detail-oriented work taught me patience, and the attention to detail, that I would later need to become a realist painter. The other major early influence on me was the movies. My parents and I used to watch at least two movies a week. This sparked my imagination, and my sense of beauty and composition. In particular, I really enjoyed the 'Westerns' and 'Adventure' movies. My absolute favorite movie was Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'.
All throughout my school years I could always draw very well, but didn't take art too seriously until 1963, when on a whim, I enrolled in The Maryland Institute College of Art instead of going to business school. At the Institute, despite the popularity of abstract expressionism, I found that I preferred realism, particularly the style of the old masters. My mentor, Joseph Sheppard, taught me the 'Maroger Method', a painting discipline that emulates the chemistry and qualities of oil paintings by the Dutch Masters.
Probably most important to my growth as an artist, was a job I had during my years at the Institute, in the window display department of Hecht's Department Store. Learning how to collect the right props, and arrange them in a display window, is very similar to the work I do in planning and creating my paintings. This practical training was so much more useful than anything I could have learned in the staid atmosphere of art school.
My primary artistic heroes are the realists of the 17th Century, and the impressionists of the 19th and early 20th Century. Early on I was exposed to Jan Vermeer, and for me he has always been the pinnacle figure in painting. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Vermeer's work always read right for me. That is to say the settings, the props, and the figures depicted, all had an innate believability. Vermeer showed me that an artist could be extremely successful, by placing a normal person in a real room with good or at least interesting lighting, and attempt to paint merely what he saw. On its face, a Vermeer painting might seem simplistic, but in truth portraying the complexities of real images correctly is insanely difficult. Vermeer used numerous techniques and short cuts to achieve his artistic goals, and I use them too, along with many others, some of which are even unique to my work. But at the end of the process, when you view the finished painting, all that is left is an image, which hopefully appears as real, as it is beautiful. Less of an inspiration, Vermeer is more like a challenge. In the final result, the work must be as pure and as real as can be.
Outside of Vermeer I have always looked towards the impressionists and other painters of a hundred to a hundred and fifty years ago for inspiration. Impressionism is a very different look than what I am involved in creating. Going deeper however, the images presented in this era were so often keyed into ordinary daily scenarios. Things like workers working, or dancers practicing, woman bathing, or simply lounging has always appealed to me. For the painters of this era, even when an image was contrived, the goal was to leave the viewer with some insight into the characters. Like Degas or Manet, my goal is to leave to the viewer some tangible emotional feeling or insight into the subject.
The ideas for my work are a combination of serendipity and planning. I have rather rigid ideas about which models I will use and which sorts of props and settings I like to explore. Yet, when all the elements come together I use my artistic sensibilities, along with trial and error, to create what I hope will be successful images. In my most recent works I have been concentrating on street scenes and unique outdoor settings. Nearly every image I paint or draw is composed and initially created photographically. Photography stops light, and is therefore the very best way to keep an image pure. This is not to say that, when necessary, I don't wander from the original image in my photograph.
I am considered to be part of the 'Maroger' school, which is really nothing more than a group of artists, who have largely set out to re-discover the techniques of the old masters, and more specifically the actual chemical compositions of the oil paint used in the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th Centuries. Beyond this, my working methods are typical. First, I draw a semi-detailed drawing onto my carefully prepared board. I do this in basic shades, which, when done completely, fleshes the image out in terms of shapes, and relative contrasts between the different elements in the picture. This blocks out my image. Then, in colour, I paint the picture in its entirety. Following this, I paint the entire piece a second time, hopefully bringing it very close to the final look I am aiming for. The oil paint I use is forgiving in the hands of an experienced artist, and it allows me to work and re-work parts of a painting numerous times until I am happy. It is time consuming, and requires a fair amount of patience to bring an image, through layers and layers of paint, to a finished look that I am happy with.
Retired December 2015 (All editions closed/retired)
1933 - 2017
Celebrated impressionist G. Harvey is a modest man whose humility belies his unqualified success. His original paintings and bronze sculptures are in the collections of major corporations, museums, the United States government, American presidents, governors, foreign leaders, and captains of industry. He has been the recipient of innumerable awards and the subject of three books.
G. Harvey grew up in the rugged hills of San Antonio, Texas. His grandfather was a trail boss at 18 and helped shape an American legend. The American West is not only the artist's birthright, but an inspiration.
Harvey's art has intrigued and captivated a generation. his skilled use of light in dramatic settings, his considerable talent and persistent striving for perfection have placed him and his work at the forefront of late twentieth century American art. The artist's subjects have influenced a worldwide enthusiasm and demand for contemporary American art. harvey paints the spirit of America from its western hills and prairies to the hustle and bustle of it's great cities.
In telling what was, Harvey's art stimulates our senses to the beauty that surrounds us and reminds us that rain-slick streets still reflect the lights of shops and the headlights of cars. We can still see our breath on a cold morning, and gray winter days still draw us to the hearth.
Harvey's work reminds us that life has changed both very much and very little, and that country lanes and city streets are still romantic. It is, after all, from living in the present that G. Harvey draws from the past.
Having grown up at the foot of the elder legend's easel, the younger Ellenshaw showed prodigious enthusiasm and aptitude for oil painting even at a very early age. By the time he was a teenager he had become an accomplished artist able to replicate his father's seascapes, reflecting a skilled touch necessary to recreate, as realistically as possible, the fantastic energy and grace of nature. "I had grown up fascinated by my father's painting." Ellenshaw said. "He would sometimes give me canvas and paints…I have photographs of me painting when I was a small boy. My father's life was painting, even during meals he would bring the canvases he was working on into the kitchen and sit and eat and look, criticizing his own work. My mother was not always pleased that this was how the family spent mealtime, but she understood his passion."
After graduating from Whittier College with a BA in psychology, Ellenshaw spent three years in the Navy, where he spent extensive tours of Asia and the Pacific as a junior officer. When he got out, in the early 70s, the country was in the throes of a recession and he struggled to find a job. "I remember driving with my father one day," Ellenshaw recalled, "and he said, ‘Well, you know, just for the time being, if you're interested, the matte department at Disney is looking for apprentices.'" The department head at that time was Alan Maley, who had worked as a matte artist with Harrison's father in years past. "So I went and talked to Alan, and we agreed that we'd give it six months."
In doing so, Ellenshaw bravely stepped into his father's shadow at Walt Disney Studios, the very same place where the elder artist established his most enduring legacy. It was there as a matte painter, that Ellenshaw further refined his sensibilities as an artist. And Maley became his lifeline. "Alan became my mentor," Harrison says, "and it was due to his enthusiasm and encouragement that I really got bitten by the film bug. It had been unique growing up having a father who knew and worked for Walt Disney, he was a living legend, an icon. But in a sense I took being in a 'show business family' for granted. It was Alan who showed me what was so special about film, about matte paintings, how your work on shots could be an integral part of telling a story." After about four years, Maley retired. "He told me I could take over as department head," Ellenshaw said. "It usually takes twelve years as a journeyman to become a department head. The studio was a little hesitant and I was scared to death." Maley offered to return to give Ellenshaw a hand if necessary, so he took the job.
Then, Ellenshaw got a life-changing opportunity. "Fate smiled on me, as it had for my father," he said about joining George Lucas's effects studio Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and getting the chance to ply his talents, producing many of the trademark effects backgrounds for both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. At this point, a tale of two Ellenshaws becomes the tale of two separate artists, as the younger Ellenshaw began to really strike out on his own, away from his father's legacy. His work on Star Wars was so well received by critics and fans that he was asked to return to work on The Empire Strikes Back. By this time, having clearly carved a niche for himself, Ellenshaw had no problem working with his father on Disney's "The Black Hole" in 1979, for which both father and son were nominated for an Academy Award (It was then that Ellenshaw changed his name from Peter to Harrison to avoid confusion.).
Flush with success, he then went solo again, adding his unforgettable touch to the cult classic, "Tron," one of the most unique and visually stunning films ever. As the visual effects supervisor, he had the distinction of being the first person to have been given that credit in a film. After work on "Captain Eo," "Superman IV," "Ghost" and other films, Ellenshaw, when he worked on "Dick Tracy," the film that added to his artistic credibility and firmly established him as an elite leader and creative innovator in the field. "The matte paintings were visually the star of that film," he said. "And by then I was doing some fine art painting on my own."
Despite having blazed new trails in the world of major motion pictures and contributing significantly to the look and feel of futuristic, fantastical worlds, Ellenshaw's gallery artwork remains grounded in a lyrical reflection of the real world. It was around the time when he was immersed in the incredibly colorful world of Dick Tracy that an exhibition of Fauve artists came to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Fauve, "wild beasts" in French, was a name given to a group of up-and-coming artists in the 1900s, including Matisse and Derain. The Fauve painters took a traditional art form and began subverting familiar forms and objects and colors, painting familiar objects with startlingly intense, even "wrong," colors, in an attempt to "liberate color."). "Up until this point I had been painting trees with black, gray and brown trunks and green leaves," he said. "And then I came across the Fauves, who were only in existence a few years, and their intense use of color. They had done something I really enjoyed and appreciated. So I began to paint far more colorfully than I had in the past. Today, I enjoy painting as much as ever and I enjoy doing things that are really colorful. The great thing is that now with the giclee process of making prints, you can match the colors perfectly."
One of the commonalities between film and painting is the necessity to establish a third dimension in a two-dimension medium. Ellenshaw has accomplished this illusion deftly and impressively. He brings to his paintings a facile and dynamic use of color reminiscent of the Fauves and Expressionists. With a diverse subject matter and high-key palette, Ellenshaw's landscapes, cityscapes and riverscapes create a new approach to realism. His works have a resonance, and inner radiance fashioned with a brush alive to new possibilities and horizons. His credentials speaks to the enormity of his artistic talents and range as a painter, and his work has been exhibited at the prestigious Hammer Galleries in New York, as well as galleries in London San Francisco, and other galleries throughout the country and internationally.
Lifelong travels abroad in Europe and throughout the Southwest of America have continually expanded Ellenshaw's visual horizons-leading him to the colorful and dynamic works we see today. He is now pursuing his passion for fine art painting. Many works have been created, of both Disney Fine Art and non-Disney themed subjects, which are thought highly collectable.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Harrison Ellenshaw. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Although she did not obtain a formal education in art or receive extra training, Theurer has spent her entire life in pursuit of creative expression. All her studies of the natural world in addition to the works of great artists including the Renaissance masters, the pre-Raphaelites of the late-nineteenth century and modern masters have influenced her work in a way she couldn't imagine getting in a classroom. Born in Virginia and raised in the countryside outside Salt Lake City, Theurer knew she was going to be an artist from the moment she could pick up a pencil. From as early as her pre-school years, she knew that expressing her inner self through art was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. "When my parents asked me at the age of three what I was going to grow up to be, I said, ‘a famous artist.' I've been working at that ever since," she said. "I finally went professional about 18 years ago." From that point of view, life itself became the paint on the brush as well as the driving force behind everything she committed to canvas.
Yet, it was from her own father that she learned one of her most valuable lessons - observe. It was a simple enough concept, but it stuck. Theurer's paintings are the product of decades of observation of people, of environments, of animals and of textiles, as well as the convergence of every piece of knowledge and compassion that came attached to them. The wonder and magic of Disney movies, both the imagery and the music, also helped cultivate her ideas that began to take form in painting. Now, boldly recreating Disney characters in a realistic, evocative way has become an exciting new passion. Lucky for Disney fans.
Themes in her work include religious symbolism, fantasy realism, wildlife, and boldly reimagined Disney characters. Her process in painting is constantly evolving, as she develops and perfects new techniques. Most of her work consists of a multitude layers of paint and glazes (as many as twenty, in some cases) to reach the desired depth and detail that dominates her work. To Theurer, every painting is personal, but not necessarily in the way most might think. "I don't necessarily want the viewer to have the same response to my painting as I have. Instead, my hope is that the expression I paint on the board through hours of observation and execution of detail will speak to them in a way that ignites thoughts and feelings unique to them."
Most of her paintings are constructed in the midst of a bustling family life with five children in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although that poses a multitude of challenges of its own, as a mother to five children, she also somehow finds time to paint for clients like publisher Harper Collins and Hidden City Games. It could be that Theurer may be a new breed of superhero - Loving mother and prolific artist. "My studio is an open, walk-through space in our home, so my kids are always able and welcome to be a part of what I do, although that doesn't necessarily make it easy to accomplish projects. Art is my passion, but my family is my love, so there is a delicate balance that I am always very aware of and that requires specific attention so that I don't mess up what's most important. And sometimes that means putting my art aside. But now that all of them are in school, I do get a few precious quiet hours during the day to focus only on my artwork."
She wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, she says, it is her children who have most shaped her creativity and matured her as an artist over the years. "Life with my children has expanded my view of life and the universe and the eternities in a way that has given my art a new dimension and depth of meaning that wasn't there before I had them... Most of my paintings in some way or another have been inspired by my children. Either by an experience or struggle we were going through, or simply something they said or did that sparked an idea. I've actually snagged some ideas from drawings my 10 year old drew for one of my dragons."
Shared and collected around the world, Theurer's paintings have garnered publicity from USA Today, the LA Times, as well as recognition and awards from respected organizations such as Art Renewal Center, Artist's Magazine and Spectrum, among others. Most exciting, it has garnered contracts with Disney Fine Art and Fantasy Con. When she's not working or tending to her brood, she enjoys painting murals and trompes l'oiel.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the enchanting works of Heather Theurer. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
"Quite simply, Howard Terpning is one of the most lauded painters of Western art. His awards are so numerous and he is honored with them so often, that to list them would require changing the count every few months. To name three would be to cite the highest prizes awarded to Western art: countless awards from the Cowboy Artists of America, the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence, the National Academy of Western Art's Prix de West and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum.
Why such praise. Passion, compassion, devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary talent in palette and brushstroke, an exceptional ability to evoke emotion both in his paintings and from those viewing them
Like her obsession for art, Sheri's love for Disney began at an early age. As a little girl, she formed a connection with Mickey Mouse and, like many children, thought of him as another childhood friend. "It seems to me that we grew up together," she recalls. "I really believed that we were peers." Despite the strong bond she felt with Mickey, Disney items were hard to come by in eastern Europe during that time period, and the relative scarcity of a Disney memorabilia made them very special items. "When I was young, if you had a sticker with Mickey on it, that was considered something fantastic. It was impossible to find them in our stores," Sheri explains. "The only way to get them was as a gift from friends or relatives who were athletes or sailors, since they were able to travel around the world." Luckily for Sheri (and for Disney fans), her friend's father was a sea captain, who one day brought her home a Mickey Mouse sticker from his travels. It was love at first sight. The perfect gift for a little girl with a big imagination and creative drive. She loved it so much, she would often redraw the Mickey Mouse artwork she saw on her sticker. It was at that point that her love for art and Disney came together for the first time. In a beautiful, poetic return to her own youth, Sheri contributes to the Disney Fine Art collection with her whimsical portraits of children immersed in the joyful exploration of their own imaginations, the way young Irene Sheri once did with her own childhood friend, Mickey Mouse.
Born in the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Ukraine to Bulgarian and French parents, Sheri discovered her passion for art as a young girl when her older brother was given a set of paints for his ninth birthday, which she was expressly forbidden to touch. Told that they belonged to her brother and that she was not allowed near them, those paints became an object of desire for her - an obsession, really - until finally she stole them from her brother, mixed them, and painted on everything she could find - paper, walls, on her clothes, and on the bodies of her friends. Only four at the time, Sheri had found her true love. In fact, she quickly grew to be recognized as one of Russia's most gifted young artists and has enjoyed a great many successes.
By now, stories of her enormous success have reached mythic status -
By the time she was nine, and with thousands of hours spent with her paints, Sheri started her art classes at the Belgorod Art School for gifted children, and, at age fifteen, graduated as valedictorian from both her junior high and art school. Since that time through the first two years at the Grecov College of Art in the city of Odessa, Ukraine, the artist entered and won over a dozen juried exhibitions, including a citywide juried "Young Artist of the Year" award during her first year at the junior college and a special "Excellence in Art" award at the end of her second. At age seventeen, Sheri was accepted into the Serov School of Fine Art in St Petersburg, Russia. All paintings and sketches that she created during her years of study at the college are now used by the faculty as samples of brilliant academic and creative achievement.
In 1988, a year after she moved to St Petersburg, Sheri was enrolled in a summer practice at the Museum of Wooden Architecture with a group of other students. On the last day of the semester, all of the art students went to the museum to show their work to the public before delivering them to their professor for grading. The museum curator told tourists that they could purchase any students' work they liked. Soon, all twelve of Sheri's pieces were gone, yet not one piece by the other classmates had been purchased. Envious of her success, those students told Sheri that she was supposed to submit her paintings to the school for grading and that she would probably fail the program, if not be expelled from the college, for not turning in her work. The money she earned, they admonished, certainly would be the last professional earnings she ever made. Undaunted, Sheri rolled up her sleeves and went to work, two days later submitting twelve more paintings and becoming the only student to receive an "A" for her efforts. In 1990, Sheri graduated valedictorian from the Serov College and was asked to stay at the school to teach gifted children, receiving an apartment and studio to work in for her outstanding achievement. Two years later, she into entered one of the most prestigious art schools in the world, the St Petersburg Academy of Art named after Repin. In 2000, her graduation artwork was accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Academy of Art, and the following year, the same painting, "Early Snow," earned Sheri the "Russian State Award for Outstanding achievement in Art or Entertainment," the highest honor an artist can receive in Russia.
Today her award-winning fine art is collected, exhibited and celebrated in a variety of museums and galleries around the world - including France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Russia, and the US - and are featured in the collections of prominent aficionados such as musician Mstislav Rastropovich, ex-St Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, and oil tycoon Leo Vaisberg to name a few. In 2002, Sheri was invited to take part in the all-Russian juried exhibition "Youth of Russia." As has become habit with each time she enters juried exhibitions, Sheri received first prize and special commendations. She appeared at the Roger Yost Gallery in 2008 along with Andrew Atroshenko - another St. Petersburg Academy alumnus - at a special exhibition called "From Russia with Love." Mr. Sheri has a daughter, age twelve, who already showing early signs of a very promising artist.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Irene Sheri. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Born in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Mulligan grew up with his three brothers, Peter, Sam, and Michael, in Los Angeles and Orange County, California, where he attended high school at Capistrano Valley Christian School and the South Orange County High School of the Arts. He first become interested in becoming an artist when he was a little kid, drawing Bible stories for fun. "It was usually David cutting the head off of Goliath or John the Baptist being beheaded. Something really gory. I was clearly a delightful kid."
Mulligan was attending University as a theatre major when he was hired to work in the art department of the Walt Disney Company. Only 18 at the time,"really just a kid," he admits, Mulligan started out in the art department, doing menial work as an associate designer, before moving quickly into painting. His projects included concept design for both characters and theme park shows and attractions. Over the years, he worked on everything from Light Magic to Animazement. He lent his talents in the character headroom, finishing character heads, and in entertainment art, designing photo locations for the resort. Slowly it started to involve more and more into the fine arts side where, Mulligan said, "I honestly was happiest."
Over the past several years, Mulligan has been commissioned to produce original works for prestigious clients such as such as Oscar winner, Richard M. Sherman (composer, Mary Poppins), Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, Holly Madison, Hugh Hefner, Neil Patrick Harris, Chuck Liddell, and many others. Additionally, he spends a great deal of his time creating fine art out of icons such as the Presley estate, Chuck Jones characters, Buck Rogers, and Tarzan. He had the privilege of creating the art direction for Playboy's 2011 spread for Playmate of the Year. He has also been involved with creating a series of fine art pieces for ZORRO, the Broadway Musical, debuting 2012. His solo shows at Planet Hollywood, the Aria and Bellagio properties broke all records for sales for a solo artist. His work is widely sought by collectors, and his work resides in the collections of stars. From large-scale commercial murals to custom finishes for the home, Mulligan's art features the finest in specialty decorative elements and should be a featured part of even the most discriminating collector.
As for the requisite training needed to become an artist, especially at Disney, Mulligan was candid about the effort necessary to reach the top of the food chain. There's no magic formula, no secret or shortcut. Nothing beats hard work. "Draw. Draw. Draw. Paint. Paint. Paint," he advised. "Chuck Jones, one of my great inspirations, used to say, ‘Everybody's got 100,000 bad drawings in ‘em, so it's best to get those out of the way as soon as possible.' I suggest to any young artist to find another artist that really inspires them and try to learn their style, and refine it from there. You'll find your own way. Develop a really keen portfolio, and work on being able to tell the story in the least amount of strokes possible. Character is something that communicates on the most base level, and if you can make emotion come across in your character, that's something that's going to connect people. Disney is always about story, and always has been. So if you can capture a brief shining moment, and communicate both character and story in that instance, you'll be just fine."
The son of actor Richard Mulligan (Soap, Empty Nest), Mulligan's already storied career extends well beyond the canvas to the stage, his first love. As a child, Mulligan acted in several elementary and high school plays. He had just finished the national tour of OLIVER. with Andrea McArdle when he was invited to audition for Saved by The Bell, The New Class. He won the pilot, which spurred a number of television appearances. On stage, his appearances include Jekyll and Hyde, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, and South Pacific. In June, 2009 Mulligan filmed a pilot of his own reality series, The Muralist in Miami, for the Fox Network.
Mulligan currently lives in California, and spends much of his time along the coast, as well as in Las Vegas. When asked about his favorite piece of artwork, a question he compared to "asking what my favorite breath is that I've taken," Mulligan said, "It's whatever the most recent one is that gets me onto the next. But I will say I really love the Dancing on the Rooftops piece that I did in homage to Mary Poppins, as well as the new Frozen stuff. Dancing on the Rooftops is really special, because Dick Van Dyke and Richard Sherman and I all signed the full original addition. Mulligan has had an extensive creative portfolio, including well-received contributions to the Disney oeuvre - Ariel hand-embellished Giclee on Canvas, The Little Mermaid; Chasing Down a Daydreamer hand-embellished Giclee on Canvas, Tangled; Dancing on the Rooftops hand-embellished Giclee on Canvas, Mary Poppins; Dreams Come True, Cinderella; Elvis Stitch hand-embellished Giclee on Canvas, Lilo and Stitch; For Once it Might be Grand, Beauty And The Beast; Girl in Red, Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Jolly Holiday with Minnie hand-embellished Giclee on Canvas; Letting Off Steam, Frozen.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the amazing works of James C. Mulligan. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Inspired by the world's myths, fables and tales of imagination, James C. Christensen wants his work to add up to more than a beautiful - if sometimes "curious" looking work of art. Having taught art professionally for over 20 years, he likes to think of the world as his classroom. His hope is that through whatever he creates - be it a porcelain, fine art print or book - he can convey a message, inspiration or a simple laugh. He believes that teaching people to use their imagination helps us find solutions to sooth the stresses of everyday life - or get a little lift to help us keep going. In short - all things are possible when you share Christensen's philosophy that "Believing is Seeing."
Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California. He studied painting at Brigham Young University and, for a while, the University of California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since then, he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is prized in collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.
The artist has been commissioned by both Time/Life Books and Omni to create illustrations for their publications and his work has appeared in the prestigious American Illustration Annual and Japan's Outstanding American Illustrators. Christensen has also won all the professional art honors the World Science Fiction Convention can bestow, as well as multiple Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
Christensen's fine art now appears as works of art in porcelain, artist-inspired products such as note cards, silk ties and several books - A Journey of the Imagination (1994), the adventure fantasy Voyage of the Basset-adapted for television by Hallmark's Odyssey Channel as the Voyage of the Unicorn, Rhymes and Reasons (1997), Parables (written by Robert Millet, 1999), The Personal Illumination Series and The Personal Illumination Journal (2000), a series of interactive journals and A Shakespeare Sketchbook (2001).
"Life seems to be more complicated than ever. And, all too often, too serious. I use my artwork to ease the burden of everyday stuff. My characters deal with the same problems we all face in what we call 'life.' Their unique point of view helps me put my own problems in perspective with a smile - and hopefully yours. We are all on this journey together and anything we can do to help each other is a good thing." - James Christensen
Coleman didn't need to struggle to find his way to Hollywood; rather, he was born there (in 1949). he began his career with Disney Studios when his mother, who had been working as a secretary with Disney since the Hyperion days, got him a job in the studio's mailroom. His break came when he entered one of his paintings in the studio art show. Several of the company artists, including Ken Anderson, a leading artist and story man for Disney, viewed his work, saw his potential, and realized Coleman had untapped ability. Walt Disney Productions welcomed his energies with open arms. His first film, Winnie, the Pooh and Tigger, too, sparked his interest not only in painting backgrounds but also in design and color styling. After finishing work on The Rescuers, his first feature film, he was promoted to Background Department Supervisor, a position he held for nearly two decades. During that time, he personally hired and trained a select group of artists, whom he would work with for most of his career at Disney. His creative "fingerprints" can be found on a long list of favorites, beginning with that "willy, nilly, silly old bear" and concluding with two nubile young ladies, one who lived under the sea and one who loved a veritable beast. While at Disney, Coleman styled and worked on twelve feature films and over thirty short subjects, including Mickey's Christmas CaroI, The Fox and the Hound, The Great Mouse Detective, The Black Cauldron, and, of course, the Academy Award-winning Beauty and the Beast, all of which came to life with Coleman's background images gracing the silver screen.
"This was a major event for me," said Coleman, recalling the early experiences that led him from the mailroom to the artist chair. "At first, I didn't realize just how major it was. But it literally changed my life. I had no idea what it would lead to." The most common misconception, Coleman says, about Disney is that, given the nature of the work, every day on the job must be entertaining. In truth, when faced with the task of providing entertainment every day of the year through a variety of media, there is no such thing as a holiday. The creative minds behind Disney all strive diligently to achieve that carefree spirit every day. It is extraordinarily hard to continuously be fresh and imaginative year in and year out, especially for devoted fans who return time and again to the theaters or theme parks, expecting a high-quality experience. Coleman has been steeped in the Disney culture, living a Cinderella story that mirrors the rags-to-riches theme so beloved of our cherished Disney classics and prevalent in American mythology. Still, Coleman wouldn't have it any other way. He contributed to something that he long ago decided he wanted to be a part of - "I can remember Walt Disney getting the Academy Award for Mary Poppins and thinking, 'That's what I want to do someday."
Coleman's true passion, however, always was fine art, and he eventually left Disney in order to turn his attention to the canvas full time, devoting all of his effort and talent to his own personal art. He likens this life changing decision to a window needing to be opened - "Windows can be intimidating because you don't know what's out there," he said. "But once you step through it, you're faced with this enormous amount of possibility. I never liked looking at windows directly, because once I see one, I have to go through it."
Of course, Coleman did not stay away from Disney for too long. Eventually he found himself mixing fine art with the Disney characters he had worked with for so many years. Coleman works in oil, watercolor, gouache and pastel. His work is impressionistic and luminous. His pieces intrigue the eye and touch the heart. His paintings are warm, inviting and unique. A master of color, light and design, Coleman has become one of the most collected and sought after artists around the world. Though Coleman favors traditional materials, his work is very non-traditional. Whether you visit galleries in the Far East or closer to home, his work is highly sought after. Perhaps his ability to capture light, that most elusive of prey for artists worldwide, draws viewers in, or maybe we are mesmerized by his signature treatment of captivating images of nature. "One of the teachers in art school said he was going to take us into his studio and show us a brush stroke he had worked his whole life to invent. I just looked at this guy and said to myself - 'This is a bunch of nonsense.' I realized he was intellectualizing something that, in my mind, was a spiritual thing. Painting isn't an intellectual study . . . it comes from the heart," said Coleman, contrasting his formal training with his intuition. "Basically, I see something, store it in my mind and study it. Then, when I get back to the studio, it just comes out... Everything we see is imprinted in our brain. And if we're able to connect with those images, we can call them back and use them."
The more you get to know him, you come to understand his deeply spiritual nature and his humble approach to life. Many find Coleman's spiritual devotion to be the most compelling component of his art. In a recent discussion, Coleman clarified his faith-based approach. He views himself in a partnership with God, seeking to create more than "just... a pretty painting." The creative process may at first be a function of executing a technique or strategy, but at some point it evolves so "that part of your heart and soul become the most important element in a painting." His frank revelation of his spiritual connection as he paints enhances our understanding of his work.
Today, Coleman continues to illuminate the art world with his vibrant colors, gentle moods, powerful design, and exquisite detail. His work is known for its calming feelings and dynamic colors, much of his work exploring the beauty of nature, as he has frequently painted wooded and tropical landscapes as well as seascapes. Many of Coleman's most stunning seascapes are not inspired by the West Coast Sea, as one may guess by looking at his birthplace. Instead, they are inspired by the Hawaiian Islands, one of this favorite places to relax and create (Coleman first started visiting Hawaii as an escape from work, but eventually, he couldn't resist the impulse to paint the beautiful scenery). Paintings like Aloha Spirit, Island Memories, and Paradise, which utilize stunning blends of blues, pinks, and greens, exemplify the relaxed feeling of a Hawaiian paradise. Many of Coleman's latest paintings could be classified as Romantic Impressionism. These works contain beautiful hues, and although they are classic in technique, they are innovative and original in style and cover a variety of themes. Some of these works even take a slightly abstract vantage point. Coleman's wonderful sense of color and ability to translate emotion into image molded his professional career as a fine artist. The contribution made by Coleman to the world of art over some thirty years, both in film and fine art, makes him one of the most collected and celebrated artists in contemporary art. As a result, his paintings are some of the most valuable works of contemporary fine art in the world. In fact, his pieces can be found in many fine, personal, and corporate collections including that of the Disney family. His work is represented by some of the most prominent and respected galleries in North America, the Orient and the Hawaiian Islands. Many of his backgrounds are available to buy as prints, while some of his Disney-related work has been made as original works.
Coleman is an avid environmentalist involved with many environmental agencies, including the National Parks. As you might expect, he also enjoys painting nature and spending time relaxing in outdoors. He has been a finalist for five years in the Arts for the Parks competition.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the magnificent works of James Coleman. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Salvati, an American painter of contemporary figurative fine art and one of a select group of painters for Disney Fine Art, has demonstrated plenty of those two attributes, and he most certainly has "made it" by art world standards. "I'm very fortunate to have this career. My future plans are to build my career. I am very passionate and excited by my work now more then ever. All I think about is art and creating it. I'm in a really good place. I want to expand on new ideas and images and I don't like complacency. I produce a lot of work." In fact, he has been painting and designing for a Who's Who of the entertainment and advertising business for over two decades. More recently, he was the master illustrator and conceptual artist behind many of the memorable images and finished paintings associated with the "Harry Potter" films. He's been a prolific artist for movie studios and theaters, with a client list that includes Disney, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Queen Mary, Radio City Music Hall, Castle Theater, Fox Pictures, Arena Stage, the Ahmanson Theater, and Verve Records, to name a few. He won the Washington Post award of excellence for his work with the Kennedy Center Honorees. In addition to all of this, Salvati has also found the time to illustrate books The War of the Worlds, Art of War and Frankenstein.
But beyond his pronounced gift for being able to take ideas and thematically bring it to visual reality, his greatest talent lies in his artistic development skills. He has been associated with many different artists devoted to growing their creative abilities. For more than two decades, he has been teaching at his alma mater, a gig he's found just as rewarding and inspiring as painting. "I love teaching, and students respond to my style because I'm so down to earth," he says. As a byproduct of his years as an instructor is his strong connection to artistic diversity as well as a careful observation of the changing world of art and how art interrelates with technology. His experience and knowledge cross many boundaries into print, film, animation, and the fine arts.
Salvati grew up surrounded by art and architects - his mother painted and his father filled the house with works by his favorite artists. He also had two uncles that were artists, "one a fine artist and the other an architect, and he always remembers seeing their art and photography and was amazed at the beauty of what they had created." His southern California influence is also prevalent in his work. The ocean, surfing and the movie studios are all a major part in his life and career. Due to his uncle's influence, Salvati initially pursued a career in architecture once out of high school. However, he soon learned that the field wasn't all it was cracked up to be. "I learned that architecture was not as glamorous as I though it would be. An instructor noticed my frustration and saw that I could draw. He recommended that I take some drawing classes." Shortly after this, he was accepted to art school and the rest is history. Once out of school, Salvati's career took off. His unique style and unbridled talent, allowed him to hit the ground running, and he began painting for various industries including feature film, the surf industry, advertising and publishing. Salvati particularly enjoys painting for the theater.
He describes his own style as "painterly realism," and his favorite subjects are people. Ask him about a painting, and he will give you the subject's entire personal narrative. "Even with my Disney art, I think it's important to show who a person or character is and what is the most interesting part of their life the part that is bold and has guts. Perhaps that is why I choose the moodiest and edgiest figures to work on. Cult films like Alice in Wonderland are fun, Fantasia's hallucinating imagery, and any of the evil, dark queens and princesses help to create more than just a pretty picture." Individual personality and boldness can be observed in the scenes that Salvati chooses to depict. They are often not only a defining moment of a film, but usually the most climactic, emotionally charged and sometimes devastating - Bambi alone in the woods, the Huntsman with Snow White, and Scar leaving Simba in the canyon, all turning points in the story, when the lead character had to reveal his "guts" or courage. Salvati sees his creations as portals into various cultures and different areas of society. "I like the connection between people and their culture," he offers. "The different emotions, gestures, moods, environments, and style of people in my life and those that I cross paths with, all become part of my storytelling.
Working in oil paint, Salvati uses panel and sometimes mounted paper, preferring the option of layering paint to create a lot of texture, as he feels that an uneven surface adds to the emotion of the story. "My paintings are extremely thick and layered and oil allows me the time I need to play with the color," he says, explaining the intricacies of his art. "I work in oil, alkyds on canvas or wood, and gouache or graphite on paper... My color palette is never the same. It always changes with my ideas and subjects. Mood and atmosphere usually dictate my palette. Patience is not one of my good traits. I need to see things finished and paint "combat" style in long stretches of time to complete a piece." Indeed, it is his palette of oils that has inspired Salivate to search out a new look, which has energized his love of the old painters in conjunction with the great Walt Disney Studios.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the captivating works of Jim Salvati. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.appreciation.
Art has dominated Shore's life, from the time he's spent traveling around the world to his return to the rural South Carolina town where he grew up. The son of artists, Shore credits his parents for having the greatest influence on his life, imparting an appreciation of art especially the traditional American folk art imagery that populates his work. "They always encouraged me to be artistic," he said. "That's probably because my father was a master woodworker and my mother sculpted and created beautiful paintings on wood. They never gave me formal training in art, but I was always very quick to pick up any artistic endeavors, from stained glass and goldsmithing to portrait painting and wood carving." It was the folk art his parents introduced him to that continues to influence his work. "Folk art has a certain rhythm and syncopation, and most people get some sort of satisfaction and pleasure from that. I also like that it's so versatile and works in various settings - its lack of proportion makes it almost abstract. And I like the way you can create a motif by combining so many different elements."
Shore also credits his grandmother, a master quilter, for instilling an appreciation for the patience and skill required to bring intricate artistic designs to life. Drawing inspiration from these roots, Shore marries traditional imagery drawn from quilting and a variety of folk art forms to develop a rich design style, adding his signature color palette to express his distinct artistic voice. "There's an innocence, a purity in the designs found in early American art, particularly in quilts. These were masterpieces designed by artists driven to create. I collect quilts dating back over 150 years and when I look at the level of skill and creativity I am constantly amazed. It's high art from everyday, often humble surroundings." When pushed to explain his affect for the aesthetics of quilting, Shore elaborates - "It's honest. Women, sometimes living in harsh conditions, went back to their European roots and emulated how this art was accomplished. They weren't in it for fame and fortune, but wanted to create something that would be pleasing and functional at the same time. From simple white-on-white trapunto to luxurious fabric designs, quilts have meaning and tell a story that is handed down through generations."
A born storyteller, Shore lets his art speaks louder than words, sculpting tales through an ever-expanding world of characters and designs. Inspired by nostalgia for his bucolic Southern roots and his fascination with the intricate design of patchwork quilts, Shore has fashioned a world of fantasy with his charming polyresin creations. He also designs decorative accents for home and garden, including lamps, wall hangings, weathervanes, birdhouses, statues, and more. Each design works with nearly any décor, from American country to contemporary.
Shore's unmistakable style appears in an endless variety of themes and formats and media, utilizing his skills as a portraitist, sculptor and folk artist to create his unique and creative collections. He has painted in a wide range of media including watercolor and egg tempura. Shore also has perfected his technique in silver and gold-smithing, wood carving, stained glass, furniture making and stone sculpture. It is precisely this diverse background and extensive training that has enabled Shore to become an accomplished and prolific artist, having created partnerships with Enesco, Disney, The Wizard of Oz, and even Peanuts, among others. He has created portraits for the governments of both North and South Carolina. As the creator of the popular pencil Santa line, Shore changed the look of Santa Claus in the early 1990s. In 2001 he partnered with Enesco to create Heartwood Creek, the brand that brought Jim worldwide acclaim. His current collection combines tabletop and figurines to create a appealing and inventive American country decor. Other collections include Shore Lights and Garden Sense. His artwork also can be found in the collections of corporations and universities across the United States.
Though he began exploring artistic inclinations at a young age, success, however, did not find Shore overnight. He studied engineering and earned a degree in business. Early on, he supported his young family as an engineer, pursuing his art as a passionate but profitless avocation. He spent decades honing his skills as a sculptor and painter in his spare time, before eventually turning his full attention to art, both manufacturing his own designs and traveling the country to sell his work. It was Shore's single-minded devotion to art that helped him persevere despite several false starts and financial setbacks. After founding his own business, Designs Americana, to manufacture and market his designs, he discovered just how challenging it would be achieve success the art world. "We went to our first show with just a few pieces and no real plan for how we'd ship any orders we got," said Shore. "We didn't have a factory or a warehouse or a staff. It was pretty much a wish in one hand and hope in the other. Luckily we made the right contacts and it all worked out."
Good fortune aside, his talent and drive were unassailable. Within three years Designs Americana had over 350 employees and more orders than they could fill. In fact, the demands of managing Designs Americana made it difficult for Shore to concentrate on his art. "I needed to focus exclusively on the creative and artistic elements of my work, and that meant finding the right business partner to handle the three piece suit side of the things." There was no better partner than Enesco, a worldwide leader in marketing gifts, collectibles and decorative accessories. In 2001 Shore and Enesco entered an agreement to create the line of folk-art inspired accessories that has brought him world-wide fame, Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore. While working with Enesco Shore continued to develop his unique style, combining elements of folk art with a vibrant color palette applied to traditional themes. "The most rewarding thing about creating my collection," Shore said, "is that it is continually evolving and exciting. It's not character driven. There's always room for one more idea - another work in progress." Taking designs derived from quilting, rosemaling, appliqué and flat perspective folk art, Shore creates an authentic new work of art rooted in a shared heritage dating back multiple generations. "I can't imagine myself ever tiring of this," he said of the endless, distinctive combination of themes and motifs, "I create multiple designs within each new piece, a combination of basic structure and elements that keep the eye and mind moving. It creates an energy that keeps me inspired."
Besides, Enesco, Shore's widespread popularity is due, in no small part, to his partnership with Disney. His original design style applied to iconic Disney characters has made Disney Traditions by Jim Shore one of the most successful co-branded lines in the gift and home decor industry. "I'm extremely proud of my association with Disney," Shore said of their relationship. "I can't think of a more important name in American popular culture, it's a privilege to be linked with that kind of tradition." In fact, this partnership has resulted in more than $100 million at retail sales and has put his art in Disney parks and fine retailers throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. "Above all, when people look at my work or choose a particular piece, I want them to get joy from it. I get e-mails and letters from people who tell me that one of my pieces symbolizes an important moment in their life—sometimes happy, sometimes quite sad. This is very inspiring to me."
After so many years, Shore's commercial and financial success has reached plateaus once thought impossible for contemporary artists. His designs are found in more than 25,000 stores across the globe. He is the top-selling artist on television sales giant QVC with over 360,000 individual consumers. More than 100,000 consumers search the Internet each month in search of Jim Shore products. In 2012 Jim and Enesco marked the 10th Anniversary of Heartwood Creek, celebrating a longtime partnership that has thrilled millions and produced over $1.2 billion in retail sales. Despite his success, Shore still personally designs each piece of his Heartwood Creek and Disney Traditions collections while exploring exciting new creative directions and media. His latest projects include an exclusive new collection of garden, home and holiday designs for DIY/Home retailer Lowe's, a line of seasonal decor with industry leader Bethlehem Lights, and a new collection of jewelry and accessories based on his art. It's an enormous creative load, combined with a travel schedule that includes over fifty appearances a year. Of course, Shore wouldn't have it any other way. "I thrive on the diversity," he said. "And I love what I do. But the most rewarding thing I do is get out and meet the people I work for, people that share an enthusiasm for what I do. For an artist there is no higher compliment."
Despite his colossal success, Shore has no plans to slow down, insisting he still has a wealth of creative ideas and many projects waiting further exploration. His plans for the future include designing tapestry, dinnerware, cards, and calendars, so even more people can enjoy his work in different forms. In short, he continues to produce art for one simple reason - He loves it. Financial and commercial success are ancillary benefits to a life spent pursuing his passions. To those who want to know the secret to his success, Shore admonishes - "The last thing an artist should pursue is the dollar sign. This is not a yardstick to success. I use my talent with passion. When you put love and caring into a work, you succeed. It has to come straight from the heart."
Shore is one of the most celebrated working artist who has received extensive accolades lauding his work, both locally and internationally, including -
NALED Artist of the Year 2003, 2004 and 2005
NALED Rising Star 2002
NALED Christmas Collectible of the Year 2003 and 2005
NALED Christmas Décor of the Year 2004 and 2005
ICON HONORS Life Accomplishment Award 2012
NALED Christmas Décor of the Year 2004 and 2005
NALED Christmas Collectible of the Year 2003 and 2005
NALED Artist of the Year 2003, 2004 and 2005
NALED Rising Star 2002
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of collectibles by renowned artists, including the heartfelt works of Jim Shore. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Born in Pasadena, CA, Rowe was a creative child who drew constantly. He received his formal art training at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and soon moved to New York City to work in the publishing and advertising, beginning his career as an illustrator. During his career, his paintings have appeared on movie posters (including a well-regarded poster for the movie "Miracle"), books, billboards, magazines and advertisements throughout the country and around the world. Seeking an additional outlet for his creative vision, Rowe began his Horse Series, bringing together equine beauty and power with emotions of the human spirit. When the publishers of Walter Farley's The Black Stallion saw Rowe's work, they were inspired to re-issue this classic series, commissioning twenty-four new paintings by John for the covers. He has also been part of the rerelease of the books of Marguerite Henry. Most notably, his limited editions of interpretive Disney art are some of the fastest selling images at Disney World and Disneyland. Some of his most popular dramatic pieces include Fathoms Below (The Little Mermaid) ; Wondering (Alice In Wonderland); and Belle's Search (Beauty and the Beast).
In addition to his prodigious output for Disney Fine Art, Rowe has sustained an active, successful painting career for more than two decades, fashioning original art and oil paintings for both illustration and fine art clients. Having worked with fans of his art throughout the United States and around the world, his long list of distinguished clients includes the United Nations, Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Buena Vista Pictures. Beyond movie posters and book covers, his wide-ranging projects have encompassed murals and fine art paintings for clients and collectors from across the country. He is a past president of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and former Artist in Residence for La Canada schools as well as a college art instructor. Rowe also has pursued various illustration projects and has worked on a series of paintings of his own vision at his studio is in La Canada, CA, where he lives with his wife and two children.
"My artwork is meant to recall the beauty, majesty and mystery of the life we live, and the world we live it in," Rowe said. "Painting the small delicacy of the light on a child's face, or the overwhelming power and grace of the sky at sunrise, is my attempt to capture some of that wonder. Through my work I hope to remind you and myself how truly wonderful, complex, and vivid life is. Whether we are looking into the eyes of someone we love, or struggling just to breath, life is a priceless gift."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the exquisite works of John Rowe. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Judy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art from Pacific Union College in Northern California, then spent the next 17 years as a commercial artist, illustrator and art director.
In 1988, influenced by her love of nature and animals, Judy devoted her time to wildlife art. Her primary focus in each of her paintings is the animal, with the horse as a recurring subject.
Her unique approach to her work is through the use of scratchboard - a technique that can render magnificent detail but one requiring infinite patience.
Scratchboard, an old, but little used medium, consists of a smooth, thin surface of hardened China Clay applied to a board. The subject is then painted solidly with black India ink to create a silhouette, and a working sketch (using white chalk) is made onto the dark silhouette.
Now the exacting work begins, engraving the image into the surface of the artwork. While many artists use steel nibs or engraving tools, Judy prefers to work with x-acto blades, changing them every few minutes to produce as fine a line as possible. Once the subject has been totally scratched, it is a finished black and white illustration, ready for the artist to add color. The methods of adding color are diverse. Judy prefers a combination of air-brush, gouache or acrylics for finishing with frequent rescratching for detail.
Scratchboard is a demanding medium, one that Judy has used masterfully in developing her unique approach to wildlife art.
June has recieved numerous awards for her California landscapes and coastal scenes, including the Arts for the Parks Region II Award in 1997 and 1998. Like many Californians, June started out on the East Coast. As a teenager, she came to California. In the 1980s Carey found herself painting desert scenes and became known for this, and participating in a lot of Western art shows and competitions. Then she met her husband David Thimgan, a historical Marine artist. The two began to enjoy frequent trips to the beautiful northern California coast together and before long June began painting vineyards as well as water.
"A large part of what drives me to paint is a passion to create a place I want to be. No place on earth is more inviting to me than the wine country of Northern California. The vineyards I paint become mine." - June Carey
June is a Fellow in the American Society of Marine Artists and an Artist Member of the Californian Art Club.
Nature has intrigued Larissa since she was a young child in Massachusetts. Her love and curiosity of the natural world has inspired her to try and capture its inherent beauty in some artistic form. Early on in school she neglected her traditional studies to paint, sketch, and sculpt. She really never seemed to please her teachers. She always chafed at the traditional definition of art and constantly argued with her instructors.
After junior college Holt decided to pursue a career in commercial art while fulfilling her desire to produce fine art. The next two years provided her with the time to develop her personal style, learn technical skills, and prepare for her art career.
In the years between 1984 and 1986 she traveled extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Holt wanted to visit the most pristine areas of North and South America to amass a portfolio of scenery for her artistic studies.
In the spring of 1986, Holt and her husband decided to relocate to Monterey, CA. Upon her arrival she immediately began establishing herself as an illustrator and graphic designer. She illustrated for Monterey Life Magazine, Coast Weekly and several smaller publications.
In 1988, Holt was hired by Eyvind Earle, a noted Disney artist, as an assistant serigrapher and chromiste for his Monterey studio. While there she had the opportunity to learn all facets of fine art serigraphy from Mr. Earle. Holt and Earle had a relationship that transcended the traditional employer and employee relationship. He took the time to mentor her and teach her the methods he learned as a Disney artist and painter.
In 1989 Holt left Earle's Studio to concentrate her energies on her own art and was offered a publishing contract with Chris Lewis Fine Art (son of noted comedian Jerry Lewis). Holt was hired to produce her own work and to work with noted Cubist, Neal Doty. She was the chromiste responsible for the production of his fine art serigraphs. Soon thereafter, Holt began creating and producing her own fine art serigraphs in the CLFA studio. Her first serigraph, "Island Cypress," was released in October of 1990 and was featured in many prominent national galleries - Chabot Galleries, Coast Galleries, Austin Galleries, NY Art Expo, and many more venues throughout the country.
In 1991, Chris Lewis Fine Art closed its doors and Holt was hired to create Coast Serigraphics for Coast Galleries of Pebble Beach. Holt and her husband (a noted printer himself) were hired to create a print studio to produce serigraphs for the Henry Miller Centennial Collection. Holt separated and created each serigraph edition under the guidance of Miller's son Tony Miller. After completing the contract for the collection Holt moved to central Oregon where she created her own publishing company, Holt Creative Arts and Holtart Publishing. In 1992 after tiring of the gallery scene she began a career as a self-publishing artist.
In 1995, Holt and her husband opened their own gallery in Eugene, Oregon to offer affordable art at affordable prices. At the same time she began attending Linfield College to complete the degree she abandoned earlier in her life. After finishing her BA in 2001 she made the decision to concentrate on motherhood and decided to pull away from gallery art to raise her two wonderful daughters and paint privately.
For the next seven years she practiced her skills and sold originals directly to a small list of ardent collectors. In late 2008 she was approached to sell her originals online. As an advocate of making art available to everyone she began releasing limited edition giclee images to be reproduced for sale. After 5 highly successful years, over 25 editions, and countless originals, Holt has proved herself as a printmaker, painter, illustrator and publisher. She has won multiple awards for printmaking, illustration, has been featured on television, and has had both solo and group exhibitions in Seattle, Centralia, Portland, Florence, Eugene, New York, Big Sur, Pebble Beach, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Denver.
Holt's most recent endeavors have included numerous private and corporate commissions, book illustrations and the creation of serigraphs, block prints, and highly collectable pen and inks.
His deep personal belief as a Christian is the driving force which guides Larry's life and work. In his paintings, Larry captures not only the physical beauty of the great outdoors, but also the spiritual sense of perfection he views as the handiwork of God's creation. This is why each of his paintings carries a related Bible verse below his signature. When Larry became a full time artist, he was impressed to put a scriptural notation on each of his paintings. It's an expression of what Larry thinks the true answer to life is.
A native Texan, Larry began painting professionally in 1976. His first lithographs were released two years later and today he has produced more than 100 limited edition prints. Larry's art has hung in the White House and in the homes of such distinguished personalities as Steve Allen, Shirley Jones, Vincent Price and Billy Graham. His work has also hung in the Vatican. At the personal request of Pope John Paul II, Larry painted Sharing the Faith , a tribute to the long and important role of the Church in America. Larry has also made a name for himself among golfers painting America's most beautiful courses.
Yet even with all the accolades for his original art as well as the immense demand for his Limited Edition prints, Larry Dyke continues to reach inside to strive for the excellence he sees in the natural world around him. He believes his life and career have been guided by a commitment to his faith. It has instilled in him a determination to develop his talent to the fullest.
Bogle found teaching art in junior and senior high schools a rewarding career for 20 years. "I enjoyed the drawing and painting classes, and I used those years to experiment in the classroom, so that I could pass the things I learned on to my students," he says. "At the same time, I was developing my own painting career, and in essence, working two full time jobs."
When illness struck, he was forced to take a leave of absence from the classroom for a year. "During that sabbatical, I could focus my full attention on being an artist rather than being a teacher by day and a painter by night. It was during that period that I discovered and explored techniques that I employ even today in my work," he continues.
For the past years, his hauntingly beautiful images of Native American women have intrigued a growing number of collectors who eagerly await each new release. The artist appreciates the natural world and his subjects' expressions convey an inner peace, a tranquility of the spirit.
"My studio, which is my home, is my inspiration," he comments. "Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in, so that I feel I am part of the seasons. We live on a heavily wooded lot, and our trees are home to countless birds. Because I'm surrounded by nature, it seems natural to apply my watercolor with weeds and thistles."
Bogle's skills lie in this kind of ingenuity as well as in his technical ability. Vivid, realistic detail is juxtaposed with abstraction; media is mixed courageously to create the ultimate effect. Few artists employ such an extensive range: watercolor wash that forms the base; then charcoal, oil, pastels, airbrush, and at times even pencil all work together under his masterful direction. From this careful combination of media is achieved some of the most admired work in the contemporary art world.
After making her entry into the business as an art intern at Pixar Animation Studios, she quickly transitioned into her current role as a Visual Development Artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
As a visual development artist for Disney, her conceptual artwork has been extremely influential in the visual direction of films such as The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, and Wreck-it Ralph. Lorelay is also known for providing the illustrations for the Little Golden Book The Princess and the Frog title, as well as Toy Story - Ride 'em Cowboy. Her work is also featured on the cover of The Art of Wreck-it Ralph.
Her work is often compared to the work of Disney Legend Mary Blair, although Lorelay confesses that she did not become aware of Ms. Blair's work until her college years. Her own visual signature and style had already been well established for many years at that point, however, she finds the comparison flattering. "It's quite a compliment." she says.
Sabzi's early works were primarily realistic, exploring the historical and cultural themes of his homeland. His departure from Iran during the Khomeini regime brought him to Germany and then the United States. This exile provided him the opportunity to explore new artistic influences.
Sabzi's subjects are almost always women - beautiful, graceful, taciturn and melancholy; they reflect love, mystery and solitude. His women are Madonnas, modern goddesses and martyred saints whose elongated forms suggest instability and internal conflict. According to Sabzi, their anonymous faces make them into religious icons that transcend and defy the demands of reality; reflecting warmth, charm, happiness, and his undisputed love and admiration for women.
His paintings resonates both Eastern and Western philosophies. His rich Persian heritage provides him with ancient images, sentimental Persian themes and memories of innocence. He draws from the Western influence of modernism found in the works of Klee, Cezanne, Matisse and Bonnard.
His debt to modernism, especially to Matisse, is irrefutable. Earthy hues of pale greens, yellows, purples and reds illuminate the settings and inspire the forms with unique inner vibrations. Though schematic, the treatment of the human face as luminous geometric planes is a profound statement of the artist's quest for spirituality.
Sabzi goes beyond Matisse and creates spatially-revolving, post-modern worlds. Images reflected in mirrors assume a life of their own. The effect is a powerful multiplicity of emotional representation. Here the fantastic is treated as ordinary and the rich fabrics of the paintings resonate intimacy.
An accomplished abstract painter, Sabzi's passion for the spiritual is represented in the open spaces, symbolism and intricate patterns that make up the backgrounds of his compositions; Sabzi Juxtaposes the complex feelings, body language and attitudes of his predominantly female figures against a backdrop of shapes and forms in space.
Long before he became well-known for his notable contributions to Disney, Hernandez was a skilled and respected artist known for his meticulous attention to detail and unbridled artistic passion, the hallmark to his much-beloved paintings. Citing renowned contemporary artists such as J. C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell, and Norman Rockwell as influences of his style, Hernandez honed his talents, sharpening his skills with pen and brush to a level of mastery that should satisfy even the most discerning critic on his way to becoming a celebrated, highly coveted illustrator.
Traditionally trained and armed with both years of study and a relentless drive for perfection, Hernandez, a southern California native, assimilated the powerful style of muralist Diego Rivera into his work, which, when blended with his illustrative technique, helped to create the unique, expressive artwork for which he has become famous. When asked to employ his formidable talents in service of the storied traditions of Disney illustration and animation, Hernandez set about to create a fresh perspective on timeless classics by utilizing modern themes made famous by those early illustrative influences. With an deft, artful touch that both traditionalists and newcomers can appreciate, Hernandez lent some of his own well-trod perspective to the art of Disney, imbuing each scene with themes of Americana. In doing so, he created a unique blend of internationally beloved classic characters and styles that have inspired him throughout his whole life.
In fact, the idealism and romance of the American 1950s is the back drop of some of Hernandez's most well-regarded Disney pieces. Using the clean lines and muted color palettes that influenced the styles and designs of that era, Hernandez set about to create a powerful homage to this iconic period in American history. Each piece in our collection showcases timeless, classic Disney characters, as they revel in the pristine environments and exquisite colors and textures of the age - Classic cars shining with the beautiful gleam of a fresh paint job. The sparkle of polished chrome. The black-and-white checkered malt shop (with neon glowing jukebox). The shimmer of a blue velvet curtain as it parts to welcome Jessica Rabbit to the stage for a sultry ballad. These kinds of images help bring us back to a gentler, less complicated time, while celebrating Hernandez's unique artistic representation of classic Disney characters. We proudly invite you to enjoy the marvelous stories and magnificent detail that Hernandez has masterfully infused into each of his paintings - each brilliantly intricate, yet delightfully uncomplicated in its style and grace. His stunning artwork is now available to purchase online.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the exquisite works of Manny Hernandez. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Grelle was born when his family lived on a small farm in Central Texas, which he still calls home today. This beautiful and historic area has become a mecca for artists, including many of Grelle's close friends. They all enjoy getting together to "talk art", critique each other's work, and exchange ideas. Many of them, including Grelle, teach annual workshops through a local art facility known as the Bosque Conservatory, which has begun to have a national presence. Grelle treasures this feeling of community and the opportunities he is afforded living in such a creative environment.
The artist's talents were evident as a child and he began painting at an early age. Luckily for the budding painter, acclaimed Western artists James Boren and Melvin Warren had settled in the same area while he was in school. With excellent guidance from James Boren, a full-time artist was born in his early twenties. Since then, Grelle has studied and traveled widely to seek subject matter for his work. Working primarily in oils on canvas, the artist's figures and landscape become one in a painterly style rich in vibrant color and narrative.
For more than 30 years Grelle has made a career of his art, and has won awards of both regional and national importance. In 1995, he was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America, and he is one of the younger active members. He is currently serving his second term on the board of directors for that organization, and participates in the Annual CAA Exhibition and Sale at the Phoenix Art Museum each October. Grelle won the CAA People's Choice Award in 2002, for his painting Monarchs of the North, and the Ray Swanson Memorial Award in 2008, for his painting Newlyweds. He has also been privileged to participate in other major juried shows across the United States. Included in that list are the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which he has participated in each year since 1995, the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center, and the inaugural Quest for the West Exhibition & Sale at the Eiteljorg Museum. Awards of merit include the Prix de West Purchase Award, which he won in 2002 for his painting Teller of Tales, and again in 2005, for his painting Two Coups, making him one of only 6 artists to have won the top award twice. Grelle has also won twice the Nona Jean Hulsey Ramsey Buyer's Choice Award at Prix de West, first in 2004 with Signs Along the Snake, and again in 2006, for Dust in the Distance.
The artist has been profiled in a number of publications, including the magazines Art of the West, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Western Art and Architecture, Persimmon Hill, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, Wild West, and InformArt. His work has also been showcased on the covers of many of these publications.
Grelle says humbly, "I thank God for the ability and the opportunities He has given me, and I hope I can continue to grow and learn more with each finished painting. I am honored by everyone who collects my work, and I will always strive to create artwork worthy of their attention, and their investment."
Mary's new work attracted corporate advertising and editorial clients. Some of them include Ogilvy and Mather, BBD and O, Whittle Communications, The Richards Group, Neenah Paper, Atlantic Monthly Magazine, Random House, Berkley, Penguin, Dell and McGraw Hill publishers. Recently, she was featured on the cover of Time Magazine for her work with the Harry Potter Series and also worked as a visionary in the environment/scenery development in Dreamworks animated film Antz.
Mary's work has received national recognition through awards received from The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphics, Print and Art Direction. Her work was chosen among thousands of illustrators to be on the cover of Showcase 16, and an article was written about her "conceptual editorial assignments" in Step-by-Step Graphics. Communications Arts Magazine has also done a "career retrospective" article in their January/February 200 edition.
Additionally, Mary has now illustrated six beautiful children's books and is at work on the seventh. Her book illustration possesses highly personalized lyrical story interpretations and has received very favorable reviews in the national press for her delightfully stunning illustrations.
It all started in the little town of Lugansk in Ukraine, 1969. An early starter, Mr. Garmash began painting at the age of three. By age six he started his formal education at the Lugansk Youth Creative Center. Recognizing rare, natural talent, his teachers sent his works to a variety of exhibitions in the then Soviet Union.
An award winning artist from the onset, Mr. Garmash received first prizes at several juried exhibitions, including the Lugansk Regional Juried Exhibition-1977 (Best Poster), the Czechoslovakian International Youth Competition-1978, and the Hungarian International Art Competition of Circus Related Art-1978.
After graduating, valedictorian from the Lugansk State Fine Art College in 1987, Mr. Garmash began teaching there the following year. From 1989 to 1991, he served in the army (when he met his wife and partner, Inessa) and in 1992 began studying at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. Prior to graduating at the top of his prestigious school's class, Mr. Garmash exhibited in France at galleries in cities such as Paris, St. Etienne, Avignon, Lion and Marcel.
Mr. Garmash also took part in the annual Exhibitions in St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition to painting, he has also excelled in the creation of stained-glass windows and received an honorary medal for his work in the Suvorov Military Museum in St. Petersburg.
Ms. Garmash, born Inessa Kitaichik in 1972 Lipetsk, Russia, has excelled in the arts since early childhood. Proving herself in ballet, gymnastics and music, Ms. Garmash attended classes in all three disciplines and, after graduating from music and ballet school, entered the Lugansk Fine Art School at age fifteen. At seventeen she was accepted as that year's best undergraduate to the Lugansk State Fine Art School.
Today, Mr. and Mrs. Garmash are considered two of the finest Romantic Impressionists of our day. Their incredible talent is only matched by their love and career stories. In similar fashion to the determination of his artwork, Mr. Garmash courted his future wife, after seeing her for but a moment, by painting her image all over her hometown while she slept. She immediately recognized the passion with which this man cared so dearly and married him shortly thereafter.
The Garmashs began their artistic collaboration in much the same way. Several years after their marriage, Mr. Garmash began a painting of their two-year old daughter, Polina, for a project at school. However, Polina found the painting during her father's absence and decided to embark upon her own artistic career. Ms. Garmash, after seeing what her daughter had done and not wanting her husband to be upset, fixed the painting using her own training, packed it up and gave it to him for submission. Mr. Garmash submitted the painting for review and was praised for completing his best work ever. He was surprised to see the "new" painting and immediately recognized his wife's hand. They have painted together every since.
Born and raised in New Jersey, the oldest of four children in a large Italian family, St. Laurent discovered her life's ambition at a young age. Inspired by Italian Renaissance painters Michelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci, she began painting at the age of six and asked for a new paint set on every birthday. And she had talent to accompany her creative drive. In first grade, she submitted a painting of all the Disney characters marching in a parade for an elementary school poster contest. However, the judges disqualified her because they could not believe she had done the painting by herself without tracing. Though she was disappointed by the injustice, it confirmed her talent and fueled her determination to become an artist. She commenced to filling sketchbooks in order to develop her craft, and began experimenting with pastels - drawing portraits of singers and movie stars. As poetic justice, she eventually won first place in a local art show, and her piece was displayed in the town's City Hall.
When her family moved to Florida at the age of 16, St. Laurent made it her ambition to become a Disney Artist, doing everything possible in her power to make her dream come true. She worked in the Magic Kingdom throughout high school, then attended the Art Institute in Ft. Lauderdale, majoring in Advertising and Design. During college, she produced artwork for night clubs and radio stations. Continuing to fill her sketch books and grow as an artist, St. Laurent began working as a scenic artist for theme parks and production companies, painting murals, show sets and props. Pre-Disney, she also worked to create art for Sea World in Orlando, and her murals can be seen throughout the park.
St. Laurent began painting for the Disney Galleries in 1998, where she trained, worked, and was inspired by Disney legend Ralph Kent for the first six years. After accruing enough years of experience, St. Laurent was hired by Disney Design Group, where she has spent the last decade dreaming up and creating a wide variety of artwork for Disney's Theme Park Merchandise and special events and projects. Over the years, she has evolved into a true Disney artist and fan favorite, her enormous talents blossoming with each piece. Her fine art has been featured at Disney World and Disneyland, Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, at the exclusive Disney's Festival of the Masters, Magic Kingdom's 999 Happy Haunts Event, Disneyana Conventions and Disney Cruise Line, and in galleries around the world. St. Laurent has never been more creatively inspiring or more popular with Disney fans. "What makes Michelle St. Laurent so successful is how she mixes traditional and pop art aesthetics in watercolors for her gallery works while at the same time becoming the go-to gal for official art used in projects inside the studio," explains one gallery owner. "Few artists can find that balance, and Michelle does that perfectly."
St. Laurent now lives in Florida with her husband and daughter, where she spends time painting on their front porch. Her art feeds her life's passion, and her family fuels her passion for life.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the transcendent works of Michelle St. Laurent. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
A dedicated lover of art deco, both from its original period and reintroduction in the 1950s, Kungl is best known for his contemporary interpretations of nostalgic images. His vintage style is filled with a radiant color palette and a stylish streamlined twist, having studied the great graphic designers and architects of the 20th century, as well as traditional artists that informed his own aesthetic. He is not only passionate about his painting, but also dedicated to creative process, drawing inspiration from many different places and artists. "There is no artist living or dead that I haven't drawn inspiration from. We all rely on one another to keep our industry alive," he said. It's this passion that makes fans and collectors extremely loyal to his work, at the same time constantly spurring him on in new directions.
Beyond his original art, Kungl has also created work for Disney Fine Art. In 2006, Kungl was selected as an official interpretive artist of the Disney Fine Art program, published by Collectors Editions, and has built a loyal following of fans who love his fresh take on Disney. Combining his unique artistic style, which he has termed "21st Century Art Deco," with classic Disney characters and stories, Kungl has built upon Disney's artistic legacy by applying his unique Deco twist his collection of Disney works which are renowned and collected around the world - "You're used to seeing classic Disney characters out of the classic movie scenes. Well, if you look at some of the Disney work that I've done, it really is Mickey on a motorcycle in a vintage format or an art deco-style, something you haven't seen before." He also contributed to Disneyland Paris, designing images for what is essentially the downtown part of the park. Huge murals and bas reliefs grace the biggest featured building. To be seen every day by Disney fans from all over the world, to raise an entire environment to an artistic experience, is an honor not lost on Kungl. It has led to him traveling all over the world for shows in galleries and events from Paris to Tokyo and back home.
The California native knew he was an artist by the time he was four, when he used the family sofa as his canvas and his mother's lipstick as his paint. Eighteen years later, Kungl found more appropriate canvases, having graduated from the Spokane Falls College of Art and returned to his home in Southern California. With a graphic arts education in advertising, he began plying his trade at Cochrane Chase Livingston, creating and producing award-winning logos and package designs for Fortune 500 companies like Panasonic, Johnson and Johnson, Toshiba, Sony, Warner Bros. Television, Bank of America, and Nissan Motors. Soon, Kungl turned in his pens and brushes for a computer and opened his own freelance design, illustration and art director firm, creating logo and package designs, illustrations, advertising, 3D animation and multimedia CD games.
After two decades of commercial success in advertising, Kungl left his firm and turned his attention to fine art full-time. Finding himself attracted to original 1930s posters—specifically that of the Normandie by European graphic painter A.M. Cassandre—and drawing inspiration from American industrial designers Raymond Loewy and Henry Dreyfuss. Unable to purchase the original but wanting to own something similar, Kungl began creating Art Deco and Modern-influenced art, prints and posters. Deeply influenced by these designers' dramatic take on the styles, Kungl elaborates on his attraction to Art Deco - "Art deco is a movement that took place between 1920 in 1945. (The aesthetic is) very streamlined. Graphic. Simple. Elegant. And Bold. I think I just gravitated towards that just by nature...When I was going to college and started studying art history, these things became relevant as to what my native self gravitated towards."
And yet Kungl has created a look that is uniquely his, utilizing nostalgic images of old photographs and vintage ads to bring a vitality and freshness for a distinct art deco style all his own. Starting from a sketch, he then uses ink to fill in and create curves that integrates his everyday objects. Kungl likes to incorporate chrome and metallic elements into his work to give them an Art Deco feel, and his goal in creating each piece is to have fun designing his work and for his audience to be as entertained as he is - "(I) produce work that I'm personally going to have fun designing and painting," he said. "When it's complete, my goal is having the audience be just as entertained looking at it as I was creating it."
His own spin on the Art Deco/streamline movement evolved quickly into his new career, never suspecting that success on the West coast would lead to recognition on another. Soon into his new career, the California artist was selected to create the official artwork for Miami Beach's 25th annual Art Deco Weekend. Ever since, his career has skyrocketed. In fact, the Miami honor is just one of many in a succession of developments that highlight Kungl's growing reputation as a well-known collectible artist across the country. In addition to a burgeoning following in the United States, Kungl's works are widely collected around the world with sales of his images increasing throughout Europe, Japan and Australia. His work is featured regularly in magazine articles, books, and on television.
Today, Kungl is among the world's finest working artists in the Art Deco tradition. He works in his high-tech studio shaping and refining each of his meticulously crafted images, creating vintage art, prints and posters with a modern flair that is uniquely his own. He also designs ceramics such as plates, mugs, coasters and other home decor that has led to him being recognized as a collectible artist. As a result, his art can be found in private, public and corporate collections, and at retailers around the world. In addition, he has done work for many well-known companies through his design studio, and his art can frequently be seen on television shows including Ashton Kutcher's Beauty and the Geek series, CSI, Gilmore Girl's and CBS' Big Bang Theory. His client list features some of the biggest companies in the world, including - Warner Bros., Toyota, Toshiba, Superior Coffee, Sony Pictures Television, Seagate, Sara Lee, Resorts Hotels and Casino, Ralph's Supermarkets, Radius Monitors, Polly's Pies, PhotoShop WOW Books, Panasonic, Nissan Motors, NBC Universal Television, Miro Displays, Marvel, Lotus Software, Leader Technologies, Johnson and Johnson, Interplay Entertainment, Ingram Micro, Hasbro Games, Global Scuba Network, Dreamworks Entertainment, Disney Fine Art, City of Miami Beach Florida, City of Laguna Beach California, Buy.com, Bank of America and Acme Archives.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Mike Kungl. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
This is apparent when you see the work of Mike Kupka. Whether painting well-known rock stars like Ozzy Osbourne, or adding new depths to the classic horror characters of Frankenstein and Dracula, to his amazing depictions of the Disney Villain's. His affinity for the darker characters in life has developed into quite a scary portfolio.
As with most artists the desire was there to draw early on, he would wait all week for the Sunday comics and eagerly copy the latest Beatle Bailey. Mike started to paint during his time at duCret school of art in New Jersey when he found his mentor Peter Caras. He has not put the brush down since.
Even at the young age of 32, Michael's artwork captures more than a likeness of the characters he paints, his work creates old world flair. Bringing together all the ingredients necessary to make a painting work, which is why he attracts the eye. With the soft lines and rustic palate, The villains he depicts have always shown a greater range of emotions whether Captain Hook's eyes are boaring into you sizing you up or Cruella dreaming about the newest batch of puppies for her next fur coat. One thing is for sure you know that the characters he renders are so glad to be bad.
Shadow, mood, composition, and color, his style lends to it and as Mike Kupka says about why villains, "You get more." You can see from his works he is right.
Her family moved to Wyoming when she was sixteen. Glazier was introduced to Cody Museum muralist, Adolph Spohr, who singled her out for private instruction.
Painting is the very breath of her life. While she is painting, Glazier feels complete, joyful, powerful and free. Today, the animals Glazier prefers to paint are truly wild and free. Elk, deer, moose, bear, cougar, coyote, fox, birds from osprey to pine siskin, share their territory with her in the mountains of the Northwest. "My paintings invite you into this world. Journey with me awhile. I will share with you what the eyes of my heart see."
The Voice of Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Paige O'Hara is widely known as Disney's heroine, Belle, in the critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning animated film Beauty and the Beast.
Her many stage appearances include playing Ellie May Chipley in the Broadway revival of Showboat starring Donald O'Connor; as Fantine in the award-winning Les Miserables on Broadway; and as Edwin Drood in both the Broadway and national tour of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. She starred as Nellie Forbush in the Australian tour of South Pacific and reprised the role opposite Robert Goulet in the states.
In concert she has appeared in stagings of Sitting Pretty, The Cat and the Fiddle, Oh Boy, and Lady Lady, all at Carnegie Hall, as well as One Touch of Venus at Town Hall. She has toured Japan as a Special Guest Star with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and was the Special Guest Star/Host in The Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular at the Flamingo Hilton . As a concert soloist, Paige has guest-starred at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, and the Turrin Opera House. Paige's many recordings include Jerome Kern's Sitting Pretty, Mack and Mabel in Concert, recorded live in London, and a new and complete version of South Pacific .Two other recordings, Showboat and Of Thee] Sing, were nominated for a Grammy in the Best Show Album category.
Paige's love of painting began when she was a child. Her father was an architect - so drawing and painting was very much a way of life. Although Paige found much success with her singing, painting was always her escape. Much of her time was spent studying and learning from the masters - Turner, Sargent, Da Vinci - and although she does not have formal training, her years of practice are evident. When she first moved to New York, she helped support herself by selling her works on the street. As her stage career flourished, she painted for herself.
Since the success of Beauty and the Beast, Paige had done a few renderings based on her character, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to present a series of originals through Collectors Editions and the Disney Fine Art collection.
Most recently Paige was seen in Disney's new DVD release of Peter Pan singing Richard Sherman's never recorded ballad Neverland and appeared in the feature film Enchanted. Paige continues to record various projects for Disney and can be seen as "Soap Star" in the long running hit "Menopause The Musical" now playing at the Luxor in Las Vegas.
Peter Ellenshaw was a renowned landscape artist, motion picture art director, matte designer, Academy-Award winning special effects artist, and official Disney Legend who worked on many features during an storied artistic career that spanned more than six decades. His art can be found in public and private collections around the world.
Born in London, England in 1913 barely a year before World War I besieged the U.K. with bomb-dropping zeppelins and an economic downturn that would last for decades, Ellenshaw spent his early years in terrific hardship, "War was the devil that haunted all of us, driving out happier memories," he wrote in his pictorial autobiography, Ellenshaw Under Glass, published in 2003. Ellenshaw's father died in 1921, and his mother soon married the groundskeeper on an estate in Kent. Ellenshaw's biological father had his family living in Wilton Castle, near Enniscorthy, Ireland, and prior to his father's death, Peter had been attending a private school in which he was taught, among other things, fine social graces. This ended abruptly when his mother remarried, and his family moved into the cramped living quarters on the estate his new stepfather tended to. Here, instead of kindly doffing his hat for the ladies, the seven-year old Ellenshaw was enlisted for the purpose of holding the lantern while the latrines were emptied at night. Recurrent and frequent childhood illnesses left Peter unable to pass the basic entrance exams for grammar school, and at his mother's suggestion, he became an auto mechanic at 14. Simultaneously, his mother also encouraged him to develop his artistic talent, especially painting and drawing. It was in this manner that Peter managed to keep his floundering self-esteem afloat. "I certainly developed an inferiority complex," he confessed years later, "because in England, dirty unskilled work was the lowest rung on the social ladder."
It was around this time that Ellenshaw had a chance meeting with a neighbor, a famous local artist of his time, Walter Percy Day. It was a relationship that changed the trajectory of his life. Percy "Pop" Day, who went on to become a legend in pioneering visual effects for film and later a recipient of the O.B.E., played a pivotal role in Ellenshaw's creative development, discovering his talents and taking him on as an assistant, tutoring him not only in painting on canvas, but in painting on glass for the purpose of creating matte backgrounds for film. (Mattes are realistic paintings done on glass, against which films of actors and other parts of the set are projected; then both painting and film are re-photographed to create a new, realistic image.)
After serving his country as an RAF pilot in World War II, Ellenshaw returned to work for Day at the studios, reestablishing their mentor-apprentice relationship as the younger of the two began working alongside the elder doing visual effect work for studios. After a brief yearlong stint at MGM, Ellenshaw left in 1947 after his work caught the attention of an art director for the Walt Disney Studios, who asked Ellenshaw if he was interested in working on a project for Walt Disney Studios. (Disney was in the pre-planning stages of his very first live-action film, Treasure Island, which would be produced in Great Britain.). In 1953, the Ellenshaws moved from Great Britian to the United States where Peter began creating full-time for the Walt Disney Studios. As it turned out, this partnership, a professional collaboration and personal friendship with Walt Disney, would span more than thirty years and 34 films with Disney, earning Ellenshaw five Oscar nominations, including an Academy Award for his work on "Mary Poppins," in which he recreated scenes of Edwardian London in 102 different mattes. Walt Disney became Ellenshaw's mentor and friend, spurring him on continually to perfect his craft and push the creative envelope. "Walt was the dominant figure in my life for all those years," Ellenshaw explained. "He talked to me as a father would. I cherished our relationship." Ellenshaw thought of Walt Disney as a source of inspiration, a wonderful executive, and over the years, a close friend. "Walt had the ability to communicate with artists," said Ellenshaw. "He'd talk to you on your level - artist to artist. He used to say, 'I can't draw, Peter.' But he had the soul of an artist, and he had a wonderful way on transferring his enthusiasm to you." However, after Walt Disney passed away in 1968, making movies wasn't the same anymore. "After Walt was gone, things were different," he wrote. "I ceased to be as interested in film making."
One of Ellenshaw's first Disney projects upon his arrival at the Studio was to generate a conceptual rendering of something called "Disneyland." Ellenshaw went to work painting an aerial view of the proposed theme park on a 4x8-foot piece of fiberboard. The painting was then used by Disney to help introduce television audiences to this new, cutting-edge project, while he simultaneously used the painting to attract backers on this exciting new concept in outdoor entertainment.
In 1964, Ellenshaw won the Best Special Visual Effects Academy Award for his breathtaking matte work in Walt Disney's beloved line-action musical-fantasy, Mary Poppins. Not only did Ellenshaw create the beautiful landscapes of Victorian London, he was also responsible for giving inspiration to the creation of the rousing rooftop dance of the chim-chimney, chim-chimney sweeps in the lively, "Step in Time" dance sequence. At this time more than ever, Ellenshaw became more deeply engrossed with his second career—painting landscapes for the sheer beauty and pleasure of it. By 1968, this was occupying every possible spare moment, as he scrambled to keep up with the demand created by galleries and collectors.
Disney's The Black Hole (in 1976), viewed both as an artistic masterpiece and a cinematic failure, was Ellenshaw's last film for Disney Studios. Ellenshaw began to broaden his Hollywood horizons at that point, working on Superman IV with son Harrison in 1984. In 1993, Ellenshaw was officially designated a "Disney Legend" by The Walt Dinsey Company during a ceremony at The Walt Disney Studios officiated by Michael D. Eisner and Roy E. Disney.
During his amazing film career, Ellenshaw was nominated for four Academy Awards. His storied movie credentials speaks to the enormity of his artistic talents and range as a painter. Highlights include - The Thief of Bagdad (1940), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Old Yeller (1957), Johnny Tremain (1957), Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), Pollyanna (1960), Swiss Family Robinson (1960), The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), Mary Poppins (1964, Academy Award winner), The Love Bug (1969), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971, Academy Award nominee), The Island at the Top of the World (1974, Academy Award nominee), The Black Hole (1979, Academy Award nominee), Dick Tracy (1990).
He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including those by the American Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Film Institute in Chicago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the R.W. Norton Art Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana, along with the Disney Legends Awards. He has had many one-man exhibitions, and his Disney art was included in a retrospective show at New York's Museum of Modern Art. An artist who continually strived to paint better, Ellenshaw eventually turned his artistic attentions to painting the world's most famous golf courses. He says of this prolific and celebrated career - "The wonderful thing in painting is that one can never reach the peak of one's endeavor."
Ellenshaw managed to maintain his unique identity as a traditional landscape artist during his Disney years and always found time on evenings and weekends to work on his own canvases. After he retired from the film business, Ellenshaw dedicated his life to his passion for fine art painting. Numerous works were created, of both Disney Fine Art and non-Disney themed subjects, which have been highly collected. In February of 2007, Ellenshaw passed away peacefully at his home in Santa Barbara, California. He was 93 years of age.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Peter Ellenshaw. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
"Dynamic colors and captivating, vivid light are the vehicles artist Rob Kaz employs to lure viewers into the atmosphere of his paintings and leave fans wanting to stick around for awhile. "I want you to long to be in the painting," Kaz said, "to take comfort and smile with a sense of whimsy, a sentiment in my paintings that can be contributed to my influential background in professional studio animation and video game art."
Kaz, one of the most phenomenally talented breakout contemporary artists working today, has plied his trade in the gaming community and Disney animation, while also creating his own paintings now featured in galleries all over the country, all of which has garnered him much-deserved accolades. He approaches each painting with the specific intention to balance between earth and water—most of his paintings have water, even if its existence is only implied. "I find natural beauty and a soothing logic in water that meets land that I hope relates as emotions, even if not parallel to my own," he explained.
A self-trained artist, Kaz took an interest in artwork even as a child while watching his father create with watercolor. Throughout his childhood, he drew, mainly on notebooks or homework assignments or napkins in restaurants, before taking an interest in oil painting, though it remained just a hobby while growing up in New Jersey where he enjoyed surfing, skating and hockey. After graduating high school, Kaz sought warmer weather when deciding on a college and wound up in Orlando where he earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. After too many cold and snowy winters, Kaz decided to remain south permanently. As for his ongoing surfing exploits, it fits nicely with his love of water, but only a hobby, albeit an unusual one for a kid who grew up in New Jersey. "I never got good," he said, "I just liked doing it."
When Kaz began his fine art career, he knew one thing for certain. "I want people to be happy when they look at my work, so I create stories that personally make me smile or laugh. But I also want people to notice the technical side of my paintings. I put a lot of emphasis on lighting, composition and color when I paint. I think all of these aspects ultimately play a factor in deciding the emotional outcome of a finished painting." As for his creative process, Kaz keeps it simple, relying on his ability to render paintings directly from his head onto a canvas. "I don't paint from photographs. Everything that winds up on my canvas is an image that is first painted in my mind…or a character that is developed by my imagination, except for my Disney licensed pieces, which of course are scenes and characters from the films."
Rather than focus on the likeness of another, he allows his mind's eye to imagine. When painting, he imagines "Places I'd Rather Be" and "Friends Along The Way," two categories that occurred naturally as he began building a body of work and have remained recurring themes throughout his work. One particular "friend" is Beauregard the frog. Since his inception with "Hey You" and "Hey Me," Beau has appeared in every single painting he has created. If a painting is not focused solely around Beau, Kaz will often hide him in the painting, a fact that fans have latched onto, as they seem to enjoy competing to be the first to find him in the release of each new painting.
Ironically, for Kaz, the signature is always the most complicated part of any painting. "I find it extremely difficult to ever call a painting complete. But if you view my painting and find yourself there leaned against a palm on the shore while your mind authors a light rain or a curious butterfly taking flight, then I suppose a painting is never quite complete."
After his post-graduation hopes of working for the government in criminal justice came to a halt with a hiring freeze, fate stepped in when Kaz began working as a color stylist for a number of small animation studios in the Central Florida area. At that time, Disney had recently relocated their Florida-based animation studios to California which left behind many animators in Central Florida who chose not to uproot. As a result, Kaz found himself working "alongside quite possibly the most talented artists I've ever known, right there in those small studios. Their influence was invaluable." While working alongside other world-class artists, Kaz had the opportunity to work in many areas of film. In particular, the time spent in character creation and environments heavily influenced his painting style. Embracing his love for art, Kaz began teaching himself 3D animation and became a modeler and lighter. Eventually, he was hired as an art and scene director, being credited with a feature-length film shortly thereafter. While at the studios, he had the opportunity to work in many areas of film. In particular, the time he spent in character creation and environments heavily influenced his painting style. As his career continued to flourish with animation, Kaz had the opportunity to work in many areas of film production. In particular, the time spent in character creation and environments heavily influenced his painting style.
Kaz is one of only a few artists granted the unique opportunity and license to paint Disney films (he is a Legacy artist with Disney Fine Art). "I am one of the biggest fans of animation art you'll meet and being able to paint Disney is really an honor," he says. "I have had the privilege of working with many Disney artists and they inspired me to make the transition from animation to fine art. I want artists and fans alike to enjoy how I try to expand on the movies and add something more from my perspective." With each Disney painting he begins, Kaz sets the ultimate goal. "I want to have the story creators and animators of the movie see my work and give a thumbs-up. In no way do I wish to dishonor their masterpieces."
For a long time, Kaz balanced two careers—creating art for Electronic Arts (EA Tiburon in Maitland, Florida) for half the year and painting professionally during the other half. As a character artist for Electronic Arts (EA Sports Tiburon), one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling video game franchises, he has created and fine-tuned a multitude of elements that all contribute to photo-real human likenesses in the game, including the faces of gridiron legends Brett Farve, Tom Brady, Champ Bailey, Eli Manning, and Donovan McNabb along with many other marquee players in games such as Madden NFL football and NCAA® Football. For NCAA, he worked on the uniforms and mascots for many other college teams, totaling around 180 unique sets with complete authenticity right down to the stitching. For both games, he created the arm and leg skin and its movement for team players, a result that proved worthy enough of becoming the standard for other EA games, too.
Kaz has held many jobs—candy maker, movie projectionist, bike repairman and bar back—but by far, he says, this the happiest he's ever been is being an artist. He admits that, ironically enough, the economy ultimately led to his serious pursuit of a career in painting. After being laid off from an animation studio shortly before its close, he took a short break to reflect on where he was in his life and career and where he wanted to be. When his last contract ended with EA, Kaz took a leap of faith and began painting full time. When buyers became fans and then collectors, he began to believe his leap of faith was justified.
"My inspiration comes from so many different places," he said. "From sunsets to vacations to films to conversations I overhear to simply walking around my neighborhood and noticing my environment... regardless, the inspiration for most of my paintings comes from actual experiences that I try to romanticize." When discussing his creative process, Kaz shares the source of his motivation, "I suppose a lot of my inspiration or drive comes from seeing reactions to my art. Basically, I just want my viewers to smile when they look at one of my paintings. So, in that regard, I suppose a lot of my inspiration or drive comes from seeing reactions to my art. My paintings are not 'thinkers' in the sense of having a hidden meaning that needs to be interpreted. With my artwork, what you see is what you get. If it's a frog on a surfboard, then it's a frog on a surfboard. I want to set a scene and let the viewer's imagination tell the story. You can build a back story about how the frog got there (which I encourage and love to hear about), but the frog on a surfboard does not represent any profound message about the meaning of life." It's no wonder why his art is such a fan favorite.
This talented artist takes hundreds of photographs of each of his subjects, combining them with historical photographs, to produce a timeless quality in each of his works.
"Being a photo-realist, I am dependent on finding accurate reference material for each painting," the artist explains. Chase works with acrylics on canvas, spending hundreds of hours on each painting as he strives to present a fresh and unique view to familiar subjects.
Chase is very excited about painting our nation's capitol. On a recent trip, he spent a week photographing Washington's landmarks, including The White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court building. Rising very early each day, Chase photographed the dramatic light of sunrise, and late in the day he revisited several sites to capture the soft, moody glow of twilight. Between sessions, he researched old photos at the National Archives and the Library of Congress. Over the next few months, Chase will create dramatic, awe-inspiring scenes of Washington for his collectors by combining antique and modern photography with just the right touch of artistic license.
Chase was born and raised in Canada. After marrying an American, he moved to the United States. He and his wife, Debbie, have four children, who are home-schooled. In 1999, Chase became a United States citizen.
His story starts with an initiation into the art business through the tutelage of his father and grandfather at the age of nine. Even at an early age, Gonzalez displayed this passion and temerity with every brushstroke on the canvas. With his keen eye for subtle contrast and attention to fine detail, his paintings evoke a new perspective and appreciation for life's moment captured forever on canvas. Whether he is painting people, places, or things, Gonzalez uncovers the unique grace in even the most conventional spaces. "The everyday lives of people and their surroundings are my inspiration," he says. "I love the interplay of light and shadows, and the details in expressions and structures. I find it challenging and rewarding to depict the changing moods of each day."
This early training instilled in him the diligence that would complement his explorations of color, form, and composition perfectly. "Growing up my father would always tells me to not be intimidated by the paint and be 100 percent sure about my intentions on my first stroke at the canvas," Gonzalez recalls. This exploration ignited a lifelong passion for the arts in its many forms, as art became the vessel through which Gonzalez could best express himself. "I wanna paint what I feel and not what I see. Almost all the pieces I've done are really just figment of my imagination," he said during an interview at the Denver Convention Center in November, 2013. "It's when I'm of the easels when I copy the countless sunset and sunrises, or when I'm when I'm at the beach or when I'm with my family. When I'm on the easel, and then be able to recall that experience, what I felt at that moment."
Gonzalez studied at the University of Santo Tomas, majoring in painting, and went on to earn a degree in Interior Design from the Philippines School of Interior Design. This training also helped him to further develop the skills and discipline that have proven to serve him well in future endeavors on his path to artistic freedom, which extended well beyond the canvas. Although Gonzalez was gifted in the visual arts, his skills weren't confined to painting. He was drawn into the world of music, and at the age of 20 founded his band, Side A, with brother Naldy in the Philippines, in which Gonzalez was the lead singer, saxophone player, and prolific songwriter. Currently in the band Second Wind, he is still an active part of the musical community and his founding band continues to be one of the longest-surviving bands in Manila. His success in the music industry fulfilled a part of him, but exposed a desire for a more meaningful and deeper connection with his audience. Thus, he also embarked on a new journey, pursuing a new calling as a minister, teaching and serving others. His talents were manifested as a minister in the service of others.
Even through two different careers and busy with his official duties, Gonzalez still maintained his connection with art by doing commissioned portraits, murals, and sketches for friends and acquaintances. It wasn't until 2002 that he began in earnest his dreams of pursuing a fine art career, as he moved his family to Hawaii and returned to the canvas with a fervent passion for the world of visual arts. He cites the support of his brother Rudolf and his cousin Roy Gonzalez Tabora as guides who inspired him to pursue this vision with new-found energy and dedication.
In December of 2007, after five years of living in the beautiful island of Oahu, Rodel and his family began a new chapter in California. In the years since, he has demonstrated a stunning level of detail and accuracy in his paintings, evoking a fresh, enlivened perspective in viewers and a new appreciation for life's captured moments. When asked about his latest works for the Disney Fine Art portfolio, Gonzalez said, "I believe it we all have Disney in us. Every movie inspires us. I'm drawing a lot on the classics, because those are the movies that I grew up watching. I love doing the Disney Classics…Having the opportunity to create Disney paintings is such a treat because Disney was definitely part of my childhood. I remember watching my first Disney films - Bambi and Snow White - and ever since I've been mesmerized by the succeeding Disney movies I've seen."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Rodel Gonzalez. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
"I protect joy," he says, calling on his knowledge of art history, popular aesthetics, and a sense of humor to meld a new and playfully insightful style of contemporary art. "If I can giggle (because of the colors) and I'm a grown man, imagine what it does to everybody else."
Born in Recife, Brazil in 1963, the renowned Neo-pop artist, painter, serigrapher, and sculptor lived an extremely modest lifestyle while growing up amongst eight brothers and sisters. However, his innate creativity allowed Britto to fill his life with images of a bigger and more beautiful world beyond his own. Self-taught at an early age, he painted on surfaces such as newspapers cardboard or any scraps that he could find. "I've done in the past a lot of work on newspaper," Britto says of his early days. "I painted on newspaper because it was so cheap. I grew up worried about tomorrow—always worried about something. But I never thought I would do what I now do with my art."
With a passion to excel, he prospered academically. Still, Britto's artistic nature eventually led him to seek experiences outside the classroom. In 1983, he traveled to Paris where he was introduced to the work of Matisse and Picasso. After exhibiting in a few galleries and private shows, Britto was encouraged to travel to the United States where Pop Art was thriving. In 1988, Britto moved to Miami and set up a studio open to the public. With an unshakable courage of his own conviction and steadfast belief in his art, Britto spent the next few years exhibiting and attracting the attention of many, quickly emerging as an international artist. Beyond prints, his Britto-ized collectibles, figurines, plates, glasses, ashtrays, and ties are celebrated and sold globally.
Britto's pop sensibility has since leant itself to many collaborations. He was selected alongside Andy Warhol and Keith Haring for Absolut Vodka's "Absolut Art" campaign. He also partnered with brands such as Audi, Bentley, Disney, Technomarine, Evian, Pepsi, the United Nations, BMW, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Grand Marnier, Apple Computers, IBM, and FIFA, for whom he created an official poster for the 2010 World Cup. He has illustrated several books published by Simon and Schuster and Rizzoli. Constantly challenging himself to grow as an artist, Britto has exhibited his work in galleries and museums in over one hundred countries around the world, including the Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts exhibition at the Carrousel du Louvre in 2008 and 2010. He has created public art installations for the O2 Dome, Hyde Park (credited with being the largest monumental sculpture in London park history), the John F. Kennedy Airport, and Cirque du Soleil at Super Bowl XLI. His personal gallery located on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida is open to the public and has become a meeting place for school children, celebrities, art collectors, art lovers and those drawn to the creative allure of art.
Among the many private and public roles artists can play in any society, Britto considers his most important role to be that of global agent of positive change; thus, he is committed to developing and facilitating efforts to impact world issues in a positive manner. He is an artistic activist for charitable organizations worldwide and, most of all, an artist who believes "art is too important not to share." He serves as a benefactor, donating time, energy, talent, and resources to over 250 charitable organizations, philanthropic causes and boards such as Best Buddies International, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, the World Economic and Development Fund, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Britto was also named a founding inaugural benefactor of Harvard's "International Negotiation Program," by Dr. Daniel Shapiro, in his quest for peaceful conflict resolution. Often an outspoken advocate, Britto has been selected several times to be a speaker for the arts at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and at countless schools and institutions. In early 2011, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, invited Britto to create the logo for Rede Cegonha, a project to reach over 61 million pre- and post-natal mothers and babies. Britto was honored by the Renascer de Jacarepaguá samba school in its 2012 Carnival parade, himself taking part of the parade on Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí. As if that was not enough, he also created the Britto Foundation to provide support to those who partake in the quest to create, promote and encourage education and humanitarian-based initiatives that benefit underserved children around the world. It is a tremendous personal reward, he said, to know so intimately the transformative potential of his art, that his creations are capable of making a difference and inspiring others to give.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Romero Britto. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
In 1940 Simon Combes was born in "Wilderness Cottage", in Shaftesbury, England, and from that day in June, the Wilderness always attracted him. His first adventures began early when in 1946 when his parents moved onto farming Kenya's Great Rift Valley, a magical place for a young boy.
Simon loathed his years at boarding school in Nakuru and at Duke of York in Nairobi, always longing for the freedom of the bush. While managing a 2,000 acre farm when he was seventeen, he was drafted into six months compulsory military training after already applying for appointment in the Kings African Rifles. He was accepted into 4 KAR but having just finished his training was sent to Uganda where one of his duties was to teach basic etiquette and rugby to a young Idi Amin. Sandhurst Military Academy was next and upon return to Kenya joined 3 KAR in time for Kenya's Independence. In 1964 he was chosen to train 250 soldiers as Paratroopers. They all attended parachute school UK. Simon translated all the instruction into Kiswahili. When all the men were qualified, he became their first commander in Kenya. Immediately they were involved in the Shifta war in the northeastern province. It was during this time Simon started to draw and paint as a hobby to occupy his spare time. His subjects were the Somali and Boran people and the landscapes of the North. In 1969 he had an exhibition in Nairobi and sold all the paintings. It was then that the idea of painting full-time started. However, he was refused release from the army and was moved to army HQ as staff officer in charge of all operations and training. He was also captain of the army shooting team and vice chairman to the Kenya Rifle Association. He performed the duties of a Lieutenant Colonel. He has been called a "True Kenyan" .by his military peers. Finally, in 1974 he was released from the army and started life as a professional artist. Best known for his stunning images wildlife in the African bush, he achieved worldwide success and acclamation through many prestigious awards. His paintings hang in private and museum collections around the globe.
Simon's life was rich with great adventures and wildlife encounters. From being lost in a blizzard while crossing the Altai Mountains in Mongolia and flying into the jungles of Venezuela to sketching Bengal Tigers atop a howdah on a swaying elephant in India his experiences and observations led him to develop his exacting artistic style, rendering his subjects with such depth and exquisite detail. Africa and Beyond - The Art and Adventures of Simon Combes, a retrospective exhibition of Simon's major works, was held at The Wildlife Experience Museum in 2004 to celebrate his great artistic achievements.
Since 1979, The Greenwich Workshop, Inc, have published his works as Fine Art Reproductions on paper and canvas. He always said, if given the time he would rather write than paint. This talent is apparent in his books "An African Experience" and "Great Cats" also published by The Greenwich Workshop, Inc. Simon was also working on a book of Limericks about life in Kenya which reveals his ability to entertain us with his wit and humor.
Simon had a wonderful talent for communication, whether it be in speech, writing or painting. Never self assuming, be gave talks in Kiswahili to the farm staff, to school children in Russia and to many interested groups around the world.
Not only a man of the Arts, but also an avid conservationist Simon was recently appointed Kenya Representative and Project Director for Rhino Rescue Trust. He sat on the boards of several wildlife conservation organizations and raised, through his art, many thousands of dollars for their causes.
On Sunday, December 12, 2004, atop a beautiful ancient volcano near his home in Africa's Great Rift Valley, Simon's life was tragically taken by one of the wild animals he so lovingly portrayed in his paintings. He never "gathered moss" and now he as come home. He is survived by his wife Kat, his children, Cindy and Guy, his sister, Jenny all of Kenya and his former wife Susie of England. We shall remember Simon well.
However, once his mother explained to him the perils of life as a starving artist, he simply declared, "Then I guess I'll just be Spiderman." After the likelihood of that reality settled in, Stephen returned his heart to art and took his first formal painting class at age ten. It was in high school that his art first earned him accolades. With the persistence of his high school art teacher, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Pittsburg. Less than a year later, he started working as a professional artist, drawing portraits, caricatures and illustrations.
In 1996, Stephen began expanding his artistic education by studying traditional drawing and painting under Jeff Watts at the Watts Atelier of the Arts in Southern California. Influenced by a wide range of renowned painters, from Norman Rockwell to Salvador Dali, John Singer Sargent to J.C. Leyendecker, Stephen has created a style all his own. "Every day I fall in love with drawing the human face and form," he says. "My sketchbooks are filled with drawings of life, from people to animals."
In a career that has spanned over two decades, Stephen has earned widespread acclaim, but two recent achievements make him most proud: First, his philanthropic endeavors that have raised over $1 million for different charities just since 2004. Second, Stephen is excited to become an official artist of Disney Fine Art, an honor that will allow him to paint Disney characters and bring his artwork to leagues of Disney fans around the world.
An artist could not create art with such an endearing reflection of the beauty of this world unless they themselves burned bright with a passion, sensitivity and embrace of life. One look at his art will tell you that Steve Hanks was a truly gorgeous man, his brush telling tales of the whispering caress of light. In the art he created, we bore witness to the passage of the tides of life - family, love, heartache, and healing. With each image he created, we were drawn further into the human drama—What are these subjects thinking. What are they feeling. Everything he painted was rich and multidimensional. His figurative paintings, combined with their titles and layered images, rewarded viewers who looked beyond a surface glance. Light and shadow conveyed comfort or indecision. An ocean hinted at the expanse of life; a river, a transition; a lake, a place of serenity and stillness. Highways and train stations represented points of transition. The simple location of a woman on a stairway between a door and the sidewalk told the tale of how far she traveled on her journey of emotional healing.
"Art comes from a deep inner sense of direction. It starts with a re-evaluation of your own life, from a search for the source of the impulses and the mystery of it all," said Hanks, whose limited edition fine art prints are immensely popular across the country, marking him as one of the top selling artists in the United States. "I think of myself as an emotional realist. Emotion is what I want to portray. Realism is just my way of doing it."
And no one did it better. The detail, color and realism of Hanks' paintings are unheard of in this difficult medium - A softly worn patterned quilt, the play of light on the thin veil of surf on sand, or the delicate expression of a child. Hanks captured these nuances of life better than anyone. His astonishing realism came from a skillful control of washes, edges and layers, and his intimate knowledge of the properties of water and pigment. "Now I understand how to gain control by letting go," he explained in his 2006 book, Moving On. "I just want to be part of the ride."
At its core, Hanks' art is about the simple beauty in life - the innocent divinity of infants and children, the maternal link between mother and child, the aesthetic beauty of the female form, cast in light and shadow, in stillness and in dance. Each composition serves the emotion Hank sets out to paint, the mysterious air a woman glancing downward, the confidence conveyed in the upward tilt of a chin, the delightful abandon of a girl's spiraling limbs on a beach, the determined conviction of young woman's steady gaze at the wide horizon ahead of her. The deeper the emotional landscape of his subject that he wanted to express, the vaguer the location. The complete expression of the figure was his way of saying, "This is where you are in the world."
But Hanks' paintings are much more than realistic images of women and children. Rather than conveying a specific message through his paintings, he prefers to explore memories and emotions. "My paintings speak to the vulnerability that we all feel from time to time. They evoke nostalgia, transporting us back in time," he said. "All art is an escape to somewhere you want to be or a feeling you want to have. People see different things in my paintings because we all have different backgrounds and feelings."
His highly collected nudes convey an introspective solitude that invites viewers to reflect on the life path we follow. The emotional impact of these detailed, photorealistic paintings lucidly captures his nuanced appreciation for this particular subject matter - "Women occupy a special niche in my sensitivity. They express more storytelling ability. There's more magic in them," he explained. Whatever his subject—children, families, women, nudes, landscapes, water, textile patterns—the paintings are also about light, shadow and emotion. They each reveal a personal challenge, pain, or joy of the artist.
Although known for his enormous artistic ability, Hanks' main interest while growing up in Southern California was sports. As a young teenager, he pursued surfing and tennis with passion. He eventually tired of competitive tennis but continued to surf, finding a spiritual connection with the ocean, a connection that stayed with him his entire life. "Surfing had a strong influence on my paintings," he said. Though he lived most of his life in landlocked Albuquerque, his heart was forever near water as evidence by his art. Contemplative figures were sometimes painted near shimmering lakes and rivers but the Pacific Ocean is where both pure joy and the complications of relationships played out in his art... "The ocean often appears in my work, because I have such strong feelings for it... It was good for the soul to be out in the water—surfing, swimming, or simply getting in touch with its mysterious power."
While it was apparent early on that he had talent, his art career didn't blossom until the age of sixteen when his parents moved the family from Southern California to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In California, he had been very active in sports. Devastated by the move, Hanks spent much of a year in his room listening to music and drawing posters for music groups. Hanks remained rebellious, refusing to do the required assignments in his high school art class, earning a "C" in the course. "To prove I was good, I did a one-man show at the high school and sold my first painting to another art teacher," he says.
After high school graduation, Hanks "jumped in the car and went back to California," enrolling in summer session commercial art courses at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. "The only way I could convince my parents to let me go was to say I was going into commercial art," he said. "I didn't even know what that was." He did well in his classes, but it was a life drawing class that captured his interest. He focused his energy on the study of anatomy and figure drawing, transferring into the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Initially, he drew in pencil and painted in oils. His paintings were impressionistic, while his drawings were more realistic. However, an allergic reaction to oils forced him to experiment with watercolors. Using the techniques learned from other media, he found he could create watercolors as "finished" as oils.
Following college, Hanks took a job as a caretaker at a Campfire Girl's camp near Cuba, New Mexico in 1976. The pay was minimal, but the rent was free, and all during the winter months his time was his own. For the next four-and-a-half years, Hanks focused on his art, experimenting with different media—watercolor, pencil, acrylics—and honing his craft. "If I hadn't spent so much time perfecting my drawing skills," he comments, "I would not be the painter I am today." His first romantic piece, "Daisies and Lace", was a harbinger of his developing style—it featured a lacy dress and a serene sunlit setting.
As a result, a unique talent gave birth to his genius through hard work. Few artists could duplicate the emotional depth Hanks achieved in his spectacular watercolors. Each painting was meticulously drawn with great attention to detail, each watercolors reflecting a moment in time. The viewer's reward was a grand interconnectedness with the artists' favorite moments, which reflect the our experiences as well, a style that Hanks called "emotional realism." He often leaves the faces of his figures obscured or turned away, not only to leave the face to the imagination of the viewer but also to allow the entire image to express the emotion. Backlighting is also a signature element of his style - "Sunlight has become one of my favorite subjects. I'm fascinated by how it filters through things, how it floods a whole room with color. Often my paintings are really more about sunlight than anything else."
Jurors, galleries and collectors have long recognized Hanks' formidable talents, considering him the preeminent artist working in the technically exacting domain of realistic watercolor painting and justly rewarding him with many accolades. Hanks won the Arts for the Parks Marine Art Award of Excellence in 1990 and 1994, and has been one of the Arts for the Parks top 100 artists since 1989. In 1991, Hanks received the National Watercolor Society Merit Award and the National Academy of Western Art awarded him the Gold Medal in 1992. Since 1993, he has been one of U.S. Art Magazine's top ten American artists. When the Pacific Rim show in Seattle, WA decided to open the show up to a wider variety of art in 1999, they selected Steve as Artist of the Year. Steve was one of five winners selected to the U.S. Art Hall of Fame 2000. He was named as one of the top 25 selling artists in the June, 2002 issue of Decor magazine. The 7th Annual Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children chose Steve as their Feature Artist in 2002.
In the fall of 2014, Hanks painted a rare self-portrait in his studio. It is both layered and complicated, befitting its subject. In the painting, there are reflections of reflections, and he includes the tools of his trade and the studio artifacts that surround him. The life model, perched on the artist's chair, studies her portrait on the easel. The tumbling quilt and her leg convey the tall verticality of the painting, yet the horizontal portrait and the framed art on the wall keep the eye focused on the center of the painting. The artist has stepped away from the easel and is framed in the circular mirror. Viewers are left to wonder, "what is he studying. The model, the painting, life. In the mirror, above his head to the right, is the leading edge of a surfboard and below that, another mirror and within that, the reflection of the artist in the circular mirror and so on.
"Steve Hanks was a man driven by private passions," wrote a colleague in the introduction to The Art of Steve Hanks - Poised Between Heartbeats. "He never painted to sell, but only to survive and follow his star. Each painting is a momentary glimpse through the moving curtain that hides the secrets of his craft. Each painting is a mystery that needs to be sorted out and unraveled." These words suggest something of the complexity that was Steve Hanks. A product of the turbulent sixties, his artistic vision began with hard-edged caricatures, moved through the artistic fads of the day, and, finally, to a quiet, curious celebration of the world around him.
"I've tried to be responsible and put positive images out into the world... I hope that my work brings comfort, pleasure and insight into people's lives," explained Hanks, who resided with his wife, Laura, in Albuquerque, New Mexico where they raised their three children who were often portrayed in his art. "I want my whole body of work to tell a story when I'm gone," he said. "It will tell the story of my life emotionally."
Hanks passed away in 2015 from complications of treatment for cancer.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Steve Hanks. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
His new collection from Disney Fine Art explores his interest in high color and pattern saturated concepts. His primary focus at the moment is classic characters from the era of 1928 - 1945, Disney Villains, and Alice in Wonderland. Outside of his collaboration with Disney, Tennessee paints portraits of West Coast drag, cabaret, and celebrity personalities.
As a child growing up in Marietta, Georgia, Tennessee watched his peers identify and collect information based on this "invisible force" that people called color. He began to work within two worlds, one that operated within his own vision and perception and the other which he created in his attempts to relate to the rest of the world. This disconnect later ruptured a fascination with the unknown and he began to feverishly occupy his mind with the fundamental understanding of a chromatic world.
Tennessee's inability to distinguish most hues has never swayed him from creating art. If any thing, his disconnect from this in his early years made him obsessed with the forming of patterns, objects and shapes. He became attracted to the destruction of white space and became captivated with the idea of filling anything lacking in form with pattern. Later in life, he began attaching color to his subjects as he learned in color theory books which hues complimented or contrasted each other appropriately.
He also communicates hue choices through an objective and synesthetic nature. The essence of his work is largely dedicated to the emotional pull and story telling element of color, expression, and pattern, and mostly importantly, the crossing of the senses.
Brief Q and A with Artist Tennessee Loveless
Q - How did you first learn of your colorblindness.
A - "They initially discovered that I was colorblind around preschool/kindergarten in where we were doing color exercises. The room was split into 4 colors by the carpet, and in each sector of the room that was governed by the color held a different activity. When the teacher asked the students to run to that particular area, I watched as all my peers ran to this invisible presence that I had no idea about. As far as I had known, a color was just another adjective to describe an object, but as a child, these descriptors were just components of early speech and not held as something relatable (as in a 'metal stop sign' and a 'red stop sign' were just components of the word itself, and not a fact). When I was told to run to a certain area, I began to panic as I realized that people could see something that was not there to me. I ended up just sitting in the middle of the room hoping to get it right and that no one would notice."
Q - How has colorblindness helped or hindered your life as an artist.
A - "Colorblindness never really hindered me throughout my life until I decided to study studio painting in college. I don't think I took into account that I would actually have to really understand color to receive an acceptable grade for painting something to its exact representation. My choices of color were always based on 1. the colors I could see and 2. the colors that I felt were most appropriate. My compositions would come out in bright neon colors that were considered too blinding to be realistic, when in all actuality through my eyes were quite normal. In the end I was told that I had a decent form, but that my color choices were obnoxious and loud, and that I my art couldn't be commercially successful based on the judgment that my colors were 'eye searing'. I took up fashion sketching instead and graduated in fashion design with a double major in business/marketing."
Q - There was a period during your education when you took a break from art. How did your life as a painter re-emerge for you.
A - "In 2003, I eventually started painting again when I lived in San Francisco and a cabaret performer asked me to paint them. I had mentioned my previous critique in college that I couldn't represent people accurately, to which they replied "so what". I took that phrase 'so what' very seriously and began to start a collection based on the cabaret performers in my own way.
I also simultaneously started reading up on color theory books and pigment compositions and began to form a world based on color codes and how they represented each other. My education in the fundamentals of pigments became more scientific than emotional, safe, and/or exploratory, and then my world of color began to spread and become more complex."
Q - As a person who sees color in way much differently than most people, how have you managed to relate to color in a way that is akin to how your audience sees it.
A - "Because I cannot see color accurately, and because its form is congenital limited achromatopsia, my view of how color is seen is transformed into how things taste. I communicate a feeling based of the taste of things. For example, "BubbleGum Lemonade Minnie" is based on a feeling on how I think color tastes. The violet-blues are represented what frozen blackberries taste like to me, intermixed with a frosting like taste of cake which is represented by the pink. And it all is contrasted by a sharp shocking acidic tart like fluorescent yellow/chartreuse which lines against the canvas. These color choices to me taste like a cold refreshing Summertime dessert on a hot and humid afternoon."
1937 - 2016
It is very rare that an artist's work is so original in style and so immediately recognizable that it actually evolves into a genre of its own. Such is the case with Terry Redlin, whose serene, heartwarming scenes have been gracing art lovers' walls for three decades - Ducks struggling against the wind. Spooked white-tailed deer. A cabin tucked beside wooded lakeshore. A rustic house atop a hill with glowing windows welcoming the neighbors. A stranger lending a helping hand. Children fishing. Dogs, ever-loyal members of the family, following, guarding. Redlin's paintings often contain buildings and landmarks—churches, barns, houses, cabins, farming equipment, grain elevators—that are real, but the scenes he creates with them are all in his head. Light—maybe more than his name—is his signature. Luminous sunsets. Darkened clouds split open by sunlight. Shining water. Twinkling windows. Flaring yard lights. Cozy, glowing, warm, inviting. Simple, bucolic images that please the eye.
"I want to please people," Redlin said. "And the average person, well, they think like I do. I think I'm an average person with a very average mind. So I just paint what I like."
In fact, Redlin is very far from average, at least artistically. Few, if any, artists can rival his standards of excellence or accomplishments over the past two decades. Truly one of the country's most celebrated and collected painters of wildlife and Americana, Redlin was named America's Most Popular Artist in annual gallery surveys conducted by U.S. Art magazine for eight consecutive years, 1991-1998, and was inducted into U.S. Art's Hall of Fame in 1992 following the magazine's poll of 900 galleries nationwide which, that year, placed five of Redlin's limited editions in the top eleven in popularity (Over the life of the poll, thirty prints have been included in that list.). At the peak of his career that made him famous and successful beyond his wildest dreams, his prints were sold in more than 4,000 galleries. His use of earthy colors to explore outdoor themes and wildlife, usually during twilight's blazing sunrises and sunsets, are often cited as the reasons for his immense popularity.
Born and raised in Watertown, South Dakota. Redlin traces his interest in the outdoors to his childhood. At the age of fifteen, a ride on a motorcycle resulted in a life-altering accident when he was hit by a drunk driver, crushing his leg, which had to be amputated, and ending his dream of becoming a forest ranger. Through a state-sponsored scholarship program for students with disabilities, he opted to pursue a career in the graphic arts. "It was a gift," he said of receiving that fateful scholarship. "The chance that they'd ever see any return on that money was virtually nil." He earned a degree from the St. Paul School of Associated Arts in Minnesota and spent twenty-five years working in commercial art as layout artist, graphic designer, illustrator and art director. In his leisure time he researched wildlife subjects and settings, indulging an passion that fueled his art for the rest of his life.
Webb Publishing in St. Paul hired him as a designer. He figured he was set; this would be his career. He kept moving up. From designer to illustrator to layout artist to magazine art director. He learned to handle a camera. He worked as the quality-control director for color and learned printing. He didn't draw any more. Then, suddenly, the company began laying off artists. He assumed it would be just a matter of time before it would be his turn. So he embarked on a five-year plan to become a wildlife artist. For the first two years of the plan, he did not pick up a brush, instead studying learning everything he could about wildlife and wildlife art. While still working full-time, he spent all his spare hours outside, observing and photographing.
He rose early every morning and worked for several hours, wearing covers over his office clothes so he wouldn't get them dirty. Then he drove by himself to his art director job, working on his own projects again at lunchtime and in the evenings when he got home. When he was finally ready to paint, he created a studio in the basement of his home, also setting himself up a base of operations to create prints from his paintings, then frame, pack, and ship them.
True to his word, five years later, at the age of 40, Redlin burst onto the wildlife scene when his painting "Winter Snows" appeared on the cover of The Farmer magazine. Morning Retreat, his first major print for Ducks Unlimited, broke the $5,000 mark at three different banquets. At more than a dozen other banquets, it sold for more that $3,500. As interest in Redlin's grew, galleries started opening up in small towns all over the country where those banquets were held. And as the concept of limited edition prints gained acceptance, more publishers began representing artists and making prints available.
He decided to enter half a dozen paintings with prints in The Wildlife Heritage Art Show at Dayton's in Minneapolis. "I was scared to death," Redlin recalled. "But they just sold, and it was great. Then I really knew I was probably going to make a living at it all right."
Having already worked twenty years as a commercial artist, he did not quit his art director job at Webb until he was already making four times his Webb salary through his paintings. He was that cautious. It wasn't until two years later, when demand for his work had become so great, that he left his art directing job to to concentrate on painting wildlife until his retirement in 2007. By then, he finally allowed himself to just paint, leaving the other roles—matting, framing, shipping and other aspects of the business—to others. Since then, Redlin's meteoric rise has been unparalleled in the field of contemporary wildlife art. In 1981 and 1984, he won the Minnesota Duck Stamp competition, and in 1982, the Minnesota Trout Stamp contest. He also placed second that year in the Federal Duck Stamp Competition. He has been honored as Artist of the Year for Ducks Unlimited (National and Minnesota), and as Conservationist of the Year-Magnum Donor by the Minnesota Waterfowl Association for his gifts of entire print editions. In 1985, Redlin added an entirely new artistic direction, limited edition collector plates. To date, he has released more than twenty editions, many of which are now available only on the secondary market. The National Association of Limited Edition Dealers has honored him three separate times with the "Lithograph of the Year" award for excellence in the medium.
By 1987, Redlin began exploring his interest in Americana subjects and nostalgic scenes, painting images for his American Memories and Country Doctor Collections. Since then his annual Christmas prints have attracted many thousands of art collectors across the country. His induction into U.S. Art's Hall of Fame in July, 1992 followed the magazine's poll of 900 galleries nationwide, which placed five of Redlin's limited editions in the top eleven in popularity. In 1992, he completed his most ambitious work to date, painting each line in the first stanza of "America the Beautiful." All eight paintings, which depict American life from the settling of the west to the present day, were released as limited edition prints over a three-year period, ending in January, 1995. The series has been showcased in art and consumer magazines nationwide and has been acclaimed by thousands of collectors. "Terry Redlin Paints America the Beautiful," a video, earned him a coveted Telly Award in the 1993 national competition.
Redlin's immense popularity can also be measured in the success of his book, Opening Windows to the Wild, The Art of Terry Redlin. In its sixth printing, the book details his paintings, pencil sketches and biography. Always the perfectionist, he personally supervised the printing and production of this project. A critical as well as a commercial success, the book was a Certificate of Merit winner at the prestigious Printing Industries of America competition in 1988. His second book, Terry Redlin, Master of Memories, was released in 1997 and was recently voted Best Art Book by those galleries polled for the U.S. ART survey.
Redlin's most compelling project to date may be the construction of the museum to showcase his original art in Watertown, South Dakota. The Redlin Art Center features 160 original oil paintings by Redlin as well as many prints, sketches and childhood drawings. When they were last on the market, Redlin paintings sold for $50,000 to $75,000. Now, they could be considered priceless because they are not for sale. He has not sold any originals since 1985, when he agreed to his son's suggestions that he build the museum to house them. Since opening in the summer of 1997, the Art Center has welcomed more than three million visitors from all over the world. This is Redlin's gift back to the State of South Dakota in appreciation of the scholarship he was awarded after high school, a gift he never forgot. To him, he's just making good on the advance they gave him, without which he never would have been able to continue his education. "The idea of the museum is to bring in outside tourism money for the state, to pay back what South Dakota gave me for tuition to go to art school," Redlin explained. "They grubstaked me, so I'm just paying them back now." The Redlin Art Center is open year-round and admission is free.
As if that wasn't enough, Redlin was honored in 1998 by the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota by having an elementary school named after him. Terry Redlin Elementary School opened in that fall. However, Redlin says he derives the most satisfaction from his conservation work. Over the sixteen-year period from 1981-96, his donations to Ducks Unlimited raised more than $21 million, setting an all-time record in art sales for wetland preservation projects. By his own estimate, he has donated an additional $4 million to other nonprofit conservation organizations.
After a lifetime of artistic achievements, Redlin announced his retirement from painting and print signing in 2007 due to his personal struggle with Alzheimer's disease, having accomplished what he set out to do. "I wanted to tell stories with my paintings, to remember the experiences of my youth, and to imagine and capture forever events that have been related to me by older folks I have had the pleasure of knowing," said Redlin. "America's rural past, in my eyes, was a wonderful place full of both beauty and opportunity. How fortunate I've been to spend my life creating memories of those distant times for others to enjoy."
A Note from the Artist:
"Throughout my career, I have hand-signed every limited edition print I release. Today, there are many ways for artists to market their prints as signed - even when the artist never touches the print. I have never changed my signing technique. Over the past twenty-five years, I have hand-signed literally hundreds of thousands of prints. It is important to me that you know when you buy a signed Redlin print, I am the person who signed it. My staff hand inspects every print, they hand number the limited editions, and they deliver them to me for my signature."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Terry Redlin. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
The Painter of Light
1958 - 2012
Known throughout the world for capturing the wonders and images of the everyday world, Thomas Kinkade is considered one of the most popular and renowned modern artists of his age. Painting bucolic, picturesque settings bathed in glowing highlights and saturated pastels, "The Painter of Light" portrays the simple pleasures of life to communicate inspirational, life-affirming messages and convey a warm sense of nostalgia in the face of a complex, stressful world. Inspired by the simple act of painting straight from his heart, transcribing on canvas a vision of the world that moved him the most, Kinkade dedicated himself to the ultimate goal of Sharing the Light and, in doing so, became the most-collected American artist of all time. Even after his death in 2012, Kinkade's art has remained enormously popular, communicating the artist's enduring message to slow down, appreciate the little details in life, and to look for beauty in the world around us.
Born in Sacramento, California in 1958, Kinkade had a difficult upbringing, filled with adversity and spent much of his childhood in the nearby town of Placerville about 50 miles east of the state capital. Drawn to art even as a young child, Kinkade sought salvation in his creativity after his parents' divorce, developing his artistic merit as a way to develop self-esteem and connect with his peers. In this way, art was the armor he used to protect himself from his difficult home life of poverty and uncertainty. After graduating from El Dorado High School in 1976, Kinkade continued to develop his formidable talents and unique style, first at the University of California, Berkeley before transferring to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena after two years of general education. While in high school, Kinkade was mentored by several people who saw the tremendous promise, including Charles Bell and Glenn Wessels. It was Wessels who encouraged Kinkade to go to Cal. Kinkade's relationship with Wessels is the subject of a semi-autobiographical film released in 2008, The Christmas Cottage - An exploration of the inspiration behind the famed Kinkade painting, and how the artist was motivated to begin his career after discovering his mother was in danger of losing their family home.
Kinkade Makes His Mark
After graduating from art school in June 1980, Kinkade spent a summer traveling across the country with college friend and artist James Gurney, sketching the scenery that passed them as they traveled. After reaching New York, the two aspiring artists approached Guptill Publications, the publishing home of Kinkade's idol, Normal Rockwell, to pitch an idea about producing a sketching handbook, which Waton Guptill agreed to publish in 1982. The Artist's Guide to Sketching, filled with sketches and instructions on sketching strategies that showed an artistic maturity well beyond their years, was published two years later and went onto become one of Guptill Publications' top sellers that year. Their newfound success landed the two young artists at Ralph Bakshi Studios creating background art for the 1983 animated film Fire and Ice. It was while working on the film that Kinkade began to experiment more expansively with depictions of light and of imagined worlds. Although animation and film were challenging and lucrative, Kinkade knew he wanted to invest his creative talents elsewhere long-term. In 1984, Kinkade and his wife, Nanette, launched his private art career, creating both the distinct style that made Kinkade famous and the business model that turned his formidable artistic prowess into an enterprising multi-million-dollar commercial success. Unlike most artists, Kinkade embraced the opportunity to expose the masses to his work, becoming both wealthy and famous in the process. In fact, his original works and reproductions can be found at venues ranging from dealers such as World-Wide-Art.com to the chain of Thomas Kinkade art gallery franchises to the greeting card rack at local Walmarts across the nation, from clothing and collectibles to books and posters. Fans identify with Kinkade's simple, inspirational messages through his art and the branded products inspired by that art. Despite his enormous commercial success and the incumbent controversies it attracted, Kinkade maintains a large and devout fan base to this day. As millions of collectors around the world sit back and enjoy his artwork in their homes, there is no doubt that Kinkade had indeed achieved his goal of "Sharing the Light."
Family Influence In Art
Kinkade married Nanette Wiley in 1982 and together had four daughters, Merritt, Chandler, Winsor, and Everett, all named for famous artists. Kinkade was a loving family man, marking his devotion to his family by adding symbols of his love to his artwork - Hidden "N's" paying homage to Nanette and the numbers 5282 as tribute to their wedding date, May 2, 1982. After the birth of each of his daughters, Kinkade created adoring images for each namesake - Evening at Merritt's Cottage, Chandler's Cottage, Winsor Manor and Everett's Cottage.
Kinkade often used his finely detailed sketches as a basis for his paintings. Influenced by the Hudson River and Rocky Mountain Schools of painting, his early works often feature vast landscapes and expansive vistas where he experimented with shadows and contrast while not yet demonstrating his hallmark use of light. Defined by tighter brush strokes and detail, these paintings instead showed a propensity for a romantic palette and grandeur. During these earlier years, Kinkade also experimented under the pseudonym Robert Girrard. Free to create with total artistic freedom, he explored the styles and techniques of the French Impressionist movement, resulting in numerous breakthroughs in his artistic techniques and maturing talents. While much of Kinkade's acclaim was rooted in his liberal use of strong contrasts between light and dark (Chiaroscuro), infusing his works with a luminescent quality that reaches out and grabs viewers, he was a skilled, nuanced artist who explored and created in many genres and artistic styles. Rather than get preoccupied with the intellectual aspect of art, Kinkade veered away from many of the popular postmodern styles of art that cast the human experience in a negative light. Instead, he created what people wanted, much like his childhood idol Rockwell. He used symbols and positive imagery to communicate his point of view. He included personal touches and details, such as the initials of his wife and children, that collectors appreciated. Kinkade's Christian faith was also an often employed theme, as he based many paintings on favorite scriptures or spiritual ideals. Mostly, however, he created arch, nostalgic country scenes featuring landscapes, cottages and bridges, infusing each with a glowing luminosity that seems to shine from within the work. More than anything, his paintings intended to create a feeling inside his audience.
Techniques And Media
Kinkade's use of chiaroscuro became more defined as his style evolved and became uniquely representative of his artistic vision. It was his largely successful efforts to incorporate multiple sources of light that made him known as the Painter of Light (a moniker he later trademarked). Often he employing sources of light to hint at the presence of people without depicting actual figures in the painting, diffusing the focus from a defined human figure to allow viewers to place themselves in the scene.
Kinkade explored plein air, or open-air painting, to further his understanding of the glowing effects of natural light. In such an environment, natural light is constantly changing, and thus difficult to master. Kinkade's paintings, which are widely and critically acclaimed, demonstrate his capacity to capture and play with light, while also testifying to his masterful skill as a painter of many styles. Considered his favorite style of painting, he painted en plein air wherever he traveled and used what he learned while experimenting in those settings to illuminate many studio works.
Kinkade also experimented with all types of art media, frequently introducing these media into his creative process, including figure drawing and watercolor, having mastered the latter, capturing outdoor light in landmarks and countryside scenes and simple bouquets of flowers. "What makes one portrait or figure drawing stand out from another is a feeling of character.," he said. "That's something you find in abundance when you're on-the-spot - people of all shapes and sizes, no two alike." Early on, serigraphy was also of particular interest. He continued to use this process to recreate his Remarque sketches and replicate original art. After his death, the Thomas Kinkade Company achieved his goal of creating award-winning images using serigraphy. In 2013, fan favorite "Snow White Discovers the Cottage" was issued in a Serigraph Edition, resulting in two Golden Image awards from the Speciality Graphic Imaging Association.
Charities and Affiliations
Kinkade, a devout Christian who used his work and extensive business interests to promote his belief in charity, was also known for his various philanthropic endeavors. He leveraged his talents and notoriety to support causes he believed in and was active in supporting non-profit organizations focusing on children, humanitarian relief, and the arts, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, World Vision, Art for Children Charities, and the Salvation Army. In 2002, he partnered with the Salvation Army to create two charity prints to benefit victims of 9/11. Profits from the sale of the two prints, "The Season of Giving" and "The Light of Freedom", were donated to Salvation Army to help relief efforts at Ground Zero and to aid the people and the families of those who suffered from the September 11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. From this partnership alone, more than $2 million was raised and donated. In 2003, the famed artist was chosen as a National Spokesman for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and it was during his 20 Years of Light Tour in 2004 that he raised over $750,000 while granting 12 wishes for critically ill children with life-threatening medical conditions. In 2005, the Points of Light Foundation, a nonprofit organization endeavoring to enlist more people in volunteer service in order to help solve serious social issues, named Kinkade Ambassador of Light. Only the second person in the Foundation's fifteen-year history to be chosen Ambassador (the first being the organization's founder, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush), Kinkade visited cities across the nation to raise awareness and money for the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network, which serves more than 360 Points of Light member Volunteer Centers in communities across the country. Throughout his life and even in death Kinkade shared his immense talents and even bigger heart in support of social institutions such as hospitals, schools, and charitable humanitarian relief organizations. Many of his individual works of art have also generated awards, both by charitable and commercial organizations. Though the recipient of numerous awards and honors, it was Kinkade's profound sense of purpose that his art was not just an accessory to be hung on a wall, but also a ministry that engaged people and invited them to see the gorgeousness of the world. It is this notion that continues on as his legacy.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Thomas Kinakde. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Tim Rogerson Bio
A prolific artist with his own unique painting style, Tim Rogerson imbues his artwork with an obvious energy and dynamism, conveying his creative passion and technical skill with whimsical imagery and radiant colors that both bring his paintings to life and instantly connect with enthusiasts from all walks of life who celebrate his works featured in galleries all over the world. Influenced by the classic works of masters from Picasso to Matisse to Liepke, the North Carolina native quickly emerged as a star in the art world, having embarked on a journey that has taken him from Degas to Disney to darling of the industry.
Born in Kissimmee, Florida, Rogerson grew up very close to Disney World - where his father was employed as Show Director in charge of managing and maintaining all of the performances in the park—before relocating with his family to North Carolina at the age of four due to family health concerns. Even so, his father made every day a magical adventure for the budding artist, even though they no longer had the safety umbrella of Disney. Rogerson had a typically idyllic childhood, playing outside with friends, exploring nature, and "hanging out.” However, his artistic drive to express himself was always present, compelling him to commit the pictures and images in his head to paper and canvas. Every child has a dream. For Rogerson, it was to be an artist as well as satisfying his desire to return to his home state, to the magical kingdom from which he came. Of course, being surrounded by the fanciful images of Disney characters, even after his family had moved to North Carolina, (his father was an avid Disney collector and supporter) didn't help curb his appetite for the Sunshine State. In fact, it was these images that helped inform some of Rogerson's style, which has earned him enormous critical acclaim.
Rogerson eventually relocated back to Florida once he was accepted as a student at the prestigious Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, where he majored in Illustration. "I was a very traditional art student and explored all the works from the old masters to modern art," says Rogerson about his art school education. “My influences include Degas and John Singer Sargent, with his perfect, confident brushstrokes…their work has allowed me to push the envelope with my own abstraction of life.” It was while studying at Ringling that Rogerson gained the reputation as a rising artist and influence in his own right. His singular style was first officially acknowledged when he was awarded the 2003 Best Painter Award from Ringling, followed by 2003 and 2004 Best of Ringling Award. In particular, one of his acclaimed works was an emotionally powerful portrait of "Mr. Lincoln.” Favoring the medium of oil paints, Rogerson says that he concentrates on communicating with his audience, capturing people in social settings. "My goal in painting is simple, to tell a great story in the most visually exciting way. When working with highly recognizable imagery, I enjoy breaking the image apart and reassembling those parts into a jigsaw puzzle of elaborate shapes and vibrant colors. This allows me to break away from the usual and become free to create whatever comes to be."
After graduating from Ringling in 2004, Rogerson fulfilled his other dream, embarking on a career as a professional artist. He has contributed his artistic sensibilities to Disney and SS Designs in Florida. He was involved in in creating imagery for the popular Disney Fine Art portfolio and launched Tim Rogerson's Cosmopolitan POP: A Series of Paintings About Everyday Life and the Games People Play (a series of collections of works that showcase the lighter side of life). True to form, at the heart of Rogerson's style is his compulsion to reinvent it: "I want my paintings to celebrate life and stay fresh... I try to stay away from the basic routine and technique because my joy for painting comes from the challenge of creating something entirely new," says the artist about Cosmopolitan POP. Even in preview, the series won critical acclaim by the trade and his peers. His modern cubist twist to classic Disney and unique interpretations has won praise from critics and his peers. "My personal style has emerged and I break down the composition into simple shapes, with each shape having its own palette – it’s a jigsaw puzzle of color to form an image," Rogerson explained. "I keep the backgrounds simple so as not detract from the main focus and so I can concentrate on the details of the central image.”
Rogerson’s art continues to garner deserved critical admiration and honors, and his works are featured in galleries all over the world. Beyond his commercial success, he also earned much desired acclaim in the form of an official title. Named an Official Artist of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Winter Team, Rogerson is one of only a handful of to be named Official Olympic Artists. He obtained this designation by working with An Official Licensee of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Fine Art Ltd. Rogerson's piece titled "US Olympic Winter Team 2006" was conceived of an tribute to the Americans who competed peacefully in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games during such a volatile time in history. From the elegance of the ice skaters to the audaciousness of the bobsled and grit of each downhill skier, Rogerson endeavored to represent the passion and grace with which the U.S. Olympic Team aspired to bring home the gold while donning the Red, White and Blue. The piece was released as both a limited edition giclée in an edition of 250 and an open edition poster. His contribution helped support the U.S. Olympic Winter Team. When asked about the painting, Rogerson said, he wanted the painting “to be an ode to the men and women who are competing; from the graceful glide of the ice skater to the speed of the bobsled to the determination of the downhill skier.”
In 2009, Rogerson was named Official Artist for Disney's first ever D23 Expo where he created his most ambitious work to date, "In The Company of Legends," which now sits in the Disney vault as a piece of Disney history. Rogerson has also served as the Official Artist of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. He continues to spend his time creating works of Disney Fine Art. The pieces are a balanced mixture of his varied style and the timeless Characters of Disney. Still dedicated to painting a better canvas for the art world one brush stroke at a time, Rogerson currently lives in Orlando, FL with his wife, Kerrin, and daughter, Lilly.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Tim Rogerson. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art, Inc. is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
1940 - 2013
Walt Disney's greatest gift may have been the ability to inspire other people to incomparable creative achievements. Disney artist Toby Bluth happens to be one of those shining talents who, to this day, draws his inspiration from the life and work of the inimitable Walt Disney and his kingdom of creations. Starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, continuing with Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi, those first trailblazing feature-length films created and produced by Disney Studios are the five gems in the royal crown of animation history. Just as those films marked Disney's grand entrance into feature length storytelling, they also set the stage for the first five limited edition giclées in Bluth's Disney Fine Art portfolio. Infused with all the depth, texture and richness of Bluth's original watercolors, his fine prints will be cherished for generations, very much in step with the spirit of the timeless classics that inspired them.
Creating those prints was a one-in-a-lifetime endeavor that Bluth did not take lightly - "If you pick up a classic like Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Fantasia, or Bambi, these are the Disney gold films for me. They are the films the whole studio was built on. And to adjust or tamper with it at all, it needs to be done with great respect because it's a little intimidating. These were brilliant films and you don't want to distract from it."
Born in Texas and raised on a farm in Payson, Utah, Bluth remembers going to movies with his older brother—renowned animator, film director, producer, writer, and former Disney artist Don Bluth
People across America have been reintroduced to the story of Noah's Ark with duBois' vibrant images. A series of four, each painting depicts a different scene of the story, showing the Ark's progress in The Promise, The Invitation, The Commission, and The Celebration. Despite it's considerable success, it is first and foremost a labor of love. The Promise was nearly a year in the making. Tom not only researched the story of the Ark, but sewed the costumes worn by his models. He traveled to several zoos, including those in San Diego, Chicago and Los Angeles, to sketch and photograph a variety of animals. His faithful attention to detail is evident, the viewer will continually notice new things, seemingly insignificant details will reveal the considerable knowledge, faith, and skill that went into their creation.
Tom's Christmas series will bring story of the Nativity into your home for the holidays. And Wise Men Came and Behold, I Bring You are the first half of this four part series.
A true Renaissance man, duBois has merged his love of God, art, poetry and music into an interesting and diverse ministry. As well as a fine artist, Tom is a poet, singer and story teller. He often appears at gallery shows with his acoustic guitar and sings to the amazement and delight of his collectors.
"Since I began painting Biblical scenes, much has changed in my life. The research I found necessary in the beginning became more and more important to me. I studied the Bible, but I also studied thousands of painting by artists who have walked this path before me. On several occasions, part of paintings "painted" themselves until, over several years, I have to admit that much was not my own doing - a far greater artist/creator was at work leading me in His direction.
Although I had designed and sewed many costumes for my characters, I knew I had to give the landscape and backgrounds authenticity also. I traveled to Isreal a few years ago. It was wonderful to see for myself - the architecture, the landscape, the people, the flora and fauna of the Holy Land. I needed to stand in the places Christ and His disciples had stood. I needed to see where He was born, where Mary held Him as a tiny infant. Since that trip, my confidence has grown because of the familiarity I now have, and that confidence allows me to be even more creative." - Tom duBois
In 1990, when the Studios released The Prince and the Pauper, Tony became the first person to animate and voice Donald Duck. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves on the Animation Executive committee. In 2009, Tony became a recipient of The Walt Disney Company's Disney Legend Award.
Born in 1972 in Olympia, Washington, the multi-talented artist took up painting while still in high school, though acting was his first creative passion. In fact, he decided to pass up an art scholarship in favor of accepting a dramatic arts scholarship at Skagit Valley College in northwest Washington. The following year he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, next attending the Lee Strasberg Acting Workshop. Amidst the endless cycle of auditions and callbacks to jumpstart his acting career, Carlton managed to pay rent and keep food on the table by working in a custom furniture store that specialized in antiquing and faux finish designs. It was here that his unique style was born - Using reclaimed lumber as his "canvas," he started painting images of vintage Americana with subjects ranging from pop icon celebrity to the hey day of jazz. It was the "A-Ha" moment that led directly to the development of his voice and maturing contributions to the art world.
Carlton's paintings often combine a distressed, wood-like appearance with a fresh, contemporary style. He accomplishes this by first painting a faux wood finish onto normal canvas. Once this is complete, Carlton paints the character and scene over the finish. He ends his process by removing some of the paint with sandpaper. This gives his work a sense of nostalgia, which he considers appropriate for Disney characters. "I want people to imagine they found my artwork in some old run down movie theater basement. Unpreserved and forgotten, an antique bearing the nostalgia and character that only time can bring."
After numerous gallery shows in Los Angeles and private commissions, along with a series of classic lobby card paintings, Carlton married his unique style with one of the most enduring American symbols, Mickey Mouse, discovering a final product that was to become his signature work. More recently he has been commissioned by Disney Studios to create limited edition artwork utilizing their characters in his unique style, including a cubist Jessica Rabbit artwork—a dramatic close up of Jessica giving her over-the-shoulder look with a cubism effect in bold colors—available as part of the Disney Originals Collection.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Trevor Carlton. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
Born in Southern California, Mezak has been painting since his teens. He developed his self-taught impressionistic style through his experimentations with many different mediums and techniques - In fact, oil paints have proven to be his medium of choice because of their resulting vivid color and texture, which, he says, best enable him to express his distinctive perception of form, color, shading and tone. As a starving artist, he struggled to make ends meet and was prepared to give up his passion until his mother stepped in, giving him a box of art supplies she found at a garage sale. In this box was a palette knife that felt so good in his hand it ended up becoming his new trademark and revolutionized his entire painting style. By applying oil paints with the old palette knife, Mezak notice he was able to blend and add texture better than with brushes. This palette knife texturing creates an enhanced, three-dimensional look mixed with perfectly formed thick strokes of paint which display mysterious movement. Once he adapted this new impressionistic approach to painting, which has to be seen in person to be best appreciated, collectors and art dealers were blown away, causing his works to be placed in several exhibitions, both locally and nationally.
Mezak's new and well-deserved recognition caused Disney Fine Art to pursue and partner with him in 2013. This partnership unsurprisingly resulted in a surge of sales of his works at the Disney Theme Parks along with Disney, Princess and Carnival Cruise liners. Mezak was also invited to sit in on a meeting at the Disney Burbank Studios with various professional artists, where he spent time going over color palettes, layouts, and the mood behind Disney's next creation, Frozen. "As I left that day," he recalls, "I couldn't wait to get back in my studio and apply all of the knowledge these artists shared." This experience culminated in him submitting his first Frozen characters, Olaf and Elsa. His stellar work resulted in burgeoning excitement among his Disney peers, which, the artist says, "has motivated me to do more." Lucky us.
Beyond being recognized as one of the most distinguished artists from the Disney Fine Art family, Mezak has also rendered memorable pieces that will appeal to non-Disney fans. While he notes artists William DeBilzan and Aldo Luongo among his influences, he draws much of his inspiration from his experiences in the world and the mood they establish. For example, Mezak has always been drawn to the sea, and it shows in his artwork, as he developed a marine life series. "Before painting, I have to go surfing. It puts me in a good place. When you're in a good mood, it shows in your art." Fascinated with the world around him, he has a passion for painting figurative subjects but has also held a long time obsession with the design elements of playing cards, especially face cards.
With his works quickly growing in popularity and selling in galleries, Mezak has placed in exhibitions, both locally and internationally. His pieces can be found in many private and famous name collections such as Michael Brown from the Chicago Bears and late-actor Paul Walker from the "Fast and the Furious." His work is on display in many renowned galleries. His newest figurative series involves a mixture of many of his past painting styles. "I want the mood of my work to transfer over to those viewing it, so they feel as if they are there... at that very place in time." Mezak has been licensed with Disney for only a relatively short time, making his paintings still very affordable. That is, until his popularity increases, which should be assumed when Disney is involved. His star is expected to continue shining bold and bright in the art world.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the amazing works of Trevor Mezak. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
In her current role as a Visual Development artist for Walt Disney Animation Studios, she has created thousands of concepts, including numerous characters designs, environments and character costumes for films such as Tangled, Prep and Landing, and most recently Wreck-it Ralph. Victoria is also the illustrator of the "Tangled" Little Golden Book.
His vocation was established instantly and pursued with zeal thus attending some of the finest art schools in Italy to include the Liceo Artistico di Milano and later the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Brera. Since moving to the U.S in 1988, Vidan was grown and is recognized today as a strong force in the very competitive world of romance artists.
Vidan paints in a gallery alongside his uncle, the renowned artist Pino. Vidan's original portraits and landscapes are found in many prestigious galleries, earning him a reputation as one of the world's premier expressive artists.
Most of this works can be viewed in trusted book publishers such as Doubleday, Haper-collins, Harlequin, Zebra, Berkeley and Ballantine. While dedicating his limited time to other projects with Vogue Italia, TV Guide, Snapshots and Mary knoll greeting cards.
Born in New Bremen, Ohio, Silvers was painting every chance he got for as far back as he can remember. Inspired by his father, who was also an artist, Silver attended Bowling Green State University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at the age of 21. After working for a couple years in an in-house ad agency in Ohio, Silvers moved to New York to work for ad agencies and continue developing his creative process.
After working for advertising agencies and an illustration studio for several years, he co-founded a full service art studio, Live Wire Studios, located in Clermont, Florida, serving as Vice President and Creative Director in 1990. After six years at the helm of Live Wire, Silvers was offered a position with Walt Disney Animation as a background and concept artist. It was here that Silvers made some of his most acclaimed contributions to the film industry, painting backgrounds and creating images for the movies Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear among others. He maintains a strong relationship with the Walt Disney Company through his contributions on special projects. In 2004 Silvers worked as a matte painter for Industrial Light and Magic on Day After Tomorrow and Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. After ILM, Silvers art directed NCAA Football 06 and 07 for EA Games. After, he moved back to Florida and worked as Associate Art Director on the sports games of EA Tiburon. Having begun working in the film industry right before everything changed and hand painting became a thing of the past, Silver opened his creative palette to the changing demands of creative media - He can work digitally or traditionally, fast and flamboyant or slow and meticulous, able to create in a wide variety of styles and designs.
Throughout his prolific career, Silver has been honored with a number of distinctions. He won several awards including Region I at the 2005 Arts for Parks and Founders Favorite Award at the 2001 Arts for the Parks annual contest in Wyoming, which included an endowment with a prize money of $1,500, for his painting King of the Swamp showing the head of a swimming crocodile. Four years later, in 2005, his painting Going Fishing was awarded with the Region I award (all entries east of the Mississippi River), which came with a prize money of $3,000. He has also been a member of Society of Animal Artist for the past years and in 2005 had a painting accepted in the 45th Annual Exhibition.
Now a full time painter most well known for his depictions of nature and wildlife, Silvers continues to pursue his passion for painting outside the contributions to film. He continues to create art for official movie fine art releases, and his originals are highly prized by collectors like George Lucas and other discerning celebrities and art critics. More recently, Silvers created a new series of traditional Disney images, as well as a offbeat alternative design style called "birds nest," which is all about texture and speed—the opposite of the matte painting style. Both express his artistic passion but in completely different ways, he said. Constantly reinventing himself artistically, Silvers continues to inspire new artists along with those reaffirming their commitment to their own unique vision. Silvers is currently living in Florida and continues to work as a gallery artist concentrating on his work as a wildlife artist exploring ocean themes.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of William Silvers. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.