Sunday, September 25, 2016

David Wiesner

David Wiesner, children's book illustration
David Wiesner is a children’s book illustrator and author, known for titles like The Three Pigs, Flotsam, Mr Wuffles, Tuesday and Art & Max.

His website doesn’t have a straightforward portfolio of artwork, but is instead arranged as archived articles, some devoted to a specific title, that include artwork.

Wiesner varies his approach somewhat to be in keeping with the framework of the story. He works primarily in watercolor and gouache; there is a page on his website devoted to his materials, and some of the posts about individual titles have some work in progress images.

Wiesner’s illustrations have the much-desired characteristics for children’s books of being both visually engaging and thought-provoking. The also have enough detail to invite the reader to linger over the images.

I had the opportunity yesterday so see some of Wiesner’s originals as part of an exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA — “Get the Picture! Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration” — that is on display until October 9, 2016.

I was particularly struck by his textural and imaginative illustrations for Art & Max, a children’s book exploration of painting and the creative process that features lizards who paint.

Wiesner is also the author of Spot, an interactive story/learning app for the iPad.


Eye Candy for Today: J.C. Schotel chalk drawing

Seated Woman Watching a Cradle, J. C. (Johannes Christianus) Schotel, chalk drawing
Seated Woman Watching a Cradle, J. C. (Johannes Christianus) Schotel

Black chalk on paper, roughly 11 x 10 inches (27 x 25 cm); original is in the Morgan Library and Museum, NY.

There is a soft delicate feeling in both the rendering and quality of light in this drawing by the 19th century Dutch artist, who was known primarily for his marine paintings.

The seemingly casual lines used to create the tones of the folds produce a surprising degree of geometric strength. The woman’s hair is simply rendered but superbly naturalistic. The representation of the woven basket is likewise wonderfully economical but effective.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Hiroo Isono

Hiroo Isono
Hiroo (Hirō) Isono was a Japanese painter and illustrator, known for his intricate and fantastical scenes of tropical jungles and animals. He traveled extensively in the South Pacific, Africa and North America.

He is known in gaming circles for his work on the Mana series of games, including Secret of Mana and Heroes of Mana.

Unfortunately, I can’t find anything in the way of an official site for Isono, so my links below are to other blog posts and articles about him that have larger images of his work than I’ve provided here. [Correction: Terry Miura has been kind enough to write with Isono’s official website.]

Readers with accounts on Pinterest or Tumblr may be able to find additional images; you might also try a Bing or Google image search.

[Via Kevin Hong]


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Eye Candy for Today: Clausell’s Burgeoning Springs in Autumn

Burgeoning Springs in Autumn, Joaquin Clausell
Burgeoning Springs in Autumn, Joaquin Clausell

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Museo Nacional de Arte.

Joaquin Clausell was a Mexican artist who lived and worked in Paris during the time the French Impressionists were active. In this early Autumn scene, he shows their influence as well as his own fascinating experimentation with color and texture.


Bryan Mark Taylor

Bryan Mark Taylor, landscape and cityscape paintings
Bryan Mark Taylor is a plein air painter based in California who focuses on cityscape and landscape.

Taylor travels extensively and many of his subjects are from Europe as well as other locations in the U.S.

His crisp, textural treatment of architectural and natural elements often takes on a sculptural feeling, with shadows and interlocking planes forming much of the structure of the composition.

In some of his European subjects in particular, he often plays with the “keyhole effect” of archways seens through other archways.

Taylor teaches workshops, and has an instructional video, Painting Cityscapes that is available from Streamline Video. There is a brief trailer on YouTube.

Taylor was instrumental in developing the Strada Easel, a metal alternative to the more common wood construction of contemporary pochade boxes.

Taylor’s work will be on display in a solo show at the Pacific Edge Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA that opens this Saturday, September 24, 2016.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dustin Van Wechel

Dustin Van Wechel, wildlife art
I have to say that I am not often drawn to contemporary wildlife art. I find that too often artists will allow the inherent assumed appeal of the subject to outweigh considerations of the painting as a painting; and works are frequently a bit lacking in the characteristics that I find appealing in paintings.

There are of course notable and delightful exceptions to this, one of which is the simultaneously bold and sensitively realized work of Dustin Van Wechel.

Van Wechel is a painter based in Colorado, who transitioned from a career in the advertising industry to establish himself as a full time painter.

His work combines texture, atmosphere and a subdued palette to present dramatic scenes of wild animals in the context of landscapes that could often stand on their own as just landscapes.

He has a sensitivity to light that feels like that of a dedicated landscape painter, combined with a feeling for the motion and form of the animals that gives them a liveliness and gravity that I don’t often see in wildlife painting. I particularly like his portrayals of bison and crows.

His website portfolio is divided into current and archived paintings, and drawings. There are additional portfolios listed below for Trailside Galleries and an article with images from Southwest Art.