Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sean Beavers

Sean Beavers
Sean Beavers is an artist who plays with context, juxtaposing his still life subjects in particular, with boxes, paintings of them resting on drawings of similar subjects, or in other backgrounds that accomplish one of the things that art does best — allowing us to see the commonplace with fresh eyes.

Beavers says in his artist’s statement that he thinks of his work as symbolist, in that the subjects of his compositions represent something beyond the objects themselves, and while I don’t claim to have an understanding of the intentions behind his pieces, I do find that element of “more than meets they eye” comes through and adds to the appeal.

I particularly enjoy the series he calls “Stillscape”, in which he paints objects commonly used for still life in the context of shoreline landscapes.

Beavers also paints figurative work and landscapes. The latter tend to be spare and open, often with dramatic cloud formations as their focus.

[Via Jeffrey Hayes]

 
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Adam Hargreaves

Adam Hargreaves
Adam Hargreaves is an English painter whose focus is on landscape, and in particular, trees.

Though not present in all of his compositions, trees are often the primary subject. Hargreaves finds special fascination in trees with gnarled, twisted trunks, roots covered in moss and wonderful textural elements that give his landscapes a great deal of presence. In a way, it almost feels as if he were doing tree portraits, so individual do some of them seem.

His work appears detailed in small reproduction, but in larger images shows as pleasingly painterly. Though his approach is never overtly impressionistic and his color palette is often muted, there are times when his compositions remind me of some of Van Gogh’s lesser known works, particularly those influenced by Japanese prints.

I personally respond strongly to visual texture in paintings, and in this characteristic, Hargreaves constantly delights. From weathered bark to soft moss to delicate patterns of leaves and branches, he seeks out the most interesting textural aspects of his scene and conveys them with tactile virtuosity.

Adam Hargreaves is the son of Roger Hargreaves, the well-known author and illustrator of the “Mr. Men” series of children’s books. Adam inherited responsibility for the line from his father, and when not painting, continues to write and illustrate books in the series.

Adam Hargreaves is represented by the Fairfax Gallery which has a selection of his work online.

On Hargreaves’ own site, there are two galleries under “Paintings”, for work from 2010, and 2009. Both come up as a slide show, but it can be stopped and thumbnails can be accessed from controls at the bottom. In the 2010 gallery, there is an additional “zoom” control. While not really a zoom feature in the usual sense, it does bring up larger versions of some of the images (as does clicking on the images themselves).

[Via ensuciando las paredes]

 
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Charles Robinson (update)

Charles Robinson
Every so often, I like to check back on artists that I’ve written about previously and see if the internet, in its seemingly endless capacity to expand and grow, has graced us with additional image resources for the artist’s work that I didn’t offer in my original post.

In the case of Golden Age illustrator Charles Robinson, who I wrote about in 2007, I’m delighted to say the answer is an emphatic yes.

You might say that illustration was in Charles Robinson’s blood, his father was an illustrator, as were his brothers Thomas Heath Robinson and William Heath Robinson. Elder brother William is the best known of the three, and Charles is sometimes in his shadow, Thomas definitely so.

It’s unfortunate that the work of all three brothers doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.

The good news is that those additional resources I mentioned include several complete books illustrated by Charles, and one with work by all three brothers, now available on the Internet Archive. These, unlike some illustrated books featured on the Archive, have quite good reproductions of the illustrations.

The books feature both color reproductions and a wealth of Robinson’s beautiful ink drawings, reproduced better and in more quantity than I’ve previously seen, and I have to say they have raised my appreciation of Robinson as a pen and ink artist.

Each of the books can be flipped through page by page, or accessed through a page of thumbnails. In addition to the full illustrations, there are numerous spot illustrations and page decorations.

[I found the Internet Archive entries courtesy of this post on The Art of Charles Robinson on “{ feuilleton }”, the blog of artist and designer John Coulthart, and I recommend browsing through his Illustrators Archive (Time-Sink Warning).]

 
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Christopher Peterson

Christopher Peterson
Christopher Peterson is an illustrator known in particular for his rock posters. He also does a variety of illustration, storyboards, set designs and exhibit concept designs.

Originally from New York, Peterson studied at the Art Institute of Boston and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His clients include Time Magazine, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Readers Digest, Fortune, McGraw-Hill, Watson-Guptill, Macy’s, Courvoisier, Warner Brothers, Joe Boxer and Bill Graham Presents, among others; and his rock posters have included such performers as Paul McCartney, Phish, The String Cheese Incident, Sting, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, John Hiatt, Taj Mahal and Gloria Estefan.

Peterson’s approach varies from relatively highly rendered, to painterly to loose and sketchlike. His website features sections for posters, illustration, concept renderings and sketches, and you can find an additional portfolio of his work on the Shannon Associates artists’ representative site.

I particularly enjoy the fun conceptual devices he employs in his rock posters, with band names and concert information arrayed on grain elevators, buildings, room interiors, train cars and the like.

 
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Thomas Hovenden

Thomas Hovenden
19th century painter Thomas Hovenden was noted both for his work as an artist and for his role as a teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

As a painter, Hovenden painted domestic scenes, historical events and to some extent still life subjects. He is noted in particular for his depictions of African Americans, both in domestic and historic contexts, such as his well known depiction of The Last Moments of John Brown (images above, top), now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has a zoomable high resolution version on the website.

Hovenden’s interest in African American subjects may have stemmed from his wife, artist Helen Corson, who he met while studying at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Her family were abolitionists, and the barn on their property that hosted anti-slavery meetings, and as a stop on the underground railroad, later served as Hovenden’s studio.

In 1886 Hovenden was appointed to replace Thomas Eakins as Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts when Eakins was asked to leave amid conflicts with the board of directors over nude models, insubordination and other accusations of “inappropriate behavior”.

Hovenden’s students included such noted artists as Alexander Stirling Calder, Robert Henri and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

 
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Felideus (Juan Parra)

Felideus (Juan Parra)
Based in Madrid, Spain, Felideus (pen name for Juan Parra) has worked as an art director, animator, screenwriter and graphic designer for film and video productions, and is now a freelance illustrator, designer and writer.

As a writer and illustrator, Felideus has worked on book projects and in comic books.

He works both in traditional media like watercolor, acrylic, pencil and ink, and in digital media, using applications like Photoshop and Painter.

Felideus maintains a blog which also functions as his website, though the Portfolio section is labeled as Under Construction, and points to his portfolios on CG Society, deviantART, CG Gallery CGHub and Behance.

These appear somewhat redundant. I found the ones on CG Society or CG Hub as complete as any.

His blog, however, provides discussion of the work, names the projects for which the illustrations were intended, and provides additional images, including detail crops and in some cases, step-through process in the form of animated GIFs. The most recent blog entries feature translations of the text in four languages.

Felideus’ highly rendered, richly detailed style feels fresh and resists any feeling of being overworked, partly because of his superb use of value and color, and partly in his use of texture, contrasting highly detailed passages with areas that are almost flat. I particularly like the way he uses a limited palette and deft control of value, to push layers of an image back and dramatically bring others forward.

His more recent images, some of which are part of an advertising campaign for Buskers beer, and a few of which are for an in progress book project called “The Automatic Forest” (images above, bottom two) carry echoes of some of the Golden Age illustrators who worked in detailed and highly textural styles, like Arthur Rackham and Gustav Tenggren. Felideus manages at the same time to make his images feel ancient and modern, and uses his digital tools to great advantage.

 
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