Haddon Sundblom’s Santa Claus Illustrations

Haddon Sundblom Santa Claus Illustation for Coke
The image above (large version here) is one of illustrator Haddon Sundblom’s wonderful paintings of Santa Claus pausing to refresh himself with sponsor Coca-Cola’s sugary carbonated beverage.

The now famous paintings were part of an illustrated campaign that ran from 1931 to 1964. Though Coca-Cola’s claims for Sundblom’s role in the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus are overstated, as I point out in my previous post on Haddon Sundblom, that does nothing to diminish the wonderful painterly quality of his interpretations of the old boy.

The company has a page devoted to the Coca-Cola Santas, and there are more resources and links in my previous post, as well as an earlier post on Illustrators’ Visions of Santa Claus.

Adebanji Alade

Adebanji Alade
Adebanji Alade was born in Nigeria, and trained at Yaba College of Technology (a renowned art college in Nigeria). He extended his studies at Heatherly’s School of Fine Art in Chelsea in the UK. He currently lives in the UK and works from a studio in Chelsea.

I first encountered Alade’s work through his blog, which he has subtitled: “My art, my passion for sketching”, and passion for art is something that he demonstrates in abundance.

His web site has galleries of his work in several categories, portraits, drawings, illustrations, landscapes, religious themes and African influenced work. It is on his blog, however, that I find the best showcase of the two aspects of his work I find most interesting, his landscapes, particularly cityscapes, and his “Tube” sketches.

Alade fills sketchbooks with drawings of fellow passengers on London’s public transportation; page after page of direct observation and impromptu portraiture, fascinating faces and glimpses into other lives, shared momentarily in the process of getting somewhere.

He sometimes takes his Tube sketches and develops them into paintings. He has a secondary blog, subtitled “The people I sketch everyday” in which he chronicles this process. There is also a gallery on his web site devoted to the sketches.

Alade works in a variety of media, oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite, carbon pencil and pen and ink. For his landscapes, he works from sketches and photographs in the studio as well as being a dedicated plein air painter. Both his studio work and location painting evidence the same dedication to direct observation displayed in his Tube sketches.

He often posts preliminary sketches and the paintings developed from them on his blog, and occasionally posts photos of himself painting on location. I always find it interesting to see photographs of the location for a painting, as well as the artist’s setup, not only for the arrangement of easel, palette and painting tools, but for the sense of scale and feeling for the environment in which the artist was working.

In addition to his web site and blogs, there is a brief video of Alade at work and being interviewed on the Winsor & Newton site.

Larry Roibal’s 2009 Year in Review

Larry Roibal's 2009 Year in Review
Since I wrote about illustrator Larry Roibal last year, he has been continuing his wonderful practice of daily sketches of prominent figures.

Roibal draws his newsmakers on newsprint, literally. It’s common for artists to draw on “newsprint”, meaning the cheap pulp paper, similar to that on which newspapers are printed, that is used for quick sketches and throw-away drawings, but Roibal’s “newsprint” drawings take on a whole new meaning.

He sketches his portraits of politicians, world leaders, entertainers, sports figures and other newsworthy individuals directly on sections of newspaper articles about them.

Roibal’s ballpoint pen drawings are defined enough to give a sharp likeness of the individual, but open enough to let the newsprint come through.

Roibal has just assembled a remarkable collage of his drawings from the past year. My excerpt above is just a tiny fraction of the whole. You can also see a tabloid size excerpt here.

Of course, for the larger and more detailed drawings, take a meander back through his blog posts over the course of a fascinating year of news and personalities.

Impressionism – Painting Light at the Albertina

Impressionism - Painting Light at the Albertina, Gustav Caillebotte, Maxime Maufra, Alfred Sisley
Impressionism – Painting Light is the title of an exhibition at The Albertina in Vienna, Austria, on view through 14 February, 2010.

The exhibit draws from the collections of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum and Foundation in Cologne, as well as the Albertina and the Batliner Collection, with additions from private collections and other museums.

Those of us not in the neighborhood can enjoy the Albertina’s online tour of some Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works that are rarely seen outside of the region.

The exhibition includes work by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masters like Monet, Cezanne, degas, Manet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Morisot, Seurat, Renoir, Caillebotte and Sisley, as well as less well known painters like Albert Besnard, Maximilien Luce and Maxime Maufra.

(Images above: Gustav Caillebotte, Maxime Maufra, Alfred Sisley)

[Via Art Knowledge News]

Chris Buzelli

Chris Buzelli
Originally form Chicago, NYC based illustrator and gallery artist Chris Buzelli cites painting alongside his grandfather in his TV repair shop as a child as a major influence on his choice of career.

Buzelli studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, and his illustrations have appeared in publications like Time, Rolling Stone, Playboy and The New York Times.

His confidently rendered illustrations juxtapose disparate elements in logic-teasing arrangements. Forms, objects and expected contexts are stretched and re-imagined, the unexpected becomes the norm.

Often his images deal with wonderfully grotesque animals and other elements of the natural world, though they appear to be illustrating concepts related to modern industrialized life.

Buzelli’s web site has a gallery of his work (note that there are 4 pages of thumbnails, accessed by a small row of dots about the thumbnail area). There is also a Shop, in which both prints and original art are available.

The images on his site are unfortunately a bit small. You will find some larger images on the Tor.com site, and accompanying an interview with the artist on LCS and another on Woosta. There is also an interview with Buzellii on the Communication Arts site.

Buzelli has a blog on Drawger.

Allison Proulx

Allison Proulx
After spending much of her career in the animation industry, working for companies like Walt Disney Feature Animation and Hanna Barbara, Allison Proulx turned her attention to gallery painting.

She studied at Rhode Island School of Design and Art Center College of Design and worked briefly as a freelance illustrator before entering the animation field.

Her web site featured galleries of work from both sides of her career, including figurative work.

Her simply and clearly stated landscapes come from direct observation, and are a marked contrast to the stylized animation background art that is also featured on her site.

I always find it fascinating when an artist does both real and fanciful landscapes, as the comparison speaks volumes about the intent and techniques employed in the creation of each.