Steve Smulka

Steve Smulka
Interestingly, the galleries of paintings on Steve Smulka’s website are divided into two sections: Women and Glass.

Though seemingly disparate subjects, the relationship becomes more apparent when you observes his fascination with the way light affects both kinds of compositions.

Light is transmitted and refracted through his glass objects, which include heavy jars and bottles as well as decanters with their spherical stoppers and thick sides that bend, curve and curl their dark and light values into fascinating patterns, while transmitting beautifully rendered elements of landscape through their shapes in many instances.

In his portraits of women, light plays across their faces and bodies, often covered in drapery, with rows, valleys and translucent areas across and through which the light can also create intriguing patterns and contrasts. The compositions with women also often include animals.

You will also find a few different still life subjects on the sites of galleries that display Smulka’s work (listed below).


Andrew Borg

Andrew Borg
Andrew Borg is a artist based in Malta, where he portrays that island nation’s Mediterranean sunlight in bright plein air watercolors.

You can see in his approach his admiration for watercolor masters like John Singer Sargent.

On Borg’s website you will find his portrayals of Malta’s dramatic rocky landscapes, formal gardens, sunlit streets, churches, and coastlines. You will also find some interpretive works and portrayals of other places in the Mediterranean and Europe.

In addition there are sections of drawings in charcoal from life and traditional casts.

There is an additional portfolio of his work in Artmajeur, where the originals are for sale.


Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney at NHIA

Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney at NHIA
Long time readers of Lines and Colors will know that James Gurney is one of my favorite contemporary illustrators, as well as being a superb landscape painter and the author of several books on art technique.

Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney is an exhibition that opens today at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and features work from his iconic series of beautiful adventure picture books.

In them, Gurney brings a sensibility of 19th century Gilded Age painting to the contemporary fascination with dinosaurs, and the results are quite wonderful.

Two of the titles from the series have recently been reissued in deluxe editions: Dinotopia: The World Beneath 20th Anniversary Edition and Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time 20th Anniversary Edition.

Though I haven’t seen this particular exhibition, I had the pleasure of seeing a similar exhibition in Delaware in 2010.

Even if you haven’t a taste for the subject, or for fantastical art in general, Gurney is first and foremost a terrific painter, and seeing his work in person is a treat.

Though the Institute unfortunately hasn’t posted a gallery of work from the show on their site, you can see more of Gurney’s work from Dinotopia on the official Dinotopia website, as well as Gurney’s website and his always fascinating blog, Gurney Journey.

As part of the Institute’s Distinguished American Artists Discussing Art series, Gurney will be delivering a lecture tonight, February 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm titled Worldbuilding: How to Developa Fantasy Universe. Tickets are $20 and available online.

The opening for the exhibition is at 5:00 pm tonight. The opening and the exhibit are free to the public.

Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney will be on view at the NHIA until March 13, 2013.


Eye Candy for Today: Hassam’s Rainy Day

Rainy Day, Boston, Childe Hassam
Rainy Day, Boston, Childe Hassam.

“American Impressionism” (i.e. painterly realism) in the hands of one of its foremost proponents.

On Google Art Project. Click in lower right of image for zoom controls.

Original is in the Toledo Museum of Art.


illustrators magazine

illustrators magazine: Denis McLoughlin, Ian Kennedy, Angel Badia Camps, Cheri Herouard, Mick Brownfield
illustrators is a new quarterly illustration art magazine from the UK.

For those familiar with magazines like ImageS, Illustration and illo (links to my posts), this is a welcome addition to the small range of quarterly publications dedicated to showcasing illustration, both contemporary and classic. In this case it is with a UK and European perspective rather than an American one, and the inclusion of comics illustrators.

I received a review copy of illustrators #1 (images above) and found it well produced, with excellent image quality and the kind of print production values that make it seem as much a book as a magazine.

In depth, style and era of illustration, the magazine strikes a nice balance. In this issue the lead article was extensive, running some 40 pages, the second article detailed but a bit shorter at 20, then a 10 page article article and some shorter ones. The issue wraps up with book reviews and, like the other quarterly illustration magazines, has ads that are often as much of interest to the reader as the content.

The illustrators website lists the currently available issues (up to #3 as of this writing) and gives a good sized click-through preview of issue #1, and a shorter one of issue #2.

(Images above: Denis McLoughlin – cover and second down, Ian Kennedy, Angel Badia Camps, Cheri Herouard, Mick Brownfield)


Stephen Gilpin

Stephen Gilpin
Stephen Gilpin is a Kansas based illustrator whose clients include Harper Collins, Random House, Simon and Schuster, Scholastic and the Wall Street Journal.

He has a fresh, crisp, cartoon illustration style well suited to his work in children’s book illustration.

He strikes a nice balance between rendering and flatter areas of color, while keeping the jaunty feeling of his lively linework.

You can see Gilpin’s work on his blog and the Flickr stream that serves as his portfolio, as well as his “Billy the Squid” Etsy store.

The best sampling of his work, however, is the portfolio on the site of his artists’ rep, Shannon Associates.