When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jeremy Lipking

Jeremy Lipking is an unabashed erotic romantic painter. He's one of those deft realists who paint as if the 20th century never happened. Invariably such artists paint pretty much the same subject matter; bucolic landscapes, portraits, gardens, children. Frankly it gets a bit tiresome, but sometimes they're just so damn good at it you have to whistle softly between your teeth and admit that, okay, it's damn good.
In general I have avoided posting erotic work because I don't particularly want to offend anyone and usually I find that the eroticism one usually sees in painting actually detracts from the work as mere attention seeking gimmickry. But I've changed my mind this once, although I did place them at the bottom. So go ahead, scroll down if you want to see some really really beautiful naked women. And oh yeah, these water falls are pretty amazing too.
There's more of course on his website: www.lipking.com

Note: most of these paintings are not titled or in any other way described on his website

Waiting 20 x 16 inches

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sam Weber

Sam Weber is a prime example of an illustrator whose work rises above it's immediate commercial purpose, able to stand alone as simply stunning visual imagery. He incorporates a variety of media including photography at times, although he rarely identifies his process and so I'm unable to give you specifics on each image. But browsing through his website and blog you'll see various combinations of photo transfer, monoprint, watercolor, acrylic painting, and plain old drawing. But it's the end resuls that count. No matter the method, he manages to create images of atmospheric surrealism while retaining the strong graphic presence that makes it so commercially viable for print. All in all this an artist who will be around for quite some time and worth keeping track of.
(his combination website and blog are at sampaints.com)

"Absinthe Drinker" Created for the annual Dellas Graphics Frog Folio.

"Fish" illustration in Canadian Business.

"Bone-Hinge" illustration for a short story in The Atlantic.


"Vesper" This painting was started as a demonstration at The Society of Illustrators in New York.

thanks to www.booooooom.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nicolás Uribe - 2

It's a week for revisits. I originally posted some of his work last December.
Nicolás Uribe is one of those painters that seems capable of painting just about anything in any style. He's taken quite a variety of approaches over the last decade or so. But there's an unrelenting love of realistic modeling that he just won't let go of. Thankfully. He's not afraid to bend reality though, and lately he's taken to doing a kind of multi-portraiture, exploring one figure several times on the same canvas to give us a sense of the living, changing, moving person being captured by the often stiff and formal media of paint. For all his deft and seemingly effortless brushwork, I think this recent quote from his blog is quite revealing, and an encouraging sentiment for the rest of us painters:
"there are times when a painting just paints itself and the end result is aboslutely wonderful, and you are shocked at how simple painting can be. And then there are other times, which are more recurring than one would hope for, where the act of painting becomes chaotic and unforgiving. I honestly think these are the paintings that truly make you feel like you're a painter."
Check out his website ( www.uribearts.com ) or follow his blog for the latest work in progress and thoughts on art.

"Medusa Medley" oil on canvas 200x150cm 2010

"Trophy" 2009

"Voodoo Child" oil on canvas 200x150cm 2010

"Voodoo Child" - detail

Monday, July 19, 2010

Travis Louie - 2

Travis Louie just posted a few new pieces on his Flickr page and that to me is as good a reason as any to post an update on this unique artist. I first posted some of his work in June, 2009. Each of his exquisitely drawn portraits comes with a short narrative written by the artist. The general idea is that these are actually photographs of odd characters from a century or more ago and the narratives are brief bios of their peculiar lives. It is an easy thing to let an hour or more slip by looking through these extraordinary portraits and their accompanying stories.
His website (www.travislouie.com) is as good a place to start as any but for the most complete and up to date collection look through the aforementioned Flickr page. You can also keep track of all things Louie on his blog www.travislouie.blogspot.com.
I'm including a couple of the narratives below to whet your appetite for more.

"The Myth of Floaters"
"The best stories about this myth come from North Dakota, where the hairiest floaters reside. In those stories the floaters are said to hover over people’s heads and sprinkle seeds which germinate and sprout herbs and foliage. One man claimed to have grown a full head of ferns atop his mostly bald head."

"The Toad Prince"
"After years of approaching young women with the promise that a kiss would turn him into a prince, he finally convinced a young lady with strange hair to kiss him on his moist lips. Unfortunately, she was afflicted with the “bad hair” and the toad merely turned into a larger human-size toad. He became much smellier and developed a taste for single malt scotch and sausages. His dreams to be a prince dashed, he became a criminal lawyer, croaking his way through court room trials for the next 40 years."

"Monster Man"


And here is an unusual look at an unfinished piece, a prequel of sorts to the piece directly above.

"Pals before the bet"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Takashi Saito

Takashi Saito loves faces. There are over 2000 images on his Flickr page and almost all of them are of faces. He paints and draws them in a wide range of approaches from deft realism, to all manner of stylized distortions. Many of his faces are more design than portrait, and yet something of the model always seems to come through. One of his favorite tricks is render certain parts of the face in sharp clarity, usually something innocuous like an ear or nose or the neckline of the shirt, and then allow the rest of the face to disintegrate into a soft focus blur. He often allows the eyes to almost disappear, drawing us away from what is our natural focus and forcing us to look at the face in a very new way.
You can see some of his work on his website (www.saitotakashi.com) but the aforementioned Flickr page is the place to go. Start with this set of his own favorite pieces.
And according to his profile page he's looking for photographs to work from, so post your mug on Flickr and send him the link. You may never see your own face in quite the same way again.

PS it's well worth clicking on these images to view them larger!

2007 July Oil on canvas mounted on board 29.7 × 21.0cm

2010 Acrylic on panel 41.0 x 27.3 cm

2010 Acrylic on paper 29.6 x 21.0 cm

2009 Gouache on paper 29.6 x 20.8 cm

Acrylic on paper 29.7 x 21.0 cm

Monday, July 12, 2010

Robert Hardgrave

Last week I only posted one artist. My usual goal was three a week, but I'm reducing that to two, probably on Mondays and Thursdays, because time and energy may be universal constants but not personal ones.

So Without further ado I'd like to start this week with one of my rare abstract selections. Robert Hardgrave's hypnotic paintings often seem to hint at representational forms but identifiable objects never quite reveal themselves. The swirling brushwork seems at first glance, chaotic, but is in fact carefully, almost painstakingly applied. Rather than mere chaos, his work speaks eloquently of the concept of emergence, where pattern and design arise spontaneously through random processes. The results are stunning and, oddly, reminds me both of tattoo art and occasionally the work of Mark Tobey (who like Mr. Hardgrave, called Seattle home).
To see more go to his website (www.roberthardgrave.com)
or for a more complete catalog see his flickr page

"Submerged" 24" x 18" acrylic on canvas, 2009

"Moorman" 50" x 58" acrylic on canvas, 2010

"Hymn" 30" x 24" acrylic on canvas, 2009

"Mercurial" 46" x 38" acrylic and ink on paper 2008

"Tumaccan", 9" x 9", ink and acrylic on paper, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lu Cong

Lu Cong is an artist who has honed in on a single subject which he explores over and over again. His subject is young women, or girls, depending on your point of view. They are on the cusp of adulthood infusing many of the portraits with an awkward sexuality. But it is the honesty of their expressive faces that is the triumph of these paintings. Often painted larger than life, the characters gaze out from the flat surface of the paintings with uncanny candor, expressions of confidence and doubt and candid curiosity layered together with all the emotional complexity that comes with the transformation from child to adult.
See more at his website www.lucong.com and on his flickr page

"Ms. Kimberly"
Oil on panel, 30" by 30", 2009

"Study of Kelsie", Oil on panel, 16" x 20", 2008

"Tabitha" Oil on panel, 24" x 24", 2009

"The Duet" Oil on panel, 30" x 30", 2010

"The Girl Who Finds You Here" Oil on panel, 36" by 36"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Christopher Martin Hoff

Christopher Martin Hoff offers up striking urban realism. He uses the linear, geometric patterns of the city to bisect and dissect the landscape. In some of his more experimental efforts he intentionally leaves areas of the image unpainted or merely filled in with white, leaving the various man made constructs completely cut off from their context, emphasizing its' dislocation within the natural world. This is not a particularly uplifting view but he does manage to find in it a fascination with the random, one might ironically organic, complexity that accumulates around us in our frenetic efforts to build, and mark, and connect. Looking at the urban environment through his eyes, one begins to realize that while each detail may have been the result of human planning, the whole is a product of chaos. And in that sense it is very much alive.
You can check out his website (www.christopherhoff.com) although the images (which you can zoom in on) are constrained in fairly small format. There's more at Linda Hodges gallery which is how I came across it, but the best place to look through his work online is at www.steveherrmanns.com
And thanks to that last website you REALLY ought to click on these images to view them larger.

"Floating World 6" • Oil & blue graphite on linen • 41 x 71 cm

"Floating World 3: Always" • Oil & blue graphite on canvas • 46 x 91 cm

"Only" • Oil on linen • 51 x 51 cm

"Moment Frame 2"

"Moment Frame 4"

"Alley and a Dress" • Oil on linen • 76 x 102 cm