Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Reluctant Farewell

I want to restate my thanks to the artists who allowed me to feature their work here over the past several years. Although I have made the difficult decision to stop posting to this blog, it will remain accessible as long as Blogger exists.

I've rearranged the sidebar elements so the index is near the top. By clicking on an artist's name, you will go directly to that person's feature. Links to each artist's blog or website are included in their feature. You can also choose to see all posts with a particular subject matter (birds, landscapes, etc.) by clicking on the appropriate index entry.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jonathan Frank

From the Beginning, 21" x 25"

Jonathan Frank spent his earliest years playing in the canyonlands of western Colorado, and out of that experience, he developed a life-long passion for western lands and the desert. His subject matter is clearly a direct outgrowth of that, but his distinctive style was the result of an early experiment for a high-school art class.

Ephemeral Pool, 19" x 29"

As Jonathan tells it, "The practice of outlining my paintings began as a spontaneous, extra-curricular experiment on a high school art class assignment. Born of sheer teenage boredom, I was compelled to take a ballpoint pen to a rather bad watercolor abstract and just outline the whole thing. I found that the process of doing this was completely relaxing, and simultaneously exciting, and the result was visually striking. It made my bad painting 'kinda cool.' I was so impressed with the look of this that I adopted the concept into my general artistic thinking from that day forth. Nearly twenty years would pass before I started painting seriously, but when I did, this was my starting place. This was my style and I never questioned it.

"The outline has since become much more stylized and refined, as well as poignant. I now use a Rapidograph pen with India ink for precision and permanency. The outline also helps to give the whole piece a clean, unified appearance, as well as to emphasize the sheer strength of my subjects. This all results in what I call High-Definition Watercolor."

Convergence of Memories, 21" x 29"

Owachomo, 14" x 21"

Jonathan has received well-deserved recognition for his unique works, consistently winning awards in national exhibitions as well as in various magazine competitions. His paintings are published in Splash 7 and 10 (North Light Books), and he was featured on the cover and in a full-length article in Watercolor Artist magazine in June, 2009. He is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, the Colorado Watercolor Society, the Western Colorado Watercolor Society, and the Texas Watercolor Society. His works are in both public and private collections.

Genesis Inviolate, 21" x 29"

Coming of Age, 25" x 25"

To see more of his art and learn more about his artistic accomplishments, please visit Jonathan's website.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

American Watercolor Masters -- Gary Bukovnik

Ecstatic Italy: Red Amaryllis, 30" x 20"

Cleveland-born and educated, Gary Bukovnik has made his home in San Francisco for over 25 years. Although he works in several media, he is probably best known for his monumental floral watercolors.

Beginning in early childhood, Gary was drawn to paint the flowers in the plant nurseries that surrounded his family home. However, he put this interest aside as an adult and began painting landscapes, until a perceptive gallery owner urged him to paint flowers. His early works were quite formal, frequently featuring controlled bouquets presented in simple, columnar glass vases.

Ladies Amongst the Thistles, 60" x 80" (diptych)

In 2003, the American Academy in Rome invited Gary to attend as a Visiting Artist, providing him with a room and studio for six weeks. During his stay in Rome, his work began to change -- becoming more free-spirited in nature -- and this change continued after his return to the States. Over time, his paintings have shifted to compositions that feature tipping vases and tumbling fields of flowers, conveying a joyful energy.

Flying Tulips, 40" x 60"

Ecstatic Italy: Flying Roses, 30" x 20"

Monet's Dream, 40.5" x 22.5"

Gary's work has been featured in numerous solo gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Japan, and beginning this June, his paintings will be featured in seven exhibitions in China over the next two years. His work is represented in diverse public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. There are two books on his work -- Flowers: Gary Bukovnik Watercolors & Monotypes, published in 1990; and Gary Bukovnik Watercolors, released in October 2005.

Tipping Arrangement, 40" x 28"

For more information about Gary and his work, please visit his website. I strongly encourage you to watch the video interview -- a wonderful insight into the life and work of this charming and very talented artist.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Amanda Spencer

Peonies, 20" x 20" (51cm x 51cm)

Although British artist Amanda Spencer attended art school and qualified as a graphic artist, her work life headed in an unrelated direction. However, she retained her deep interest in art and, in 2005, she began to paint in watercolor -- teaching herself by studying books and DVDs. At about the same time, she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which periodically disrupts her ability to concentrate and paint due to severe fatigue.

Despite these challenges, she has produced a wonderful body of work over the past six years, with both floral and people/places as her subject matter. Her latest work is a series based on reflections – particularly windows showing the new reflecting the old, but she continues to paint florals, particularly the small pieces which she intersperses between her larger paintings. She writes, "I love watercolour – the colours, the vibrancy and the unpredictability of the medium.... I hope that I have developed a style that incorporates the unique qualities that only watercolour can offer. I find it both a challenge and a joy to produce a painting which, in turn, inspires me to continue towards my goal of becoming a full time artist one day." She credits Nick Simmons for inspiration and for his encouragement of her work, in addition to her husband Dan's support and encouragement, which has given her the confidence to continue working through bouts of CFS.

Summer, 20" x 20" (51cm x 51cm)

Sunlit Roses, 20" x 27" (51cm x 71cm)

Amanda was juried into the inaugural Shanghai //Zhujiajiao International Watercolour //Biennial Exhibition in 2010 and was also selected to take part in The Society of Women Artists Annual London Exhibition. In 2011, her work will be shown in The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours 2011 Exhibition as well as The Society of Women Artists 150th Celebratory Exhibition.

Chrysanthemum, 20" x 20" (51cm x 51cm)

Pashley, 4.75" x 4.75" (12cm x 12cm)

Please visit Amanda's blog to see more of her work.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A short interruption...

I'm taking a break from the showcase this month. All is well, I just need to focus on some other projects. I expect to be back in the editor's seat in May.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

American Watercolor Masters -- Chris Krupinski

Cooking with Wine, 30" x 22"

Although Chris Krupinski has been drawing and painting all of her life, watercolor became her passion after she discovered the medium in the mid-1980s, and she is widely regarded as a brilliant watercolorist. Dynamic light and shadow treatments are prominent in her paintings, and by focusing much of her attention on the smallest details, the viewer is drawn into the intricacies of her work. These two elements have enabled her to create powerfully expressive still lifes and bold compositions.

Lemons and a Lime, 22" x 30"

Clementines and Pitcher, 30" x 22"

Chris has continually drawn rave reviews for her fine art work, winning nearly 100 national awards and honors. She is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, Rocky Mountain Watercolor Society, Allied Artists, and the American Artist's Professional League, to name a few. Chris was one of 26 "American masters" invited to the prestigious Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary International Watermedia Masters in Nanjing, China in both November 2007 and May 2010. She has been published in major watercolor publications, has been a featured artist in numerous leading national art magazines and is consistently included in Marquis' Who's Who Internationally, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who Among American Women.

Apples, Stripes, and Jar, 30" x 22"

Pears and a Glass, 30" x 22"

Please go to Chris's website to see more of her exquisite watercolors.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Geoffrey McCormack

Reina de la Costa, 22" x 30"

Labelled an "abstract naturalist" by a fellow artist, Geoffrey McCormack was influenced early in his career by the trompe l'oeil painters and, later, the new photo realists. He works in series with the goal of fully exploring an idea -- both in terms of seeing common objects in a new light and in relation to the formal aspects of art-making: composition, value, color, etc. He has been working with his "String Theory Series" for more than 20 years and the concept has become an integral part of his symbolism.

Three Rivers: Rock Dance on Hunter Creek, 22" x 30"

The Three Rivers series came about by a wonderful accident. Geoffrey relates, "While printing a copy of an earlier series, there were multiple printer errors which produced a rough triptych. I liked this accidental format and added it to other reference scraps pinned to my studio wall.

"Several months later, as I was thinking about the parameters for a new series, my eyes landed upon the accidental triptych. Incorporated with the stones, sticks, string and shallow space of my Greek series, the new series would refer to the rivers of Western Oregon and these waterways would be the source for forms, materials, colors and perhaps regional or universal detritus.

"When combined, these elements work on many levels: as materials and objects that give a sense of place and as forms that cast shadows describing volume and shallow space. The manmade objects set scale, time or action. For example the strings can be seen as compositional tool that delineates two dimensional space and at the same time casts a shadow describing the three dimensions of the object it falls on. They are also reference to archeological digs and an investigation over time."

Three Rivers: The Rogue, 22" x 30"

Three Rivers: Yellow Twig, 22" x 30"
watercolor and fluid acrylic

With an MA in sculpture, Geoffrey has taught college courses in both two- and three-dimensional art. He has been increasingly active on the national watercolor scene over the past few years and his painting "Red Twig" – from the Three Rivers Series – was honored with the Purchase Award with Silver Star (Best in Show) at the National Watercolor Society exhibition in 2009.

Rocky Point, 22" x 30"

Please visit Geoffrey's website to see more of his work and get information on his workshops.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

American Watercolor Masters -- John Salminen

Washington Square, 33" x 37"
2010 Skyledge (Gold) Award, TWSA

John Salminen is the first artist to be featured in a new series I'll be posting periodically starting this week -- American Watercolor Masters.

[Editor's note: I have featured a number of very accomplished watercolorists over the past two years who would certainly qualify as American Masters. This new series is in no way intended to disregard or downplay their considerable accomplishments.]

John is a prolific painter, with signature memberships in numerous art societies, including the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, The Watercolor USA Honor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Allied Artist and Watercolor West. In addition, he has been honored with Master Status in TWSA and inclusion in the American Watercolor Society’s Dolphin Fellowship, and he is an honorary member of the Jiangsu Watercolor Research Institute in China. He has won more than 190 awards in both national and international exhibitions and frequently serves as a juror for national shows.

Cable Car, 25" x 24.5"

The majority of John's work involves urban landscapes. Ranging from San Francisco to the Chicago Loop to Greenwich Village to rainy Paris to Shanghai, his subjects are consistently presented in dynamic compositions and his ability to set a mood with color, light and tone is unsurpassed.

City of Light, 24" x 35.5"

Paris Bookstalls, 30" x 36"

Champs Elysees, 25" x 25"

Shanghai Alley, 24" x 35.5"

John has been conducting workshops for many years, all around the country, and he enjoys working with artists at all levels of experience and expertise.

Please visit John's website to see a full gallery of his work and get details of his workshop schedule.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter Scenes -- Anders Andersson & Aud Rye

Winter Communication
watercolor, 11" x 15" (28cm x 38cm)
Anders Andersson

After Snowfall
watercolor, 22" x 15" (56cm x 38cm)
Aud Rye

Two Scandinavian artists -- Anders Andersson of Sweden and Aud Rye of Norway -- find inspiration for some of their work in the wintery scenes that surround them for months every year. While Anders takes a minimalist approach, using a soft palette and very spare imagery, Aud's use of color and detail reveals a much more romantic view of the landscape.

As a young child, Anders borrowed his mother's watercolor supplies to begin painting after watching her make watercolor sketches. By the time he reached the university, he was doing airbrush commissions and also worked as an airbrush artist painting custom t-shirts at the beach. His interest in watercolor was rekindled when his wife gave him the gift of a course in watercolor. He eventually met David Taylor and Joseph Zbukvic, two well-known Australian watercolorists and teachers, and credits them with awakening his passion for watercolor.

Anders Andersson's portfolio:

Cool Communications, 11" x 15" (28cm x 38cm)

Bonan, 15" x 22" (38cm x 56cm)

Winter Sleep, 30" x 15" (76cm x 38cm)

Ice, 7" x 15" (19cm x 38cm)

Winter Water, 15" x 22" (38cm x 56cm)

Aud had been doing freelance drawing and illustration work for magazines and books for many years when she quit her jobs to care for her terminally ill mother. To keep herself occupied and focussed on something positive, she read books on watercolor and taught herself to paint, eventually studying with Kari Unn Paye and Zoltan Szabo, among others. She established a school in her home studio and soon was teaching classes and workshops throughout Scandinavia and Europe. When she gave up the weekday classes, she began taping her worshop preparations, with the result that she has published more than 30 DVDs demonstrating her painting techniques. Aud is also co-author with Solveig Rimstad of Blomster, a book of floral paintings with illustrations of their watercolor techniques.

Aud Rye's portfolio:

Frost, 11" x 15" (28cm x 38cm)

Winter in Kragero, 17" x 11" (42cm x 11cm)

Winterscene, 15" x 22" (38cm x 56cm)

The River, 22" x 15" (56cm x 38cm)

The Creek, 15" x 11" (38cm x 28cm)

Please visit Anders' website (and be sure to check the link to his other site) to see a more extensive collection of his work. A visit to Aud's website will reveal the wide range of her watercolor interests as well (click on Akvareller to see her paintings).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Views of Malaysia -- Ismail Kadir and Phang Chew

Keseng Village
watercolor, 12" x 18" (30cm x 45cm)
Ismail Kadir

watercolor, 18" x 24" (45cm x 60cm)
Phang Chew

Ismail Kadir and Phang Chew, two very talented and accomplished watercolorists, share a love of the Malaysian countryside but focus on different aspects of the world around them. However, with wide-ranging interests, neither artist is confined to a single subject, and their work overlaps in some areas. Both are also open to experimenting and pushing their work in new directions.

Phang Chew teaches painting and exhibits his work regularly. He has exhibited widely throughout East Asia -- Thailand, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, as well as Malaysia -- and his work was included in the 2010 Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition.

Phang Chew's portfolio:

Scene from the Countryside, 18" x 24" (45cm x 60cm)

Scene from the Cave of Happiness, 18" x 24" (45cm x 60cm)

Hillside Sheepfold, 21" x 30" (54cm x 78cm)

Duckling Pond, 27" x 33" (69cm x 84cm)

Houses Beyond the Pond, 21" x 29" (54cm x 74cm)

Stream in the Woods, 21" x 30" (54cm x 78cm)

Ismail Kadir also teaches and exhibits regularly. His work has also been included in exhibits throughout East Asia, and he has been invited to the Lushan International Art Festival in Shanghai and Lushan, China since its inception three years ago. He was featured in a full-length article in the June 2009 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine and contributed a painting to the Art vs. Oil Spill disaster relief efforts.

Ismail Kadir's portfolio:

My Village Series #1, 12" x 18" (30cm x 45cm)

Kg Atas Paloh #4, 12" x 18" (30cm x 45 cm)

Pantai Mek Mas Village, 12" x 18" (30cm x 45cm)

Pulau Kundur, 22" x 30" (56cm x 76cm)

Pengkalan Ikan Pulau Gajah, 12" x 18" (30cm x 45cm)

Genting, 22" x 30" (56cm x 76cm)

Please visit Phang's blog to see more of his work. You can visit Ismail's blog to see more of his work, but he has posted most of his recent work on his Facebook profile and welcomes you to view his photo albums there.