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.