Jeff Simpson

Jeff Simpson is an illustrator currently working for Eidos Montreal. He has worked quite a few times with Imagine FX magazine, doing covers, lectures, and tutorials. His work is really phenomenal in how it blends the illustrative and Fine Art world – his style is sometimes reminiscent of Phil Hale and Rick Berry, with their intense brushwork and color usage. There is a stylistic line between his personal work and freelance work, but both are equally skilled.  I really commend people who are able to still be so prolific in-between working hours, personal life and other events and still find time to draw for themselves. But, you don’t get this good by sitting back and waiting for inspiration to strike. 

I personally like his abstract portraits the best. Of course his concept work and character designs are rad, but nothing tickles my fancy more than an artist using digital skills in traditional mediums – his oil paintings (though they are ‘spruced up’, it seems, in Photoshop) have the same thought process and technique as his digital paintings do, and vice versa. His digital work has an authenticity that can only stem from his traditional work. His work never underestimates the ability of the user’s eye – his work is perfectly balanced in detail, knowing full well that the human eye can only see so much at once. His pieces aren’t over worked, but instead focus nicely on compositional elements that really bring beauty to the audience’s eyes without getting tired. It bothers me sometimes when artists treat the entirety of their pieces with the same amount of rendering and detail. Simpson never makes that mistake.

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http://jeffsimpsonkh.tumblr.com/

Edward Wesson

 

Not too much information on Wesson I can find online, and the stub of a wiki article isn’t even helping:

Edward Wesson (April 29, 1910[1] – 1983) was an English watercolour artist.

His work is known for its simplicity, boldness and mastery of brushwork. He is remembered by many painters as a very encouraging teacher.

He had one daughter, Elizabeth Wesson

.”

Thank GOD, I really was wondering if he had offspring and what his student’s thought of him – THAT is good news. His work is, however, simplistic, bold, and masterful so at least they got that part right.

But seriously, these paintings are very charming. They are simple in their shape design and usage of colors. You won’t see layers upon layers here, but clear cut silhouettes matched with strong pen work on top. He is a typical watercolorist, finding the minimum amount of information to describe his topic so as to never overwork. My favorite part is his simple outlines sometimes used in pen, it really gives them an illustrative feel, especially the renderings on shadows. I think it takes them from normal watercolors to impressive pieces. One of the best pieces I found on him was a study of a house (shown below) done in multiple weather conditions -notice the temperature differences on the white house (hint: it looks cooler in warm weather, interestingly enough).

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Dan Hillier

I’ve included both full images and close-up details, without discretion, so that you can all understand in one sitting why Dan Hillier is a wonderful artist. Without seeing these works in context of their full detail, it can be disappointing to view his full pieces with no real ‘pay-off’, though I am sure this is just a effect from small internet images and a risk associated with an online presence. 

But these are amazing. (I know I’ve said this before.) I could sit here and talk about his line work and masterful use of old ink techniques (though he primarily works in print) all day, though I’ll limit it to just a few paragraphs here. I studied old ink masters for a few years, ones that relied on stark black and white images to tell whole stories. But there weren’t really ink washes that could reproduce well on a printer, so you had to work all the value differences out with line only – with values changing depending on how thick, close, or both lines were compared to one another. Check out your dollar bills – they were done in the same way.

Most of the time these were done larger than necessary and scaled down, as its pretty obvious how hard this can be when you are working with complicated images, especially with faces, hands or details in them. That’s my first reaction to Hillier’s pieces is the wonderful patience in his works, with rewards as awe inspiring as the detailed close ups below. 

A lot of people may find his subjects to be something close to a ‘Master Wizard Hipster’, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. I personally love them, but taking away the negative connotation of the words and you are left with someone who relished in antiquity, respects old techniques and imagery and adds their own personal flare, and I don’t see many things wrong with that. His pieces are a wonderful juxtaposition of eras so that they appear mystical, fantastical, dreadful and dark. 

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Erik Jones

Erik Jones is on of my favorite recent, live, painters to come into my radar these last few months – especially following his successful solo show at Spoke Art. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about graphic shape design and beautiful ladies, so needless to say I am a big fan of his seamless overlapping of the two. And the number of dualities at play in each piece is proof of his skill; They’re messy and they’re organized, they’re flat and full of depth, they’re composed simply but with great care. You know you’ve spotted a master when someone makes something that is complicated, as these pieces are, look easy. His knowledge of color clearly is off the charts; Only someone who understands theory could get away with tossing this many colors onto one piece and have it look so symbiotic. And don’t even get me started on his hands….they are gorgeous.

Pieces like these have a level of confidence to them that is appealing as well. Granted, with such chaotic pieces a mistake is less easily noticed, but I know I could never paint such a delicate face and then top it off with a perfectly transparent block of red straight across the perfectly rendered lips, as seen below. All I can think is what would happen if it didn’t work? It would be like another few hours of fixing that mistake – and then you’re out of energy and possibly a bit scared off from making more outlandish and impulsive decisions. But Jones, I feel, uses this chaos to his advantage. His work is proof that you can’t be scared off by possible mistakes, but maybe, instead, treat them as ‘happy accidents’ that further the greater flow of the piece. So I trust these pieces, because he trusts his ability. And that makes good art.

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http://www.theirison.com/

Andrew Hem

 

 

The perfect contemporary painter, Andrew Hem combines flawless technique and subtle subject matters to create moving pieces that are as striking as they are brilliant. Though I will admit he has become quite comfortable with his chosen color palette (most everything is based around a turquoise blue), the underplayed changes in brush strokes, value, and temperature makes these pieces as interesting to look at the closer you get to them. His figures are stylized, at times distorted, and his surreal approach to story telling is chilling.

I especially appreciate his sketchbooks, which highlight the supreme ability that makes the illustrations possible.

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http://www.andrewhem.com/

Costa Dvorezky

Two parts Frazetta and one part Rick Berry, Dvorezky is a pretty fantastic artist. Beautiful draftsmanship and design, and when his texture work they are a pretty significant part of the piece.  Despite his claims in the ‘articles’ on his webpage (of which I have an entirely separate opinion on…)  his work doesn’t necessarily speak to me on any deeper levels besides his impeccable technique. And so an age old question is asked: Do we need art to ‘say’ anything, or just look pretty?

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http://dvorezky.com/page.html

Zdzisław Beksiński

Residing somewhere between fascination, nightmares, and thing I generally never want to have the pleasure of seeing first hand, Beksinski’s work is world renowned for its creep-tastic imagery that stays with you well after you’ve stopped looking. An artist who was very leery of finding meaning or symbolism in his work, Beksinski’s sole influence for his work was classical music – to which he would listen to over and over while completing these dramatic oil paintings. Being entirely self taught, he was very cautious of any public attention and rarely went to his own openings or shows, and was almost never interviewed. And though his work is terrifying, the artist himself was known to be light-hearted, humorous and happy.  In my opinion, the artist’s calm demeanor can be felt through these pieces – though they are admittedly fear invoking the viewer doesn’t necessarily feel any first hand danger (though, I myself would not stick around too long to test the theory…) Psychologic damage, sure, but no physical violence….

I could go into all the sad things this artist is better known for, including his death, but instead would rather focus on the beauty of the images left behind. If you are interested in his work, for which there are hundreds and hundreds to keep you occupied, check out the virtual gallery here : http://www.dmochowskigallery.net/

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http://www.dmochowskigallery.net/

Robert Genn

Robert Genn is one of the most well known Canadian painters still living today. He is the founder of Painter’s Keys, a website which sends out bi-weekly newletters to its thousands of subscribers filled with inspirational artistic quotes and tips for painters.  Though the website needs a much needed redecorating, I cannot argue with his attempt to connect artists from around the world into a stronger community.

His work, however, is beautifully unique. Though he is heralded as a modern day ‘Group of Seven’, his work is set apart by his very distinct personal style. What I love most about these pieces is how solid the shape design is. Of course most people will be drawn to his use of color, which is very saturated but works sublimely due to its correct values,  as it is one of the more recognizable aspects of his work. For me, it is the design work. You can tell because his thumbnails seem like a complete painting, and (unfortunately) when you click for a larger image, there isn’t a whole lot more to see. You can view his images 10x smaller and they would still hold up – he never gets lost in details. Though some people may be turned off by his lack of detail, for me, it is a sign of a great artist that he doesn’t need them.

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http://www.robertgenn.com/

Cliff Wallace

We here at blankspace are incredibly proud to announce the inclusion of Cliff Wallace to our gallery. We are currently negotiating terms,but it is confirmed that he will be featured in a solo show in January. Stay tuned to our facebook page to hear more details as they develop!

Cliff Wallace is a creature sculptor, or top movie monster maker, with a film career spanning over 25 years, and including such films as “Hellraiser”, “28 Days Later”, “Kingdom of Heaven”, “Hellboy 2 The Golden Army”, “Clash of the Titans”  and many, many more.  Wallace is also the owner of Creature Effects, a company specializing in the production of creatures and special makeup effects for movies, television (he is renowned for his designs in the popular cult series Dr. Who) and promos.  He boasts many personal fine art shows as well, including a long-time collaboration with Strychnin Gallery in Berlin. (Not to mention a Fangoria Chainsaw Award under his belt…)

But his personal work is where he really shines – as seen in the examples below. His style, reminiscent of Pan’s Labyrinth, is beautiful in its dark and majestic creation. Though his gory prosthetics and special effects makeup is obviously fantastic, these surreal depictions of distorted humanoids is eerily fascinating.

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http://www.creature-effects.com/gallery.html

 

Eustaquio Segrelles

If you ever wanted to know what the next generation Sorolla looks like, look no further than Eustaquio Segrelles. For boring typical, but never the less interesting, information about him,read the text below. For those of us who would rather just look at some art, keep scrolling my impatient friends!

Straight up copied from the R Alexander Gallery website:

“Eustaquio Segrelles was born in 1936 in the town of Albaida, Valencia (Spain). At the young age of 6, his father passed away, leaving his mother to care for Segrelles and his five siblings in the unruly times of the Spanish Civil War.

He began his artistic schooling at the School of Fine Arts of San Carlos in Valencia where he studied from 1950 – 1954. There he developed his worldly renowned techniques of light and shadows. This talent caught the attention of galleries, which began showing his work in 1957.

Inheriting the talents of the painting of his father, Segrelles began to develop his artistic talents with pencils at a young age. This practice assisted in his later years as he worked as a draftsman for the publisher Maga, Bardon Press, Illustrated Selections and Bruguera from 1955 – 1972. This exposure allowed him to become much more widely known and allowed him to focus on his true passion, his fine art. His professional career has led to such success that a street was dedicated to him in the city of La Eliana in Valencia.

As a professional artist, Segrelles focus is mainly on oil painting, but he also has become quite skilled in the mediums of bronze sculpture, pen and graphite drawing, watercolor and printmaking. His style is based on an amazing mastery of color and light – becoming proficient in the technique of chiaroscuro. He uses colors only used in nature itself – brown, sienna, white, and indigo. Broad strokes give way to subtle detail, showing faceless characters while bringing to life the Mediterranean culture. He recreates the setting sun, the subtle sea and the daily life along the Valencian coast, reminding collectors of Sorolla’s loose brushstrokes.

The paintings of Eustaquio Segrelles can be found in public collections around the world including Argentina, London, Scotland, Holland, Portugal, Venezuela, Paris, Japan, Mexico and the United States. His works are represented in museums throughout Spain including the Palace of the Governors and the Provincial Museum of Valencia.

Segrelles is a member of the Accademia Internazionale (GRECI – MARINO) in Italy.”

 

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For more extensive images of young men and women picking things up from either the ocean of a field, a simple Google Search is sufficient for all your peasant needs.

Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn is the perfect representation of traditional skills applied in contemporary, or in this case abstract, ways. He is best known for his Ocean Park paintings, which  break down a landscape into simple, yet accurate, colors and shapes in a way that gave rise to the popularity of abstract expressionism.

I love his use of color, which is so spot-on that the fact that the subject matter is sometimes a little obscure does not bother me. You can tell immediately where you are, what type of day, what part of the world, and, in a sense, why you are there. The temperature and value of his works are impressive, to say the least. If he had not had a formal, traditional training, I do not believe they could be nearly as successful.

I have included here only his landscapes/cityscapes, but he was an incredibly prolific artist before his death, and worked in many different subject matters. I encourage the study of him for landscape painting and perhaps Euan Uglow for figurative if you are looking for artist to master copy to learn how to effectively use simple shapes to describe a complicated subject….

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Glyn Warren Philpot

I just realized there has been far too many “wordy” posts lately. I apologize,  as I understand us artists are primarily visual people, and it is hard to get excited over text. I can’t even guarantee it was very good text. So, for the next few weeks, I will stick to just pictures. (But then, after that, I will have a very special treat for you all!)

But, I will at least do the artist’s the honor of giving them a short introduction, though we all know they work speaks for itself.

Glyn Warren Philpot was a very successful portrait painter during his day, even exhibiting through The Tate Gallery (1938), The Ashmolean Museum, The National Portrait Gallery and Pallant House Gallery. (yeesh!). Having a very formal background, he was well received for commissions of famous persons of the era. However, his homosexual background caused trouble in his later years as his pieces began to slowly get more and more sexualized and he slowly was shunned from public eye. This caused his popularity to plummet and caused him numerous instances of financial strife.

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(For a fantastic collection of his work, please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/search/painted_by/glyn-warren-philpot
You know what, just go there anyways. An incredible resource for high(er) res images than just google.)

Henri Gervex

Henri Gervex was an forgettable French painter during the days of Degas. It is unfortunate how many incredible  artists exist in the annals of history who have simply been forgotten – even through Gervex’s controversial paintings of the time, he still wasn’t important enough to make the history books.

Museums are filled with art like this – paintings that are so consistently good in  both technique and cultural significance that is easy to overlook them in the rows upon rows of similar greatness.  You go into a stupor in museums simply because there is too much talent to take in at once. But, I guarantee, 96% of the names you do not know (even if you have studied art or art history!). This is a shame. In making this blog awhile ago, it was part of the goal to gain awareness of not just unknown living artists, but deceased as well. Not that is does them much good, but I still feel it is important to be inspired by those who lived for the passion of the craft, instead of the glory.

Though, Gervex was a fairly famous painter in his day (and, admittedly, not the most unknown painter nowadays either…). He primarily was famous for his controversial painting Rolla,which was hastily rejected by the Salon despite his early medal awarded to him  when he was 26. Though the subject matter itself was not cray-cray – he was certainly not the first to paint a lounging and nude pale white woman, it was the inclusion of her clothes strewn about the floor that made this painting so risque. Including a RED corset on the ground, and the man’s walking stick protruding through its delicate folds, clearly was pornographic enough for it to be discarded from judging that year.  That same smut, however, received great success when exhibited at a nearby gallery privately. I guess sex really does sell. WHO KNEW.

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I apologize to our younger demographic for the lack of “I confirm I am over 18” button to view this obscenity.

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Henry Scott Tuke

Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Here to celebrate the USA’s celebration of the ruling on proposition 8 and DOMA (which, to all my non-USA followers and USA followers living in a non-rainbow falvored hole in the ground means that the way to legalized gay marriage is happening, though same sex couples who were previously married can begin to reap the legal benefits of being married, such as paying taxes and being notified if your spouse dies.) Anyways, its a large milestone for the public majority to begin accepting gay marriage, and that in itself is something to celebrate.

I’ve been feeling home sick, as being in Oslo doesn’t have the same celebration mentality as San Francisco has right now. Why couldn’t I have waited  6 months to move and enjoyed not only the SF Pride (arguable, the best in the world)but the repeal of DOMA and prop 8 in the same week? Ugh. I should have seen it coming and planned accordingly. So, instead, I’ve decided to host the next few artists those who have helped, in their own way, to further the gay “agenda”.

Today we talk about Henry Scott Tuke who, though never an outwardly proclaimed gay male, certainly raised awareness during the 1970s with a sort of revival as a gay cult icon. This is interesting, as his works are never outright sexual, they are incredibly gay. I blame the fact that the only thing he ever really painted was  young male nudes lounging around at the beach. But, you can see the figures themselves are never doing anything raunchy – they never even touch, either physically or compositionally much.  Though, I am having a huge trouble finding any females (I did find a few dogs and sailboats), I cannot say that he despised the female form as most of his males are quite feminine – smooth, round and beautiful forms instead of overly muscled and oily men.

He was incredibly popular in life, and it is never really revealed if those during his time followed in his homosexual themes or not. It isn’t even widely known if Tuke would even enjoy being held as a gay artist icon…..but, never the less, he is one.

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