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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Masters of the West: The Gene Autry

Just got back from this incredible exhibit. If you are in the Los Angeles area, this is a must see. But hurry, because it ends soon~The Gallery opens up with another large offering of Howard Terpning's signature painting; another Indians in the river painting. He had done another one similar to it a few years back but much larger and I think, with much more bravado. I did not take a shot of that because it was not one of my favorites and it did not compare to the one he had displayed a few years back. The top painting is a watercolor~yeah, a watercolor, not a photography shot. Most of the work displayed are of course Western themes; cowboys and Indians, portraits, still lifes, sculptures, etc. I look for anything out of the ordinary, smart ways to tell the story, but this is a more traditional show; where it really shines is the craftsmanship and technique of the artists. That alone, is worth the $10 entrance fee. You can definitely tell who has traditional training skills from those who don't. Only the few have those coveted drawing skills and know their color. The painting of the Bison, which is on the advertisement poster, by Dustin Van Wechel is excellent. Not only does he paint a terrific and powerful and majestic animal, but he really knows his colors. The antelope is also his; colors so clean and vibrant it appears to have that digital painting feel. Another one of my favorites is the close up of the horses at the bottom and I apologize because I did not write down the name of the artist. Then there was the crowd pleaser, which won a few awards; the puma crouching thru the ice. I took a shot of that, overhearing whispers from a few observers saying "That's the best one!" I'm not a fan of the photo-realistic portraits of animals; I'm a bit more of a traditionalist; preferring paint to look like paint, an oil to look like an oil; skill and imagination with a brush...etc. There was even a single Jeremy Lipking (did I say a Jeremy Lipking? Thee portrait artist? Yes, that's right). Then there was Z.S Liang and Mian Situ; who, even tho they are Asian, depict the west as if they were from that era. Situ always takes my breath away because he paints these large scenes with lots of figures in a sort of nostalgic way but the man certainly knows his colors and his brushwork and can stage the story. His subjects usually are about the historic relationship of the Chinese and how they were used for labor, to the people of the West. If you are a concept story teller or an illustrator who wants to know how to improve; this is a must see exhibit. It ends this month, March 16. The Autry National Center is closed Mondays and it is right across the street from the L.A. Zoo. Parking is free. KMZ

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Back in 2010 I did some work for the incredible Charles Pickens of Disney Publishing. These were for the chapter books based on the main character, Tinkerbell. Charles does some amazing, amazing color work and it was hard to follow his lead; he has so much experience. Great guy; one of my favorite art friends. I was mostly responsible for painting the figures (he would send me the pencils) and much of the background elements were already done. I did a few; like the big sunflower on the left of Rosetta, the giant mouse that she rode as well as her and the character riding another mouse in the distance. These elements were placed into a large painted background later. Mostly I painted what are called partials; and Charles would paint everything else; so the art would be done faster and be more consistent. He would roughly tell me whereabouts he wanted the light and he would trust my judgement to light the figures~which I love to do. These were always crazy, up to the minute deadlines; always a rush!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

If you are in the Los Angeles area; don't miss this show! masters_title.jpg February 1 – March 16, 2014 About the Exhibition The Autry National Center’s Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale is considered the country’s premier Western art show. Each year, more than 75 nationally recognized, contemporary Western artists challenge themselves to create and exhibit their very best work. Stylistically and thematically diverse, their works represent the extraordinary range of subject matter that contemporary, historic, and mythic Western experiences inspire. We thank you for your continued support of the Masters through which the Autry is able to bring to you many of our insightful exhibitions and notable programs. Exhibition Hours The Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Autry National Center is closed on Mondays except for Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 17.