Photograph by Justin Rosenberg
This picture of the window I face every day gives life to the idea that your surroundings can influence your creativity. Actually six or seven of us at work look at the window and it affects each one of us differently. But it also connects us and somehow I feel it gives rise to better design and solutions than a normal wall made of cement, wood or painted drywall. What is does is make us kindred souls with the same colorful light and that is why this article from Mark Susnow resonates with me.
Hope you agree…
by Mark Susnow
Sometimes telling a story is the best way to say it. There was that moment. My heart was wide open. I felt inspired. Take a second and imagine that this story is about you.
“You’re on the way to the airport. You get on the plane with a book that you’ve been planning to read for quite some time. As you open your book, you glance at the person next to you. A few minutes later you are asked a question and you reluctantly answer. You lower your book a bit to be polite and after a few minutes you find yourself putting your book down and engaging in a conversation, although with a lack of enthusiasm. And then the person next to you, let’s call him John, makes an observation about you that’s quite perceptive and sensitive. You start to become curious about who John is and in the course of the conversation, he tells you of an experience he has only shared with a few people. You let John know that you have had a similar experience. By now you’re totally engaged and listening to every word he says. You notice every nuance in the inflection of his voice and the way he moves. Time seems to stand still and the next thing you know the plane lands. You say goodbye to the kindred soul you have just met.”
You now know what’s possible. We all would love to have these experiences more often. You feel heard and everything seems possible. It is communication at its highest level and is a lost art. When you integrate four fundamental truths of communication into your life, you can have these experiences more often.
The first truth is to know that what we all want on a deeper level is the ability to connect with another, to touch each other’s soul. Unfortunately, too many of our conversations are just an exchange of ideas and information and we very rarely penetrate the surface. Most of our focus is on how we are going to respond to what is being said instead of listening. When we know that what the other person really wants is connection, there is common ground to build upon. With this foundation, we can build relationships that deepen and empower those involved.
The second truth is to know that listening involves much more than just listening to the words. It is tuning into the energy beyond the words. It is understanding the needs and feelings of the other person. It is about being totally engaged and at the same time being in the rhythm of life. Yes, it takes a lot of energy but you will be energized by what you get back. Imagine living in a world where you are truly listening and fully engaged.
The third truth is to know that you must take responsibility for the quality of your communication. Because we all have long standing attitudes and beliefs we sometimes find ourselves trying to convince the other person of our viewpoints. Being right then becomes the goal of the interaction rather than communication and the next thing you know you are in a full-fledged argument. Just think of what happens when you discuss politics or religion. Is being right more important than experiencing one of those magical moments?
The fourth truth is that communication is a process and an art. Being a masterful communicator doesn’t happen over night but it starts with the intention to experience more connection in your busy life. Just like other art forms, i.e. dancing or music, there is a natural ebb and flow in the learning cycle. As your commitment deepens to this process you notice that you are experiencing frequent glimpses of the magic that is possible in your life. The ultimate communication occurs when you are able to touch each other’s soul and share who you are. This new found magic then becomes the gateway to a more fulfilling life.
At our core, we all have the same human needs and desires. We want to know that we matter and that our life has meaning and purpose. We have the need to love and to be loved. When we accept that we all have the same human needs and desires, we know that we are part of one human family. By working together as one, what is possible in our lives, communities, and the world expands. That’s when we know that we are all kindred souls.
The book is a wonderful companion for any cild or adult traveling in the city who wants to know more about the historic sites. Aside from being informative it is also an activity book for kids who can draw or color to their heart’s content while learning nifty facts about the museums around town.
Listen in at 3PM pst today to hear Kathy and Lon discuss this terrific project. “This Week In Digital Media” is a production of the Illustrators Journal and it’s parent company XanateMedia, strategists for the social media and digital communications space, with expertise in the nexus between art and its commercial applications. The company’s focus is health(care), health and wellness, action sports, e-publishing and entertainment verticals.
This link to the broadcast is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/xanatemedia/2012/06/20/this-week-in-digital-media-with-kathy-koller
artist as brand, Boris Vallejo, charcoal, design, digital media, digital painting, dragons, fantasy art, illustration, illustrators journal, innovation, Julie Bell, levinland, lon levin, nude sketch, nudes, painter, sketching, technology, this week in digital media on blogtalk radio, twitter, Vallejo
Boris Vallejo is a personal favorite of mine and the Illustrators Journal. A lot of our readership and followers are fans as well so I am reposting this interview by Richard Vasseur/Jazma Online for all opf our enjoyment.
Vallejo is truly a unique talent with a smooth, luxurious painting style that is the perfect compliment to his subject matter. To me the style reflects the era we live in smooth, slick, over-the-top rendering of muscles and female forms. The promotion of which is intrinsic to the subject matter itself. He, along with Frazetta are the modern godfathers of fantasy art and we are lucky that he and his wife and partner sat down to discuss a little about themselves with Mr. Vasseur.
Richard: How did you first start oil painting and drawing?
Boris Vallejo: When I was thirteen years old my father got me a set of brushes and oil paints. I made my own canvas and had my first painting experience. Drawing was there ever since I remember.
Richard: Do you have any professional training?
Boris: I started art school at thirteen and studied for four years, although I did not graduate since I did not care for the academic subjects such as art history, perspective and so on. Later on I realized the importance of these things and read about them on my own.
Richard: Do you have a preference of drawing fantasy or super heroes?
Boris: I am primarily a fantasy artist.
Richard: How did you decide you wanted to be an artist?
Boris: When I decided that medical school was not for me.
Richard: Did you ever expect to become as famous as you have?
Boris: I try not to think about it at all. I don’t consider myself famous.
Richard: What about your art captures a person’s attention?
Boris: I guess that you would have to ask that question to somebody else as I cannot be objective about my own work.
Richard: You have designed more than 300 covers but would you like to or have you done a complete comic?
Boris: As I said I am a fantasy illustrator. I am not suited for comic book drawing although I love comics.
Richard: How did you first meet Julie Bell?
Boris: She was a competitive bodybuilder and she came to model for me.
Richard: You use erotica in your pictures as well as imagination where does your inspiration for these come from?
Boris: It is part of my nature. I paint what I feel. Inspiration comes from everywhere. I don’t look for it, it comes to me.
Richard: Which painters do you admire most?
Boris: Every artist is a source of inspiration. Some more than others. I cannot mention just a few.
Richard: How do you feel having so many people looking at your art every day?
Boris: It is great! I am grateful that I can make a living doing what I would love to do and I owe it all to the people that enjoy and support our art.
Richard: What advice do you have for new artists?
Boris: Work hard, be patient and don’t get discouraged. It takes time to get there.
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Boris: Our website is www.borisjulie.com
Richard: Do you have any final words for admireres of your work?
Boris: Thank you for being there!!!
Richard: Lilandra is one of your most famous artworks how did you end up creating it?
Julie Bell: The people at Marvel Comics commissioned me to paint Lilandra as part of an X-Men trading card set. I think they liked the way that I portrayed strong women and also the way I painted metal. Lilandra has both.
Richard: Why did you decide to get into illustrating?
Julie: Because it is a total blast and I love it!!
Richard: Do you think you will ever fully retire from work someday?
Julie: Definitely not. I couldn’t even think of it. Painting is more than just a job–it’s part of who I am as a human being.
Richard: What do you find most satisfying about finishing a piece of artwork?
Julie: I really enjoy looking at a newly finished painting for a little while and then I get very excited to start the next one.
Richard: Would you like to draw a complete comic or have you?
Julie: When I was a kid I drew comics for my friends. I think that’s as far as it will go. Comic art is such a specialized field and it takes many years to perfect, so I just keep painting and enjoy the comic art of other artists.
Richard: You have drawn a number of super heroes do you have a favorite hero you have drawn?
Julie: They were all really fun to work on. I’m trying to think of a favorite, but there are so many and their super powers all present different challenges to paint.
Richard: What is the “metal flesh” technique?
Julie: It is a name that was attached to my way of painting shiny metal. Often people think that I use special paints or airbrush to do it, but it’s just the same old oil paint and sable brushes that I use for everything else.
Richard: How much of an influence has your husband Boris Vallejo been on your art style?
Julie: A great, great influence. He is a very special man and his art reaches people all over the world at a profoundly deep level. He is the one who helped me bring my work up to the professional level at the beginning of my career and he continues to inspire me every day.
Richard: When you modeled for Boris were you at all selfconscious?
Julie: Of course! It was the first time I had modeled for an artist.
Richard: How was Imaginistix created and what is it?
Julie: It is the joining of Boris’ and my artistic talent. We started doing paintings together and really enjoyed both the process and the outcome.
Richard: What is the most important thing in your life?
Richard: What about body building did you enjoy and why did you stop doing it?
Julie: I enjoy most forms of exercise and movement just because I love the feeling of it. I haven’t stopped doing bodybuilding, I simply don’t compete anymore. The competitions take a very hard toll on the body and I had my fill of it. It was great fun to compete and it was a wonderful learning experience.
Richard: Any last words of advice?
Julie: Enjoy your life and be respectful of yourself and everyone around you!
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Pxldust.com, a user-based, digital design and photography competition site, is attracting a growing community of marketable artists to showcase their work with an eye toward providing creative businesses easy access to talent that is “battle tested” through public and peer evaluation.
“We believe the voting reveals popularity and salability of individual pieces of art. Non-members, primarily retail businesses, can see what art can and will sell and how that art translates into a larger market”
Veteran Los Angeles Graphic Designer/Art Director Matt Ansoorian, creator of pxldust.com, said the site highlights artists whose work is proven because it has not only been voted upon by a general audience visiting the site, but by their creative peers. He said artwork on the site is drawn from three key disciplines: illustration, graphic design and photography.
“We believe the voting reveals popularity and salability of individual pieces of art. Non-members, primarily retail businesses, can see what art can and will sell and how that art translates into a larger market,” Ansoorian said. He noted that many of the artists represented on pxldust.com have been commissioned to work on high profile projects.
Members of pxldust.com bring an active trail of followers with them. Creative individuals meet via the network and develop connections that are taken with them. The site can be a valuable tool for business people to readily contact these artists for whom the public has already shown favor for the marketing of their products.
Businesses interested in increasing brand or product popularity should contact pxldust.com regarding sponsorship opportunities.
At the end of each quarter, pxldust.com announces the winners of its voting competition in the three categories. Cash and other prizes are awarded to the top 12 winning entries. The top three will receive Wacom’s Intuos5 Touch Pen Tablets. Wacom is sponsoring the competition.
Visit www.pxldust.com for more on the site.
Art Ansoorian, 805-653-1648
By Gregg A. Masters
On the Wednesday March 28th 2012 broadcast at 2:30PM Pacific/5:30 Eastern our special guest is Steve Light, artist, illustrator, published author and creator of ‘Storytime with Steve Light.’
For more information on Steve, click here.
Steve Light grew up in an enchanted place known as New Jersey. He went on to study Illustration at Pratt Institute, he also had the pleasure of studying and mentoring under Dave Passalacqua. Upon graduating he did some corporate illustrations for companies such as: AT&T, Sony Films, Absolut Vodka and the New York Times Book Review. Steve Light then went on to design buttons that were acquired by the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum
Then came a great opportunity for Steve to teach art to small children. Through his experiences as a teacher he found his true calling as a children’s illustrator and storyteller. He has been teaching in the classroom for the last 10 years with children 3-6 years old. He has used this experience to help him publish 6 children’s books by Abrams and Candlewick Press. Steve’s books include: I am Happy a touch and feel book, Puss in Boots, The Shoemaker Extraordinaire, Uncle Sam a press out and play book, and 2 Hello Kitty books that he engineered. The Shoemaker Extraordinaire was in the children’s book show at the Society of Illustrators. The Shoemaker Extraordinaire even led to Steve being asked to design an ad for United Airlines that was advertised in Japan.’
We will explore what’s on Steve’s plate, what makes him tick, his source of creative inspiration and more! To listen live, or via archived replay, click here.
Albert Herter (1871–1950) was an artist and painter. He was born in New York, New York, and studied in Paris and then in New York’s Art Students League. He had come from an artistic family; before Albert was born, his father, Christian Herter, and his father’s half-brother Gustave formed Herter Brothers, a prominent New York interior design and furnishings firm.
Albert Herter’s paintings include Young Girl, Garden of the Hesperides, and Still Life with Flowering Dogwood and Japanese Figurines; he was commissioned to execute many portrait paintings and he created a number of civic and private murals. He married fellow artist Adele McGinnis. Their son Christian Herterbecame a politician, serving as governor of Massachusetts and later as Secretary of State under Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1909, Herter was paid US$10,000 by Board of Regents of the Colorado Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to paint for the Denver Auditorium what was said to be the world’s largest theater backdrop. The flat curtain was 35 feet (11 m) high and 60 feet (18 m) wide; the illustration was an allegory of Independence including historical figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
That same year, Herter incorporated Herter Looms in New York, a tapestry design and manufacturing firm that was, in a sense, successor to Herter Brothers which had closed its doors in 1906.
Adele and Albert Herter spent a good deal of their time in California at “El Mirasol”, the grand family estate bought in 1904 in Santa Barbara where his mother Mary Miles Herter had entertained friends such as Robert Louis Stevenson‘s widow Fanny Vandegrift (who later retired to and died at “El Mirasol” in 1914.)The 4.6-acre (19,000 m2) parcel comprising an entire city block contained a prominent mansion surrounded by gardens. Adele and Albert undertook two major decoration efforts at the estate: the first at the mansion’s initial outfitting in 1909 which incorporated earlier Herter Brothers furnishings, new Tiffany lamps designed by Albert Herter, original wall hangings and works of art by both Albert and Adele as well as by other California artists. Following the death of Albert’s mother in 1913, the estate received a new round of renovation in 1914 with its conversion into “El Mirasol Hotel”; Herter expanded the mansion and added 15 luxurious bungalows around the gardens. The hotel was famed not only for its balanced design and private tranquility but for its wealthy guests including theVanderbilts, the Rockefellers, the Guggenheims, and the heirs of Charles Crocker, J. P. Morgan and Philip Danforth Armour. In 1920, Herter sold the property to Frederick C. Clift, the hotelier and attorney from the Sierras. After the 1920s, times were hard on the hotel. Under different owners it settled into primarily a retirement home for the wealthy elderly. Herter himself died at “El Mirasol” in 1950.
Two attic fires damaged the west wing of the mansion in 1966. Rather than repairing it, two consecutive owners tried in vain to build high-rise shopping on the lot; the buildings and gardens were bulldozed and cleared but neighbors and a citizen’s committee fought successfully against city approval of high-rise plans. The block sat empty for a few years while the Santa Barbara Museum of Art considered building a main gallery there. In December 1975 the parcel was quietly bought by Santa Barbara resident Alice Keck Park who immediately donated it to the city of Santa Barbara to become an urban park in perpetuity: Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens.
For more Wikipedia
Francesco Hayez (February 10, 1791 – December 21, 1881) was an Italian painter, the leading artist of Romanticism in mid-19th-century Milan, renowned for his grand historical paintings, political allegories and exceptionally fine portraits.
Hayez came from a relatively poor family from Venice. His father was of French origin while his mother, Chiara Torcella, was from Murano. The child Francesco, youngest of five sons, was brought up by his mother’s sister, who had married Giovanni Binasco, a well-off shipowner and collector of art. From childhood he showed a predisposition for drawing, so his uncle apprenticed him to an art restorer. Later he became a student of the painter Francisco Magiotto with whom he continued his studies for three years. He was admitted to the painting course of the New Academy of Fine Arts in 1806, where he studied under Teodoro Matteini. In 1809 he won a competition from the Academy of Venice for one year of study at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. He remained in Rome until 1814, then moved to Naples where he was commissioned by Joachim Murat to paint a major work depictingUlysses at the court of Alcinous. In the mid 1830s he attended the “Salotto Maffei” salon in Milan, hosted by Clara Maffei (whose portrait Hayez painted for her husband), and he was still in Milan in 1850 when he was appointed director of the Academy of Brera there.
Typically for his age, his paintings contain implicit stories and frequently draw on biblical or literary narratives. Also of his time is the tendency to exploit sensuality with only the faintest overlay of a literary or artistic veil. His Mary Magdalene is supposedly ‘penitent’, but her representation seems painted deliberately to bring out her erotic past far more than her penitence. His Susannah does not even bother with any ‘elders’, such is the emphasis on female nudity. In this, of course, he is not alone: a range of Renaissance and Baroque artists had done much the same. Hayez is the far end of the wealth and power of this tradition.
Assessment of the career of Hayez is complicated by the fact that he often did not sign or date his works. Often the date indicated from the evidence is that at which the work was acquired or sold, not of its creation. Moreover he often painted the same compositions several times with minimal variations, or even with no variation. His early works show the influence of Ingres and the Nazarene movement. His later work participates in the Classical revival.
Ghirlandaio was one of the foremost Florentine artists of his time, which is kind of like being an actors actor in Hollywood today. Some of his pupils like Michelangelo became more famous than him but that does not dominish his skills or importance in the history of painting. A review of his work cements his place in history as one of the great Renaissance painters.
Ghirlandaio’s full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi. The occupation of his father Tommaso Bigordi and his uncle Antonio in 1451 was given as “‘setaiuolo a minuto,’ that is, dealers of silks and related objects in small quantities.” He was the eldest of six children born to Tommaso Bigordi by his first wife Mona Antonia; of these, only Domenico and his brothers and collaborators Davide and Benedetto survived childhood. Tommaso had two more children by his second wife, also named Antonia, whom he married in 1464. Domenico’s half-sister Alessandra (b. 1475) married the painter Bastiano Mainardi in 1494.
Domenico was at first apprenticed to a jeweller or a goldsmith, most likely his own father. The nickname “Il Ghirlandaio” (garland-maker) came to Domenico from his father, a goldsmith who was famed for creating the metallic garland-like necklaces worn by Florentine women. In his father’s shop, Domenico is said to have made portraits of the passers-by, and he was eventually apprenticed to Alessio Baldovinettito study painting and mosaic.
Ghirlandaio’s compositional schema were simultaneously grand and decorous, in keeping with 15th century’s restrained and classicizing experimentation. His chiaroscuro, in the sense of realistic shading and three-dimensionalism, was reasonably advanced, as were his perspectives, which he designed on a very elaborate scale by eye alone, without the use of sophisticated mathematics. His color is more open to criticism, but such evaluation applies less to the frescoes than the tempera paintings, which are sometimes too broadly and crudely bright. His frescoes were executed entirely in buon fresco which, in Italian art terminology, refers to abstention from additions in tempera.
A certain hardness of outline may attest to his early training in metal work. Vasari states that Ghirlandaio was the first to abandon, in great part, the use of gilding in his pictures, representing by genuine painting any objects supposed to be gilded; yet this claim is not applicable to his entire oeuvre, since the landscape highlights in, as an example, the Adoration of the Shepherds located, in modern age, at the Florence Academy, were rendered in gold leaf. Those of his drawings and sketches which can be observed and studied at the Uffizi gallery, are considered particularly remarkable for their naturalistic vigor of outline.
One of the great legacies of Ghirlandaio is that he is commonly credited with having given some early art education to Michelangelo, who cannot, however, have remained with him long. Francesco Granacci is another among his best-known pupils.