When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mark Bennett

"Town of Mayberry"  24.25" x 36.25" lithograph

"Home of Fred and Wilma Flintstone" 24.25" x 36.25" lithograph

"Home of Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson"  32" x 48.25"  lithograph
"Home of Darrin and Samantha Stevens"  24.25" x 36.25" lithograph
I'm generally not a huge fan of conceptual art, but that's usually because the concepts behind them are often so dull. Now here's a concept that makes me think, damn, I wish I'd thought of that. But since I didn't, I'm glad someone else did. Mark Bennett is a loving consumer of popular culture, especially television and film. He carefully observes the environments of his favorite characters and maps out their lives in the form of traditionally rendered blueprints. Like others who grew up poring over Tolkien's maps of Middle Earth I developed a love of maps that correspond to realms of fiction and fantasy. I only wish he had a website of his own where I could browse through his complete body of work. My whole life I've wanted someone to see a map of Gilligan's Island. If he's done it already I've yet to find it.

Here's a couple galleries where you can look through more of his work:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jeremy Price

"Square Victoria" oil/canvas 20"x28" 2011

"Rue Saint Jacques", oil on canvas, 8"x14" 2011

"gotham north" 18"x18" oil on canvas  2010

"December", oil on canvas, 12'x24'

"the main" 18"x36" oil on canvas

Jeremy Price has worked for the last 10 years as a 3D artist in the video game industry. There's not a damn thing wrong with that, and to be honest there's some extraordinary work being done in the field. But even though he's able to make a creative living, it warms my heart that he feels the need to look around his neighborhood in Montreal and record these simple impressions in oil on canvas. They're  not especially ambitious or loaded with conceptual content, but they are full of charm and that elusive quality, the actual mood of time and place.

To see more check out his website: www.cjeremyprice.com

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peter Rotter

Deep Snow 48×60 Oil on Canvas 2009

Untitled 36×48 Oil on Canvas 2010

Lookin Up 30×60 Oil on Canvas, 2010

Wet Spring 36×54 Oil on Canvas, 2008

White Out 40×60 Oil on Canvas 2010
Peter Rotter is another realist painter. His love of the land is immediately clear; more specifically the landscapes of norther Ontario. His compositions are simple and formal with an almost graphic impact. He often focuses in on the textures of trees and foliage that pushes the work toward abstraction. His paintings are based on photographs that are then translated to canvas in his Toronto studio. One can surmise that the painter has a keen photographic eye as well, and it would be interesting to see the  photos next to the finished art. One of his greatest strengths beyond the obvious technical expertise is an ability to peer into his subject matter rather than merely at it.
See more at his website: www.peterrotter.com

I came across his work on the now defunct and much missed paintblog.ca which is still available to troll through if your looking for more art.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alyssa Monks

"Risk" 2011, 10.5" x16", oil on panel
"Fixation" 2010, 48x72, oil on linen

"Cryptology" 2010, 48x72, oil on canvas

"Fragment" 53x36, oil on linen, 2008

"Mosaic" 50x38, oil on linen, 2008

Alyssa Monks is a realist painter obsessed with the human figure and face. Realists often tend to rely on specific effects in their work, some might even say gimmicks. The use of water is a popular one. The distortions of light that it creates lends itself well to the wow factor, so that figures swimming in pools especially seem in endless supply. But here the water, or in many cases a wet or fogged shower screen or other device, is used for more than mere showmanship. Water itself is loaded with psychological potential from the outright risk and fear of drowning to the symbolic power of rebirth and renewal. Nudity carries with it elements of vulnerability and sensuality that are often heightened by immersion in water or in the act of bathing. By ratcheting up the vulnerability,  the artist avoids the pitfalls of mere eroticism, while her fluid use of paint heightens the suggestion of tactile experience. The paintings are large and this kind of grand presentation of what are essentially very personal images must have a slightly jarring but highly effective impact. All in all, these are an extraordinary series of paintings.
There is a whole lot more to look at on her website: alyssamonks.com

(I'd like to thank Matt Calcavecchia at bluecanvas.com for introducing me to her work)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gail Dawson

"Soulsbyville"  2009  oil on panel  24" x 24"

"Malvern #6"  2010  oil on panel  48" x 48

"Malvern #3"  2009  oil on panel  48" x 48"

"Bernal Disturbance (Final State)"  2008

"Bernal Satellite View"  2008  oil on panel  19" x 22"

Gail Dawson's paintings are another reminder of the ever so slippery slope between representation and abstraction. She has used representational images to convey abstract shape and form, as in the google satellite-like image directly above, but more often she paints abstract images that hint at and suggest representation, like the wave-like formations in the first three images here, consisting of multi-hued rectangular planes peeling apart like so much construction paper and cardboard debris. In "Bernal Disturbance" she began with a straightforward realist rendering of an urban neighborhood (see the first state here) and then "disturbed" a large portion of it into abstraction as if the process from representation to abstraction was a kind of force of nature. This suggestion of natural forces, of waves and tornadoes and earthquakes, is central to her work and evokes the fascinating links between chaos and order that is expressed throughout nature.
To see more visit gaildawson.com 
and congratulations to Ms. Dawson on having her work appear in New American Painting 91, which is where I came across it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

William D. Lewis

"The Next Morning"  2010  Oil on Linen  77"x84"

"Medusa"  2010  Oil on Canvas  60"x76"

"Smolder I"  2010  Oil on canvas  30"x40"

"Embers"  2009  Oil on Canvas  36"x36"

"Night Fire"  2010  Oil on Canvas  64" diameter

Wiiliam D. Lewis' interests have consistently moved along the boundary between representation and abstraction. Much of his work bridged this gap in a very conspicuous way, adding abstract elements alongside or overlapping representational ones or setting representational objects in abstract arrangements. However, in his more recent work, especially his paintings of the smoldering aftermaths of burn piles, he uses the native abstraction of his subject matter to blur rather bridge the divide. His somber palette and loose brushwork both help to evoke the experience of the scene. 

Check out more of William's work on his website:  wmlewispainting.com

In an odd twist of coincidence I came across his work because it was mentioned by the gallery directory at the Visual Arts Center in Boise ID. Where I'll have a painting in a juried show that opens January 28th. That painting is of a bridge on fire. My name is David Lewis by the way. William's middle name is David. wooo-oooo.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jenny Robinson

Title unknown
"Billboard"  monotype  53" x 35"

"Dipper"  monoprint  30" x 30"

"Harrison Street Billboard"  monoprint  47" x 30"

"Water Tower Red"  monotype  53" x 35"
Jenny Robinson depicts the monumental derelicts that litter the modern landscape; decaying billboards, old water towers, an abandoned roller coaster... Our penchant for building on a grand scale is hardly limited to banks and stadiums. The mundane infrastructure of our daily lives is frequently enormous, and strangely invisible due to its ubiquity. And when these structures begin to decay they somehow manage to recede from our attention as if they were growing slowly invisible. Many artists have been drawn such ghostlike relics of modernity, but Ms. Robinson captures something of their ethereal presence in her gorgeous monotypes. She relies heavily on initial impressions recorded in sketchbooks but the final work is stylized, and carefully formatted to fill out the frame in dramatic fashion. Her use of large scale prints  is itself "monumental", a way of documenting, memorializing and extolling a fading art form in a digital age.
go to her website (www.jennyrobinson.com) to see more!

Thanks to the artist Sarah M. Newton for the recommendation

Thursday, January 6, 2011

David Molesky

"On a Detour From Valhalla"  oil on linen  45" x 58"  2008

"Hill Fire"  oil on panel  20" x 30"  2009

"Rogue"  oil on canvas  36" x 48"  2009

"Sliding Down Tongues"  oil on linen  50" x 85"  2010

"Southbound Junction" oil on linen  16" x 26"  2010
"Griffith Park"  oil on linen  24" x 30"  2010

David Molesky's paintings revel in the primacy of nature. Much of his work embraces chaos and randomness, especially his vast series of waves and sea spume. But inherent in even these pieces is a suggestion of meaning, as if these displays of chaos are not merely that. For us, the human observer, a they can be a focal point for meditation, for wonder. His work has a mystical streak running through it as he strives to convey his own profound experiences of the world in paint (he has travelled widely and had several life threatening adventures including being held hostage by pirates - there's a fascinating interview on the Juxtapoz website). Mr. Molesky studied under the exceptionally odd and quasi-mystical Scandinavian painter Odd Nerdrum, and the relationship was clearly a good one. Fortunately he never succumbed to the desire to emulate the style of Mr. Nerdrum as others have. Instead he has found his own path to his own ends.
Go to his website: www.davidmolesky.com to see more.
...and congratulations to Mr. Molesky on having his work included in the 91st edition of New American Painting.