possessed by jaye schlesinger’s paintings

Go ahead, take a bite. You know you want to.

As soon as I spotted this sandwich created by Michigan artist Jaye Schlesinger I was a goner.

Those of you who nosh here regularly know I have a penchant for photorealistic paintings. Especially of food. It’s a good calorie-free, guilt-free way to indulge (my eyes are always happy to do the chewing). 🙂

What’s interesting about Jaye’s formal training is that she holds MFA’s in both Painting and Medical Illustration (both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor). When I read that she worked as a medical illustrator for fifteen years, producing art for textbooks and journal articles, I thought, aha! — that accounts for her precision.

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leaves you wanting Moore

“Ice Cream Man”

When Scott Moore was just six years old, he drew a policeman on a horse arresting a six foot tall intoxicated duck. A sign of things to come? 🙂

Well, Scott didn’t grow up to be a policeman, and as far as I know, doesn’t regularly cavort with quazy quackers, but he is a master of surrealism, or of what he calls, “out-of-scale realism.”

“Milk and Cookies”

A 40-year resident of Laguna Beach, California, Scott painted traditional watercolors before making an international name for himself in recent decades with his photorealistic, fantastical pieces. 

“Toastmaster”

He typically uses two scales in the same painting, placing tiny figures in retro scenes to tell stories inspired by childhood memories, dreams, and his boundless imagination.

He creates these works in a 1,000-foot studio which he built by excavating a second floor beneath his home. He likes having his studio, which resembles an antique store, on a different level. What a cool collection of 50’s and 60’s tin toys, old books, kitchen and household memorabilia! What fun it must be to “shop your own shelves” for a clock radio, milk bottle, cookie jar, or coffee can to add to your pictures.

“Sell Phones”
“Corner Market”

What Scott doesn’t already own, he finds on the internet. His only cardinal rule for painting is “to be true to the light source.” Otherwise, anything goes, as it can, and often does, in dreams: objects float or change drastically in size as they become part of the studied drama.

“Coffee and Donuts”

Artistic talent runs in the Moore family. Scott’s dad was a watercolorist and graphic designer. He encouraged Scott to pursue graphic design in college because it was too hard to make a living as a fine artist.

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the enchanting world of Cathy Cullis

Cathy Cullis’s art invites you to enter a world of serenity, quiet beauty, and sometimes, melancholy. Stone cottages and charming homes, cozy interiors, peaceful gardens, solitary figures, and uncluttered still life compositions are rendered in subdued colors or monochrome, speaking of another time, far removed from the busyness of modern life.

I’m intrigued by the people in her pictures. What are their personal stories? Because so many women are depicted, I wonder whether they are content with their lives or yearn for more. Are they extensions of the artist, or characters wholly spun from her imagination?

Cathy is a mixed media artist, writer and poet based in South London, UK. She’s been “a maker” since childhood — a versatile creative who thrives on tactile activity and producing handmade pieces with a discernible personal thumbprint.

Although she studied art and literature as an undergraduate at Brunel University, she considers herself largely self-taught when it comes to visual art, since her studies were mostly theoretical rather than hands-on.

Since earning an MA in Creative Writing (specializing in poetry) from Bath Spa University, most of her energies thus far have been devoted to art rather than writing. Still, her background in literature is evident in the narrative component of her pieces, and how she establishes a kind of regional, historic context for them.

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steele yourself!

Ah, breakfast with Van Gogh. What could be better?

A crunchy bowl of Ben Steele’s Earrios will get you off to a great start. What’s that? You want more? Can’t say I blame you.

Once you’ve seen one Ben Steele painting, you crave another and another . . .

Ben in his studio with some of his product inspirations.

Originally from Washington state, Ben relocated to Utah when he was in his teens. He earned a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah, then moved to Helper, Utah, where he studied under the instruction of David Dorman and Paul Davis at the Helper Art Workshops. He recently converted a vacant bottling and beverage distribution warehouse into an enormous studio that will accommodate large scale work.

Ben’s paintings are a unique mash-up of art history and pop culture, a wide-ranging oeuvre that includes landscape, still life, portraiture, and other things in-between. He calls himself a “pop realist,” an artist with an ever evolving style who’s successfully imbued classic techniques with a contemporary sensibility.

With equal measures of playfulness and nostalgia, Steele taps into America’s collective imagination by incorporating iconic brands such as Crayola, Coca-Cola, and Campbell’s Soup. Referencing the American West, Hollywood legends, and major figures in American history (to include several Presidents), his art resonates across generations with its social, political, and cultural overtones.

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loving gary bunt’s rural whimsy

I’ve been a diehard Gary Bunt fan ever since stumbling upon his wonderful paintings of English rural and village life over a year ago. His work is easy to recognize and even easier to love. Just look for the old man and his faithful dog. These constant companions really know how to tug at your heartstrings.

Once you’ve seen “Bert” and his dog in a few different scenes — sitting side by side atop a hill, strolling through the woods, or cozied up in their country kitchen — you can’t help but feel an instant connection.

There’s a certain sense of comfort and reassurance seeing them digging in the garden, feeding ducks just outside the barn, watching sheep in the meadow, bicycling down the lane, or watching the snow fall.

Bunt is wildly popular and beloved in the UK and all over the world; perhaps his wide appeal has to do with his ability to make ordinary life feel magical, even sacred. His unpretentious style makes his work infinitely accessible as it brims with quintessential British charm.

Born in East Peckham, Kent, Bunt (a self taught artist) has been painting for as long as he can remember, and since his school days, has also been keen on poetry, literature, and music. In his teens he taught himself to play the guitar, joined several bands, and wrote songs.

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