Paintings such as Samantha Keely Smith’s make me want to throw my camera away and pick up a paint brush again. I miss the quiet, tranquil nights or afternoons where it felt like it was just me and my canvas and the world around me dissolved entirely. I love inspiration like Samantha’s paintings.
According to her website, she uses oil on canvas along with shellac, varnish and enamel. I’d imagine, given the size of these paintings, that they command every ounce of your attention. They are simply powerful. Her new work is jaw dropping and I can’t imagine what they look like and how they would make me feel viewing them in person. If any one feels like buying me the first one, I would forever be your friend.
I could sit here and explain how I feel about Samantha’s work but I would rather let her paintings speak to you. Take a look at her website to see the rest of her work and her artist statement. I would be first in line to purchase a print if she offered them.
Samantha Keely Smith.
One of America’s dying traditions, or so it seems to be dying, is visiting our backyards: National Parks. I’ll get into that subject later but for now I wanted to share these amazing art pieces created by an aritst who goes by the name of Ranger Doug.
The history behind these posters is quite a story. You can read about why the WPA created these posters in the first place here. Here’s a little excerpt from his website:
Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA’s Federal Art Project printed over two million posters in 35,000 different designs to stir the public’s imagination for education, theater, health, safety, and travel. Due to their fragile nature only two thousand posters have survived to this day; less than one tenth of one percent!
Ranger Doug’s Enterprises is the only source for faithful reproductions of WPA National Park serigraphed posters. Originally produced between 1938 and 1941, these sixteen stunning historical posters have been painstakingly restored, one screen at a time and are now offered as silkscreened prints.
I’ve managed to collect nearly all of these stunning prints in postcard form. As some of you know, I’m an avid National Park traveler. Not only for what each park’s beauty has to offer but each park has its own fascinating history behind it that I love learning about. One of my favorite parks has to be Glacier National Park in northern Montana. I’ve never felt so small and insignificant in this universe before when I was there. Absolutely breathtaking. What are some of your favorite National Parks or National Monuments here in America?
You can purchase various prints directly from the website: Ranger Doug WPA National Park Posters.
Rarely does an artist’s work speak to me on such a profound level that I must own, at least try to, as many originals as I can. In this case, Danny Heller brings that sensation to me. I can’t explain how Danny’s work speaks to me. Danny’s work floods me with nostalgic memories of very specific moments in my life that have happened. They weren’t epic moments of anything crazy. Just life. There’s a calm, simple, serenity to his work that reassures me that the choices I’ve made living in Southern California couldn’t have been better. The above examples are mostly studies of Palm Springs, CA but it’s his LA Visions series that first won me over.
Danny Heller is an oil painter (yes, painter) who was born and raised in Southern California and it clearly shows in his work. Check out his impressive portfolio or drop by a gallery and have your mind blown at the near hyper realism of his paintings in person. If you’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley, you’ll probably have experienced a day like one of Danny’s paintings. http://dannyhellerart.com
From there website to their some of their projects seem to push the boundaries, sometimes too quirky or techie for my tastes but their efforts a few years back for Venice Architecture Biennale still hold up as beautiful virtual reality work.
Jack Chambers (1931-1970) was a Canadian painter and filmaker who shifted from surrealist to photo-realist during his career. I was turned on to Chambers’ work via this article in Walrus Magazine about his unfinished masterpiece, Lunch (1971), which after working on for ten years, Chambers died before completing.
Chambers completed six films between 1960 and 1970, I tried to find footage online from one, The Hart of London, but they were taken down. I did find some excerpts from a movie about Chambers’ work and life here.
A couple other photo-realists working in a similar I’ve posted on previously are William Eggelston and Mike Bayne.
Mike Bayne creates striking realist paintings that celebrate the mundane. Can’t help but be reminded of William Eggelston’s work, which while photographic, maintains a sort of painterly style.
More at Mike Bayne Portfolio
These shapes by Axel Brechensbauer remind me of some strange and wonderful life-size chess set. They certainly don’t look like objects I normally come upon in real life. If one day I do, I will purchase and display them atop of my home for all to see.
I am in awe over the detail in Ricky Allman’s work, makes me want to go pick up some oils and canvas.