Art Appreciation

I’ve loved Jody Lee’s work since the first covers of hers I saw (probably for Mercedes Lackey).

Her understanding of classic forms, color, and decoration are peerless. She was creating stunning (and instantly identifiable) line designs long before anyone else I knew – and I invariably use her work in courses I teach about the Dos and Don’ts of Branding and Marketing for self-publishers.

She is (along with my friend Paul Komoda) the artist I most want to own a lifelong monograph of.

http://www.jodylee.org/website/Portfolio/QuickReference.html

11034185_10153188887897495_1151104922147481563_n

11041755_10153188887917495_8025783104161460222_n

14623_10153188887912495_372596833935446000_n

Art Appreciation

Joyce Ballantyne began painting pin-ups for Brown & Bigelow, having been recommended by the king of pin-up artists Gil Elvgren. But unlike her friend and studio mate Elvgren, she often used herself as a model. Ballantyne painted Shaw-Barton 1955 pin-up calendar in its entirety, and that demand was so great that it was reprinted many times.

But that’s not her most indelible accomplishment – that honor falls to the iconic Coppertone suntan lotion billboard that she was commissioned to create 4 years later. She used her then-3-year-old daughter Cheri as the model for the girl whose bathing suit is being tugged at by a rascally dog.

10629468_10153188894872495_8143804679631703548_o

10982837_10153188894857495_600624685679799378_o

11028968_10153188894792495_2086775032894359392_o

Art Appreciation

I met Kristina Carroll on a long-ago visit to New York City, through our mutual friends Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta.

These days I see her more often at conventions like Boston’s Arisia (where it was honor to reward her one of the show’s top prizes) and on her annual visits to Portlandia.

She loves working in real old-school (non-digital) media. Her elegant painterly works often feature the sorts of shiny rich gold that we digital painters envy.

She has been the driving force behind the marvelous Months of Love and Fear for 4 remarkable years:

http://bookofloveandfear.com/

Her work can be found on her site:

http://www.kristinacarrollart.com/

…and at Every Day Originals:

http://www.everydayoriginal.com/artistprofile/?artist=kristinacarroll

11024595_10153188900442495_8017765220714889324_n

11019023_10153188900452495_1599799812057778714_o

10712616_10153188900437495_2418422197911492632_o

Art Appreciation

I saw a terrifying piece of LeUyen Pham‘s years ago in a Spectrum collection. In it, a woman was being strangled in her bed by a terrifying creature of nightmare. Later, I saw a disillusioned mermaid and her neurotic cat. The pieces were remarkable not just for the artist’s obvious skills and sense of humor – but also because these first pieces were the only that I’ve seen from her like them. After a college internship at a giant animation studio (where she helped lead the charge of digital animation), she opted to go solo – into the world of children’s books.

A couple years later, we were both invited to display at the Pixel show here in Portland.
These days, her work is always a delight (though I cannot help wonder where her earlier sly and genuine darkness has hidden itself, and where it might next be revealed).

10455291_10153188915367495_5080586894155531395_n
11025151_10153188915402495_5378311214051519994_n
Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 8.07.22 PM

Art Appreciation

Thanks to her husband’s superb painting, I’d seen Laurie Lee Brom’s face long before I actually met her. But seeing her paintings was a different thing entirely – luminous oil portraits with a hint (or more than a hint) of the Gothic. Her work is colorful and elemental, and the same sensibility and delight at putting a raccoon into the hoops of a skirt somehow removes the inherently clichéd quality of fairy wings. It’s a fine (and beautifully scrolled) line, but she walks it very well indeed.

10440291_10153188907622495_8996552175010701055_n

10866161_10153188907657495_2865661817739074220_o

11057336_10153188907632495_7575942424355665834_n

Art Appreciation

I met Pat Ann Lewis-MacDougall years ago (in the company of her equally talented husband, Larry MacDougall). Memory whispers that her background included work for the esteemed Canadian animation company Nelvana. But memory can be tricky. In any case, her award-winning work (often featuring animals and spirits) has been seen in a variety of forms and is now focused on in Children’s books.

I especially admire the animation in her figures and the joy with which they inhabit their worlds. I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm.

11045322_10153188920447495_2065494872564235510_n

10712975_10153188920472495_2796599117001355172_n

11000526_10153188920487495_753310209751800819_n

Art Appreciation

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law spent years in some of the same trenches I did (Games, Spectrum, Llewelyn books, et al). But where I seem to have emerged caked in mud, Stephanie has soared skyward. Her award-winning work is featured in galleries, books and her own deck of Tarot cards. Her elegant and detailed watercolors limn magical and unearthly vistas populated by very real animals. Enjoy!

11043085_10153188924462495_3996507741608044324_n

10347621_10153188924432495_7294698325217541956_n

13472_10153188924482495_8106628915611581444_n

Art Appreciation

Wylie Beckert is another young artist whose wonderful work mixes darkness, whimsy, and emphasis on characters and storytelling.

Unlike most of the people whose work you’ll see me share, Wylie and I have something in common – we are self-taught.

She’s spent these last months working on a set of playing cards (and an Art Book) called Wicked Kingdom: http://www.wickedkingdomdeck.com/

1425214_10153188945342495_1905803591461909897_o10658997_10153188945332495_3208795296977957586_o11017175_10153188945377495_8298275284578211872_o

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-12-45-00-pm

Art Appreciation

I met Zelda Devon in San Diego at the San Diego Comic Con when I remarked on the (truly remarkable) tentacle stippled subtly on her shoulder.

She looked askance as she was wearing long sleeves at the time. Of course, I’d seen her bare-armed earlier, but I admit I enjoyed a moment of seeming clairvoyance.

Back then, she lived and worked with her partner in NYC, often for ad agencies and always working to better her craft.

Since then, she’s relocated to LA. where her focus is the Entertainment business.

After all, there’s no biz like show biz!

10406970_10153188948897495_3389196062799204097_n

10410665_10153188948947495_9093899875304552179_n

10950727_10153188948927495_1639083153516217211_o

Art Appreciation

Amy Crehore is a fine artist and musician.

After a long career illustrating for magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy, her award-winning work is most often found in galleries these days (and sometimes on ukuleles).

She’s also an amazingly lovely person and friend (though I see her far less than I would like).

10425393_10153191338402495_2980069154014083425_n11025713_10153191338432495_2541931060811792806_n10497839_10153191338392495_720780124443057057_o