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).

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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/

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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!

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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).

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Art Appreciation

The first time I saw Daphne Yap’s work it was on a book cover in Bud Plant’s delightful catalog of art books. It was an orange cover with a curiously costumed baby. And I hated it. But when I encountered the book in person that year at the SanDiego ComicCon, the cover and its lingering aftertaste were rendered instantly moot. Inside was one of the most astonishing collections of pencil work I’d ever seen, and from an artist much younger (and better) than I. And while she went on to work on Avatar, and many other projects, I’ll always remember judging her book by its cover.

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Art Appreciation

Dawn Wilson-Enoch – I met Dawn many years ago in Washington DC when she was just breaking into illustration. These days she lives in New Mexico and makes jewelry. In between she painted some of my favorite pieces in the genre. While very few of her pieces can be found online, I am pleased to say that two of these hang on my wall.

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