A few years ago I was walking in Venice, California with my daughter and her boyfriend. I looked across the street and saw a building in the shape of binoculars. I asked my daughter’s boyfriend to go do me a favor and run flat out on the other side of the street because I wanted to take a photograph of the building with him running in front of it for a piece of art I was planning to make out of it.
This is it…..
Sometimes I wonder what inspires people to do creative things. Is it going somewhere new? Discussing a topic of great interest to you? Remembering inspiration from the past?
I always seem to get inspired when I see other artist’s work. Going to galleries and seeing something so new and fresh really gets me inspired. The other day I was walking down Ventura Blvd and went into a gallery near Laurel Canyon Blvd and the artist there had a very creative combination of images and typography. For example; a silkscreen of the American Express card with the card name “American Excess” done as the logo on the card. Quite a statement.
Beauty inspires me. People in photographs or paintings or just very aesthetic surroundings.
Thank goodness my iPhone takes very good photographs. This was taken from my car.
What inspires you?
Here’s a little insider information about what have turned out to be some pretty famous lips.
These lips belong to a model named Lorillie Goldberg. You ask how I know this? Well, as it turned out I was the art director who designed the poster and had to find a model with perfect lips that would look good as a still photographic. The original concept came about from watching a screening the film at 20th Century-Fox before its’ release. One of the first things seen in the film are a pair of lips that fill the screen and sing to you.
When I saw that I immediately imagined a poster with the lips and the concept was approved as quickly by the studio. The copy line “A different set of jaws” came about because this film was release shortly after Steven Spielberg’s first major directorial debut of “Jaws”.
The technique continues with more of the 16 portraits commissioned by Norman Taylor & Associates. This is one of my favorite. What do you think?
Colorful is a word that comes to mind when I think of these islands. They are rich with vibrant life and color and exude art everywhere you look. Juts walking down a back street in Bonnaire makes me wonder why we here in the U.S. don’t use more color in on our buildings. It makes such a difference in the way I feel when I look at these buildings on the islands. The lifestyle is colorful as are the people.
They don’t use any muted colors, they use pure paint. Reds and blues and magenta greens are everywhere you turn. The clothes are bright as the blue sky and there’s nothing tame about how they feel about their community. It comes through everywhere. No wonder people visit from all over the world.
Wouldn’t it be nice to paint your home bright colors. I suppose if you were the only one in your neighborhood who did it, well they might look at you strangely and it probably wouldn’t look as good until it caught on a bit. But, imagine if it did! Might get some good press, don’t you think?
I believe color can make you feel better about your day and what you do. When I talk to people who live on those island they seem cheerful and seem down right happy to greet me and welcome me into their shops genuinely as can be. Most of the galleries there also have beautiful artwork that you don’t see anywhere else in the world.
They are rich in fine art treasure. I can’t wait to go back again and again and again.
OK. The idea was to paint a modern day rendition of an angel using a friend who agreed to pose for a photograph that I could paint from. It’s a very difficult conversation to have with someone whose known you for many years as an art director/creative director and to say you’re just going to try something out a little unusual and see how it comes out.
He was fine with it.
I had this strange image in my head of an angel wearing a black t-shirt kind of holding out his hands gesturing for the viewer to come forward onto his welcome arms.
The photo came out fine.
The painting was done in oils as I was shooting for a classical realistic style and was more or less practicing that technique on this piece. I’m very pleased with the highlights on the arms and hands as it seems to have a rim light effect.
I had many different backgrounds but settled on a yellow sky and clouds in the background. I nailed the likeness of my subject and friends that have seen it immediately know who it is.
The one thing that I wanted to do was put a symbol or phrase or word that would really finish the piece and give it meaning, and to this day I haven’t been able to come up with it.
If anyone out there has an idea for what should go on his t-shirt, please let me know. I don’t feel like it will be completed until that’s done. Maybe it’s a portrait of the devil in red face? That might be an interesting dichotomy.
This is a question that has puzzled me all my life because of two primary reasons; does an artist have an idea for a piece of art or does the artist become inspired to create because of something or someone they’ve come in contact with?
For me personally, sometimes I can just look at a person and envision what kind of artwork would be fun to create or maybe I’m in a beautiful environment and the whole place just seems like I’m walking around in a painting. Those kinds of places make me just start taking photographs. Maybe that’s why people like bringing home lots of pictures of their vacations.
I also usually will always be inspired by seeing other artists work in galleries or their studios. If I like the artwork I usually come home and within a couple of days I’m right into a new piece.
For years I’ve seen beautiful paintings as portraits of people that were generally either their relatives or close friends. Once I went into the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and found a painting of a young boy done by Rembrandt which according to the description was his son and was not a finished piece. It was a remarkable painting. It has that quality of “this is just a study” as well as being a “labor of love.”
I’ve seen many other artists who use their family members as subjects and create portraits that are truly beautiful works of art. There is a fine artist from Spain who makes fantastic portraits of his daughters.
A few years ago I decided to try my hand a oil painting and slowed my process way down in time as a trial of my own talents to see if I could paint a portrait in somewhat of the styles of the masters. I needed a subject. My son became the likely candidate. Now in these modern times most artists that I know usually won’t ask people to “sit” for them as they did before we had cameras, so I took a photograph of my son and started from there.
From the photo I projected the image onto a large canvas and sketched out the image until there was enough information on the canvas to start painting.
I was patient with myself and concentrated on color and likeness as the photo was a pretty straight forward look of my son Max.
I recognized why family members are used at times as it is an artists visual diary of his family and family members are easy to ask and very willing to help .
This was one of my first paintings of this technique and it did take much more time to complete than I generally like to spend on my art. But time was not in the equation for this exercise. Style and passion were the two ingredients for this particular inspiration.
There are things I like and I don’t like about the piece but I do have it hanging in my office and my daughter in law wants it at some point so I’ll take it as a successful project.
I have tried a few other portraits but in different styles as I’ve decided for me that the portrait can be defined by how the artist wants to portray the person. Different strokes for different folks.
Some days you can walk out your door and if you’re really aware of what’s happening around you, well there’s always a way to define it as a form of art.
Take for example yesterday. My wife and I decide to go to the beach. It was very hot and we knew the beach would be considerably cooler than where we live so backed up the car and the last minute I decided to take along the camera.
As we were driving through the canyon toward the West side of Los Angeles we looked over our shoulder and noticed a very large plume of smoke coming from the fire in the LaCanada area which is about 15 miles from where we were driving.
I remembered a lookout spot on Muholland Drive and thought we should take a short detour and try to get a photo of the fire.
This is what I saw – I meant to just photograph the fire but when I saw the sign it screamed visually to me to include it into the picture. It is a visual statement that to me get’s the point across about how dry it is out here in Los Angeles.
But it also demonstrates how you can create a little art by just being aware of your surroundings and be willing to think with aesthetics. It’s a good exercise and it’s fun.
The next photo was taken from the beach to show that even from that distance the fire was very visible and still had a threatening quality to it. People couldn’t ignore it’s presence.
Years ago I would walk around everyday in New York City with my camera for just the same reason. I shot primarily in black and white as to me the city always had that quality and looked best as Black and White because the brought out the grittiness of that environment including the people.
It’s a habit I’m trying to get back into -drawing art from the environment.