Art school watercolors...

I have a website for my fine art from over the years. I do not update it primarily because I am thinking about overhauling the site entirely after I finish some personal illustration projects, but that will not be for some time. (hopefully next fall...) So, I thought I might add a few things to this site. I have some watercolors I'd love to show that are really the best of anything I did in art school. I was pretty young, 19 or 20, and heavily under the influence of my fantastic teacher Irving Shapiro, an incredible watercolorist who took the craft to a whole new level. Anyway, here are my paintings from about 1991-92.

I won a fancy Society of Illustrators award for the above's in a book somewhere. Also, the art school I went to, The American Academy of Art in Chicago, bought the painting and framed it for their walls. To me that was the most incredible honor and still is when I consider the school's walls are decorated with the likes of Richard Schmid, Haddon Sundblom, Gil Elvgren, Howard Terpning and a host of other incredible painters. My heart skips a beat when I think about it!

I gave the painting of the oranges and lemons to my sister.

Jody Kirberger, owner of the Talisman Gallery in Bartlesville, OK bought the lilly painting for her house.

Several thoughts come up when I look back at these paintings. First, this is the work that led me to work as a background painter at Calabash Animation in Chicago, a job that introduced me to animation and caused me to learn sooooo much about painting from memory and developing my imagination.

The other thoughts I have are more esoteric; I can see how I was on my way to a washy brushy look, which with some time and development could have been far more confident and interesting to look at. These paintings are stiff; I was so concerned with drawing things correctly I can see now that it caused me to freak out and tighten up. I am hoping with the new personal projects I am working on (in secret...hehe) to get back to this approach with a more experienced, older eye and looseness of brushstrokes. I can see it so clearly in my if only I could do it in real life. We shall see...

Happy Thanksgiving!