Today at work at met James Gurney, the author of the acclaimed series of "Dinotopia" books.
He even signed a copy of "Journey to Chandara" with a little dinosaur doodle for me. He is a remarkable illustrator. In this book there are clear influences from Gerome and the "Orientalistes" as well as from Alma Tadema and other decimononic painters. The first thing that struck me was the similarity of the cover -which I won't reproduce here- with the Leon Belly painting : "Pilgrims to Mecca". It is a good exercise of inspiration without plagiarism. Even though I love his landscapes and I took a good look at his amazing travel notebooks (unpublished) I still think his human characters are not properly integrated and look as if they are just modern people with operatic costumes and hairdos straight out of Supercuts.
Nevertheless, he is a great illustrator by any measure.
07 November 2007
I had Jury duty yesterday and I thought to myself. Great. may be I'll be able to practice my greyscale drawings there. I did. And now I am addicted to the little suckers. I even made one while waiting for an oil change this morning.
Downtown Los Angeles, who knew, has some nice views around "Angels Flight", a quite pathetic little tram in the middle of nothing. And more importantly, what a discovery it was to see the Grand Central Market! Oh my oh my oh my (gasp for air) . If you can get a couple of bodyguards it must be the best place to paint...evah! Sure there are hookers and hobos and nasty looking security that couldn't outrun a dead lizard but the colors! ...and the the prices for produce are ridiculous!
( A few minutes later) Well, I called the manager at Grand Central Market and she thought that I was either going to rent a stall, paint the walls or do a graffiti performance. I don't know what she thought. Some people live in this bubble .... She just said "No you can't 'paint' , goodbye'". I'll prove her wrong soon enough. Now it is a challenge.
I was not feeling all that well this day but I managed to produce a quite "delicious" little piece to quote Miss McChristian. Again, she had good suggestions and I am very eager to see if I can use some of the "revelations" on my own next time.
I like this painting because it is both bucolic and urban. The "urban" side is merely a suggestion of cars in a freeway and a lightpost hidden behind the trees.