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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Artist Research (N.C. Wyeth)

I am pretty sure this is the manliest drawing I have ever seen in my life.


  • Drew many manly things.
  • Both an illustrator and a painter, and considered them seperate disciplines. 
  • Oldest of four brothers.
  • Went out west, visited the Navajo, worked as a cowboy, delivered mail for money for the trip home.
  • Tended to portray Native Americans in a sympathetic light.
  • Hoped to earn enough from illustrating in order to become a REAL FER SERIOUS PAINTER but never did. Eventually grew really bitter and disillusioned with commercialism because of it.

Jessie Wilcox-Smith

Jessie Wilcox-Smith (1863-1935)
Anyways, yeah. Worked as an illustrator drawing covers for really femmy magazines like Good Housekeeping and all that. Also kid's books, as evidenced by my owning a copy of one of 'em. The Society of Illustrators has only accepted like ten women into it's Hall of Fame type deal. She was one of them. She was one of Howard Pyle's proteges, as well. She drew a LOT of kids. I had a hard time finding any of her drawings without them.

Artist Research (Egon Schiele)

  • Protege of Gustav Klimt.
  • Did a shitload of self-portraits.
  • Wasn't actually as ugly as depicted.
  • Associated with art nouveau movement (the hey?)
  • Founded the 'New Art Group' with other students after leaving the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Sounds like something a group of MCA kids would do.
  • Employed his towns teens for artist's models.
  • Served in WWI, but because of his skill as an artist was given duties far away from combat.
  • Both he and his wife, Edith, died of the Spanish flu in 1918. He was 28.


So this guy is basically my favorite artist ever.
Basically Rackham is one of the most famous fantasy illustrators PRETTY MUCH EVER he did all kinds of fancy watercolors and probably made a shit-load of money off've it, which is nice because he was born into a family of twelve (in 1867) and you do not grow up rich in a family like that, you are lucky if you are not dirt-poor in a family like that.
He initially worked for a weekly magazine, but quickly turned his attention to illustrating for books. He did not always possess the 'Rackham style'; that was produced first for the public in his 1905 illustrating of Rip Van Winkle. Other fairy-tales illustrated by Rackham include: Aesop's Fables, Mother Goose, A Christmas Carol, The Romance of King Arthur, English Fairy Tales, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Irish Fairy Tales, A Fairy Book, The Allies Fairy Book, Comus, A Wonder Book, The Tempest, The Vicar of Wakefield, The Chimes, The Night Before Christmas, The Compleat Angler, The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, The King of the Golden River, Goblin Market, The Pied Piper, Peer Gynt, The Wind in the Willows and more.

Artist Research (Howard Pyle)

  • Wrote and illustrated children's books.
  • Began the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art
  • 'The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood', Pyle's 'classic', is still in print!
  • Drew a lot of pirates! I like this dude.
  • Lived 1853-1911.
  • Died of a sudden kidney infection!

Artist Research (Maxfield Parrish)

He was born in Philadelphia, son of painter Stephen Parrish. His given name was 'Frederick', but he jacked 'Maxfield' off his grandparents because, come on, Maxfield just sounds so classy.
He was first commissioned to illustrate L. Frank Baum's Mother Goose in Prose in 1897, and went on to illustrate a great many popular children's books such as Arabian Nights, which are now of course all highly valued collector's items. He also drew covers for magazines, such as Life and Collier's! His paintings commonly featured chicks lounging around in Grand-Canyon-esque landscapes, and displayed strong neo-classicism influences. The color Parrish Blue was named after him!

Artist Research (Joseph Leyendecker)

Joseph Leyendecker - Safe Sex is Hot Sex.

That's pretty much how you can sum up this dude's life. He was responsible for the creation of the 'Arrow Collar Man', at that time a man considered to embody the pinnacle of THE MANLY VIRTUES. Also people think he might have been pretty gay, and by pretty gay I mean that he was having sex with a man most definitely. His lover, Charles Beach, is thought to have been the original model for the Arrow Collar Man. (Which is kind of funny, because women were writing letters trying to find out who this guy was so they could mack on him.) The Arrow Collar advertising campaign was one of the most successful in history due in no small part to Leyendecker's illustrations. Obvious, he got a wad of cash out of it, and his lifestyle as a highly-paid illustrator was the epitome of what we think of when we hear the phrase 'Roaring Twenties'. After 1929, though (GREAT DEPRESSION TEE HEE) the amount of work he received began to steadily declined, and he and his partner were forced to sharply curtail their lavish spending habits. As Leyendecker's wealth dwindled, so did his social activity. Towards the end of his life he was pretty much a hermit.

Artist Research (Tamara de Lempicka)

Tamara de Lempicka was not actually a badass motherfucker, she was just a very nice lady who liked to paint pictures of really oddly modeled smooth people. But for what it's worth, she was the first It Girl of the art world. Born into a fabulously wealthy Polish family, she attended prestigious boarding schools and married a lady-killer before they had to FLEE THE COUNTRY on account of the Russian Revolution, because the peasants were pissed that her family had money.
Her style has been referred to as 'soft cubism', and it kind of fits. She thought a lot of the Impressionists were shitty artists and used ugly colors, so her paintings always employ smooth, clean lines and clear, almost luminous colors. Lempicka was bisexual, and often caused something of a stir on account of her relationships with men and women. Her husband ended up divorcing her (DERP DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING) in 1928. Although she did have a daughter (Kizette) the relationship between the two was somewhat strained, with Kizette spending much of her childhood in the care of her grandmother or away at boarding school. In 1962, after her remarriage to the Baron Kuffner, she developed a new style using the palette knife rather than a paintbrush, but her new work was not well received and she became determined to never show her work again (WHAT A BITCH PSHH GET OVER YOURSELF LADY AMIRITE). She died in 1980, at the age of 82.

Artist Research (Ludwig Holwein)

So this dude (Ludwig Hohlwein, 1894 - 1939) was a watercolorist, but he started out as an architect and it is a good thing that he did not stick with it because DAMN these are some find pictures. Also, he was German, which automatically makes him some kind of guy that you do not want to fuck with or else he will spray language-spit all over you. There is not a lot of information about him that I could find (because people are IGNORANT) but from what I can tell, he made a name for himself as a poster artist (posterist?) mostly because people could instantly recognize his style. And it wasn't hard, 'cause you'd see that shit everywhere. By 1924 he had already designed over 3,000 different posters.
Note to self: Draw more and less shittily.

Artist Research (James Montgomery Flagg)


SO HERE WE HAVE JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG (1877-1960) who was, like most of the people featured on this blog, A BADASS. Remember that drawing of Uncle Sam that's in every single high school government history book where Uncle Sam's pointing at the viewer and going UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU or whatever? Yeah, well, creepy thoughts about this country's anthropomorphization aside, JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG drew that picture. He's famous mostly for his propaganda posters because he was SO GOOD AT THEM the boys would line up to check that shit out and go DAMN I WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY ALL OF A SUDDEN GET A DAPPER UNIFORM AND BITCHES EVERYWHERE.
He studied FIIIIINNNNE art in London and Paris because America wasn't good enough, and when he came back started drawing all kinds of shit. Cartoons, posters, magazine covers, all that good stuff. Purportedly, at the height of his career, he was the highest-paid illustrator in the United States.
P.S. You want to know what he looks like? Check out those Uncle Sam posters. He used his own (aged) face as the model, although the goatee and white hair and all that was kind of made up.

Artist Research (Edmund Dulac)

I like Edmund Dulac (1882 - 1953).
Reason being that Edmund Dulac was a badass motherfucker, despite his Frenchiness. He started out illustrating the collected works of the Bronte sisters but pretty obviously (if you look at the pictures above ARE YOU LOOKING YOU'D BETTER BE LOOKING) that wasn't all that he did. He illustrated a collection of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry (goth before goth was cool) but what he's really known for is his fairy-tale illustrations. KIDS WENT APESHIT OVER THEM. Did I mention that this motherfucker drew stamps? HE DREW STAMPS FOR THE QUEEEEEEN. 
Anyways, after a while he was like MAN BEING AN ILLUSTRATOR KIND OF SUCKS LONG HOURS SHITTY PAY NO SNOW DAYS THIS IS BULLSHIT I'M BOUNCIN' and did, although he continued to draw, like, newspaper cariactures and ornamental chocolate box lids and shit like that. He died working on an illustrated version of Miltons Comus. (Heart attack! His body was like HNNGH I CAN'T TAKE IT THIS PICTURE IS TOO VISUALLY EXCITING FOR ME TO HANDLE)

Artist Research (Dean Cornwell)

this dude is named Dean Cornwell (1892 - 1960). He's an oil painter and a muralist. YOU THINK THESE IMAGES ARE BADASS IMAGINE THEM TWICE YOUR SIZE ON A BRICK WALL SOMEWHERE
He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but pretty soon enough he was like Y'ALL BITCHES KNOW THIS TOWN AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR ME and moved to Chicago. Which he conquered, and then went on to annihilate New York and London. And if that wasn't enough, he then became president in 1922. President of the Society of Illustrators, 'cause if you think this dude's going to calm down long enough to run a country then you be trippin' pokeballs. This guy was a demon with a paintbrush!