Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm going to take the time to talk about a great artist that I am very proud to call my great friend as well.  As a formally trained artist with a large background in Art History, I consider Tom Durham to be one of the greatest American Sculptures of the 21st Century!  His sculptures and drawings combine classical elements of figure combined with mythological elements that challenge and provoke the viewer as his creations are not banal, sterile pieces but usually intense works with serious subject matter.  While most of the uneducated audience look for something that "Looks good with the living room sofa"; sophisticated connoisseurs would be naturally drawn to his works as Tom lays down the gauntlet of what art is supposed to do in the end; make you think about the world you live in.  Heavily influenced by the great master's style, techniques and subject matter, Tom creates modern works while referencing subjects like mythology, theology, anthropology and philosophy and applies these influences to his works creating real content in his stunning and powerfully unique works.  His use of shadow and form combined with a superior sketch "Line" help to define his technical abilities and true understanding of the masters' figure studies.  These sketches either become a finished piece with layering or become the basis for a fine sculpture for which he is highly respected.  His sculptures are reminiscent of the Rodin, Carpeaux, Bernini, Donatello and of course, Michelangelo.  His work is owned around the globe by discerning collectors and he has won numerous fine art awards including the coveted DiMetchi award from the Florence Biennale in 2003.  If you would like to see more of his work, visit his website at http://www.tomdurhamsculpture.com/index.html.

Here are some examples of his work.


As you might already know, I'm a huge fan of Steampunk and I've created a line of Steampunk Art recently as I've embraced an exciting and challenging sub-genre.  Steampunk, in case you aren't aware, is an homage to the practical and unique inventions created during the industrial revolution and during the reign of Queen Victoria complete with iron and steel, brass and gold, velvet and lace.  Steampunk goes one step further into the realm of science fiction and fantasy as it explores the question of "what-if" we continued using steam technology instead of oil and gas.  Imagine a world of flying machines, automobiles, computers and even smartphones all powered by steam but also done with a bit of elegant design excellence.  Steampunk references much of history and is a nod to the great writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells with their unique and amazing inventions that they created with their imaginations in their books; such as the Nautilus, the Martian's war machines, the Time Machine, Flying Zeppelin and even the first Space Rocket.  These men were 100 years ahead of their time and Steampunk celebrates their ingenuity and continues to do so with amazing ideas, innovative inventions and  designs and elegant costumes and vast story-lines created by the fans living in the 21st century.  An amazing website to checkout is The Steampunk Empire http://www.thesteampunkempire.com/ - a terrific resource for Steampunk and the fans of Steampunk.  Another great blog is
or http://overburyink.com/?category_name=art-artists

Here are some examples of great Steampunk art made by great artists like Thomas Wilford (http://www.bruteforceleather.com/store/Scripts/default.asp), Datamancer (http://www.datamancer.net/), Dave Lee, Stephen Chapman(http://www.youtube.com/user/enganear), Myke Amend(http://www.mykeamend.com/new/).  Check it out! Oh, and my Steampunk Art can be purchased on http://james-christopher-hill.artistwebsites.com/art/all/steampunk+blueprints/all
and also seen on my facebook fanpage https://www.facebook.com/jameshillgallery/photos

Dave Lee

Dave Lee

Thomas Wilford


Friday, August 17, 2012

Amazing Artist Named Donato Giancola!

Two years ago I had the honor of meeting a truly amazing artist.  I first noticed the cover of the Dragon Con program as he was the chosen artist for that year.  With my formal art education along with extensive fine art training of the great masters, it was rather easy to spot that Donato was inspired by the classical painters versus modern contemporaries.  His painting was different as it had real content as it was easy to read with it's religious references mixed with the classical language that the great masters had to put in their paintings.  Here it is.

What looks at first glance to be a fantasy genre painting turns out to be a much deeper subject. This original was executed using the time-proven classical technique of layering oils and varnishes along with amazing brush strokes, great composition and strong value definition! On further inspection, I then noticed how the Knight facing the dragon with his sword drawn in shear defiance was defending the damsel in distress to the death facing incredible odds as the imposing dragon appears out of the fog.  It is the story of St. George fighting the Great Dragon (Satan).  "Great" meaning in this context terrible, shear darkness and all the horrors of evil; yet the Knight is defending the damsel representing all of humanity with his life.  The sword and the shield represent the word and the power of God.  In the end, St. George will defeat the dragon, but the magic of this painting captures the moment of confrontation perfectly as he gets into battle stance while the terrified princess struggles with her chains - a metaphor of sin that traps us in this world.  In the end, we are free from sin and are protected from evil and darkness as long as we embrace the sword and shield of God.  Donato's other works all have equal strengths in each painting as he approaches each commission and job with the same fervor and determination with incredible skills.  Take a look at his website and gallery and you will fall in love with his work! Simply awe inspiring! Along with being on the world's top illustrators and painters, he teaches fine art and sci-fi illustration at the New York School of Visual Arts.  Wish I could take his classes, but the good news is that he does sell 2 instructional dvds demonstrating his painting techniques in full start to finish detail! I have them both and highly recommend them if you want to grow as an artist exponentially! Donato's inspirations are Titian, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Rembrandt to the more recent pre-raphealite painters.  See for yourself!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

O.k. Lesson for the day concerning really great artists of the world.  I live in Charleston, SC; a town that is full of artists and their "Charleston/Low-country paintings".  Almost everyone here paints scenes of the Charleston buildings, marshes and palmetto trees and while their work that they create is nice concerning "marketable - tourist art" they do no hold my attention too much for long as I look for great talent throughout the world.  One doesn't have to look too far to notice real talent when you discover Comic/Fantasy/SciFi illustrators that blow most artists out of the water concerning real technical skills.  One of the artists I will speak of tonight is not necessarily one of the most popular, but one of the most talented and well-respected heroes of the fantasy illustration world.  His name is Melvyn Grant and here is his website to read and learn about him. http://www.melgrant.com
Here is a great interview with him speaking about his life and his art -   http://www.melgrant.com/interview3-index01.html

Take time to look at his work and I think you will be impressed!