Friday, 23 November 2007

Joe Bowler

Leif Peng writes about great 50s/60s magazine illustrator Joe Bowler and links to a current exhibition of the artist's work at the Red Piano Gallery all through December. I take some pleasure in knowing that Bowler, 79 is still in demand as a portrait painter. For example, his painting of John Jakes is shown at the head of the writer's site

Bowler has a website too. There's a little 'interview' with him there from which I have extracted this nugget:

Tell us about your use of color.
"In theory, it's about as simple as you can get. It has to do with solid knowledge of the color wheel and complementary colors, plus the use of temperature changes from cools to warms to create volume, life, and light in a painting. A painter should know the color wheel like a guitarist knows the strings. By using this color theory I obtain vibrations of color that excite the eye."

It reminded me of a passage from Illustration magazine, #15 winter 2005, a special issue given over to honoring the great Bernie Fuchs (an admirer of Bowler when he was getting started in Detroit car ads), with text by David Apatoff, to whose blog I have occasionally linked.
Bernie leaned to paint cars but he mostly focused on figures and backgrounds. he watched the car painters closely and developed a deep respect for their craft. He appreciated the aesthetic qulity in their precision and skill. Even today, he speaks of their technical painting in almost lyrical terms. Bill Teodecki, who painted both cars and backgrounds, was "fantastic... a great observer of light and color." Al Wilson, another car painter, was "one of the greatest... he was terrific at painting values using payne's gray. he was able to create sunsets reflected in the side of a car, or a sky reflected on the hood."
I like this simple practical talk so much more than the blather that takes place in my own field, in which guys have a limitless capacity for arguing about things that don't matter, or worse, things that don't exist.

Back to Bowler. These are thumbnails only. Go to the artist's site for larger views.
Young artist Scott Bakal writes about Bowler and shows a bunch of photos taken during a visit with of the great artist earlier this year, showing him at work, mixing up some of those colour harmonies.

(again, thumbnails only)

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1 Comments:

Blogger HemlockMan said...

What really does matter? What really does exist?

24 November 2007 6:07:00 am GMT-5  

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