Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Illustrating in Paris

My wife and I moved to Paris in 1977, Jeanne enrolled at the American College in Paris and I was intending to work in the fine arts and hopefully also do some commercial work. Luckily I hooked up with art rep Evelyn Menache and began working almost immediately to my surprise. Evelyn was also repping Milton Glaser of New York at the time. I was doing mostly storyboards and ad comps but did a few finished illustrations as well.

18-1 Foxboro Bro
I designed this brochure cover for Foxboro and did the finished art as well.

18-2 SNPMSketch1
I got an interesting illustration assignment from Societe Nouvelle de Prospective et Methodes, an ad agency that was doing work for the French Aerospace program. The illustration was to show the satellite Phebus which was intended to service communications and television for Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Above are the first rough marker sketches that I submitted to them. The image showing the people interested them the most, they also liked the montage effect where many unrelated images can be shown in the same image.

18-3 SNPM Sketch 4
I developed the idea a it further and finally arived at the final version shown below which was approved by the client.
18-4 SNPM 6
The next step was to do a tight drawing of all of the elements in preparation of the final rendering.

18-5 SNPMFinal pencil drg
Above is the finished drawing and below in the illustration which was painted on canvas with acrylic paint.
18-6 SNPM finished art

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Advertising work in Paris

One of my clients in Paris was Lafayette Re, they even used some of my black and white paintings in their magazine ads. As I mentioned in the previous post, the company also displayed these paintings in their offices.

16-3 Lafayette Re 1

16-8 LafRe Virtue
Busy Bob Virtue of Lafayette Re was a great client to work with, I actually still work for him occasionally, he now lives in Fort Lauderdale. Jeanne was attending the American College in Paris and that's where I met Bob, if I remember correctly he was a member of the board of directors. Along with his regular ads Bob wanted me to do a comic strip that would run in a few business related magazines. Here are a few of the strips.

16-5 Laf Re comic strip 2
We used Lafayette as the main character in the strip.

16-6 Laf Re comic strip 3

Laf Re comic strip 1 copy
Lafayette Re was an unusual company to work with, I was fortunate to have them as a client.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ART ATTACK in Harbor Country

Art Attack copy
I live in what is known as Harbor Country and they have a yearly popular event called ART ATTACK. This year it will happen in the first weekend in May, May 1, 2 & 3rd, to be exact. Many galleries from New Buffalo to Sawyer, Michigan will be participating. It's a fun event and I hope that any of you in the area will join us. The gallery that represents me, Craig Smith Gallery, will have an opening reception for new work by his artists, it starts at 5 PM, May 2, 2009. Hope that you can join us ! You'll love it here, it's a very beautiful area of the state, some great restaurants are also located here, check it out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oak Park
Tomorrow craig Smith Gallery is having an exhibition at PURE REIGN in Oak Park, Illinois from 2 to 5 PM.If you are near the area, stop by and see some of the gallery artist's work as well as mine.
If you are interested in digital art check out my other blog.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

More black and white paintings

I lived and worked in Paris from 1977 through 1983. As well as commercial art I did a great deal of painting and exhibited in all of the major French painting salons. In America I always found that the art critics and others in the fine arts looked down on anyone who would dirty their hands doing advertising or commercial art. In France it was the exact opposite, everyone thought it was wonderful that you could be part of both worlds. Hungarian/French artist Victor Vasarely, the master of Op Art, also created commercial work, one of his projects was the famous Renault logo.

15-5 B+W Ptg 5
GOOD OMEN, one of my first black and white paintings.

THE INTERRELATION OF CONTRADICTION was exhibited in an exhibition titled REALITES NOUVELLES 1982.

15-6 B+W Ptg 3

One of my clients in Paris was Lafayette Re, and the CEO Bob Virtue liked my black and white paintings, so we decided to build an ad campaign around them. The company also rented 48 of my paintings to hang in their offices, an unusual occurrence to say the least and great exposure for my paintings.
15-10 Lafayette Re 3

16-1 Lafayette Re 2

16-2 Lafayette Re 4
The ad campaign was strong visually and the company was very pleased. This was a great client for me. The company even had me draw a comic strip which I will show in the next post.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Paris paintings and a new series

15-2 ParisPtg2
These paintings were all done using acrylic paints. In these paintings I often used thin washes of paint to achieve the soft effects I was after. I just recently sold these two paintings.

15-3 ParisPtg 3

After doing quite a few fairly realistic paintings I felt the urge to experiment with a totally new approach. I decided to eliminate any brush techniques as well as color and do some paintings using only black and white. This was a interesting challenge in design and proved to be an exciting concept. Below are a few examples of this series.

15-4 B+W Ptg 4
This painting is titled TEXTRA.

15-9 Jeanne & HB
Jeanne and me at the Grande Palais in front one of my black and white paintings. I entered and exhibited in all of the major French painting salons. The painting is titled A SQUARE SELF-DESTRUCTING and was exhibited in the exhibition Grands et Jeunes D'Ajourd'hui 1981.

15-8 B+W Ptg 1


15-7 B+W Ptg 2

Monday, April 20, 2009

More paintings done in Paris

I did a great deal of painting while living in Paris in spite of being busy with advertising assignments. Here are more examples of the first series of paintings that I did. These are all acrylics on canvas.

14-6 Nude in the Tuilleries 2

14-8 Tuilleries 3

14-7  Paris Ptgs
In this series I had fun experimenting with design and color shapes.

14-9 Louvre, Pont du Carrousel

15-1 Paris PTG 1
I frequently used my wife Jeanne as a model.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Opening today at PORT 412

Today is the opening of my exhibition of paintings, sculpture and comic book cover parodies at PORT 412 restaurant in St. Joseph, Michigan. If you are in the area drop by. The exhibition will probably be up for a couple of months, so if you can't make it today, stop by at a later date and have a great lunch or dinner.

PORT 412 Poster

Friday, April 17, 2009

Working and painting in Paris !

In the late 1970's my wife and I were getting restless and we wanted to try living somewhere else, we were looking for a total change of scene. The illustration business in Detroit was changing quite a bit because of photography taking over in the automotive area, although I still was quite busy out of Chicago and New York. At the time I was doing a lot of freelance work for Bob Shepperly at McCann-Erikson in NY. They would fly Bill Wallace and myself in, sometimes for weeks at a time to produce comp layouts for their Buick and Opel client meetings. We worked as a team, Bill would design the ads and I would do all the comp renderings. While working there I found out that there was a job opening for an art director at McCann's Sao Paulo office in Brazil. I immediately applied for the job (after discussing it with my wife who loved the idea. I didn't land the job, another art director from Detroit did, I believe his name was Bill Gilmore. Jeanne and I then decided to move to Paris, France. She intended to get a Art History degree from the American College in Paris and I would hopefully do some commercial work and a lot of fine art painting. We packed up, sold our house and were on our way. Jeanne actually left a few weeks before me to find us an apartment and also the school semester was starting. As you probably have guessed we are adventurous types and dove right in.

14-1 Jeanne in Paris
Here is a painting of Jeanne in Paris. Her parents were French-Canadian and she spoke French, although the French were quite amused at her accent. I spoke little French but had no trouble as all the art directors I dealt with wanted to practice their English. I took French lessons and as time went on my French improved. I did a lot of painting while I lived there and managed to exhibit in all of the major French painting salons. I began working commercially almost immediately as well. I have had a great amount of luck in my career throughout the years and luck followed me to Paris. A neighbor across the street from our apartment on the Rue de L'Assomption saw me working at my drawing board one night and a couple of days later when I was walking our dog, she came over and said that her brother owned one of the more important advertising agencies in France and she would introduce me to him, talk about luck ! The other break that I got was when I took samples over to Lintas, one of the top ad agencies there, I found that the Creative Director was someone that I helped to get a job at Campbell Ewald twenty years earlier in Detroit. Bob McLaren had come over from London looking for work in Detroit. I lost touch with Bob over the years and he finally ended up back in London and later was transferred to the Paris office of Lintas. It was a wonderful break and they became one of my best clients. Lintas even sent me to Jakarta, Singapore and Madrid to teach their art staffs how to render comps and storyboards. I was also sent to their Vienna office a couple of times to do comp layout work.

14-2 Normandy
We did a lot of traveling while we were in Europe. Here is a painting of the beach at Normandy. Being a freelancer I had time off and could join Jeanne's class when they took field trips to interesting places as part of the course. We bused to many places including various locations in France, Italy, England and Belgium. The paintings below are of the Tuilleries in Paris.


14-4 Nude in the Tuileries

14-5 Nude in the Tuilleries 3

17-5 Carte Bleue

17-6 Carte Bleue 2
One of my very best clients was IMPACT-FCB, here are a couple of comp layouts that I believe were done for them. The art buyer at IMPACT was Annebelle Potin who presently is the art buyer at Publicis. I still keep in touch with her thanks to the internet.
More paintings and many more ad illustrations and comps done in Paris in future posts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recent cartoons

ArtTherapy 81
Here is a cartoon from my book ART THERAPY, a book full of cartoons about the fine art business and is available through Xlibris Corporation.
ArtTherapy 59
A couple more cartoons from the ART THERAPY book.
ArtTherapy 83
ArtTherapy 70
ArtTherapy 69

Book Cover 2
A cover design for a proposed book.

Here is a poster I designed which promotes Gloria's book 50 WAYS TO FIND ROMANCE AFTER 50. Below is another one.


GB cartoon 12
A cartoon from Gloria's blog THE ROMANCE GAME.

Cat 2
One of my CATZ PAUSE cartoons featuring my cats Jpeg, Tiff and Laura.