A blog I follow, and I don't follow nearly as many as I should) is Today's Inspiration by Leif Peng. Lief has been posting for years now, a lot of it artwork by major illustrators, but a lot by NOT major Illustrators. Guys you've never heard of. Work that you recognize and go," So that's who that guy was...." All those second string illustrators, who didn't make it onto the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
The woods were chock full of these guys at one time. There were so many of these guys and they were so good.They could all draw and paint like crazy; realistic rendering, beautiful anatomy, bang on lighting, beautifully rendered with the strokes of a quickly moving brush, not the finicky rendering of the so called "beer bottle" illustration so commonly seen in the seventies, but real authority in one lick of the brush.
So, this week, over at TI: First Bob Foster, now David Blossom. Ok, now you're getting into territory that is tinged with one's real formative years. I remember alot of these pieces, but they are tied up with my adolescence,mostly from seeing them on the paperback racks at stores like Towers (anybody remember them?) or the occasional used book store, during those years when one knows they want a career in art and are trying to get a handle on what's out there. And alot of these seemed very.... wierd, yet compelling, along side the Frazettas and Jeff Jones and the MAD magazine artists. The years of discovering artists in the public library, fer gosh sakes-Wyeth and Pyle in those old hardback editions of the Scribner books - peering at those awful half tone colour plates, yet knowing that this was real quality,if you could only see it better... And then there were all these strange sci fi/crime drama/ slightly sexy paperback covers, nay, VERY sexy for a boy living in a time when Playboy was only available at the drugstore and the owner sure didn't let any kids near that part of the magazine rack....
What a world we are living in today, where all of this material is available so easily got at!
Back to TI's posts...Imagine if these guys were your teachers today!
What were the chances of having a teacher like that? I contend that finding men, or women like that for teachers is becoming rarer and rarer... who out there is that good now. No doubt there are some, but it is lost
What I want to know is, how come with all this material being gushed over, we don't have any new artists who are attempting this kind of work? All I see these days are guys drawing big boobed blue alien babes with guns and gorillas, or the same splashy washy digital painting with a lone figure looking out over the post apocalyptic alien landscape, badly done, shallow stuff. There's tons of cheesecake now, but none like McGinnis or Elvgren or Hawley.