Bring a Towel: The Zuma Beach Paintings by Stephen Wright.

zuma beach paintings by stephen wright

With an impressive ouevre of figurative work already under his belt, the Zuma Beach Paintings by Stephen Wright, exemplify his skill at rendering photo-realistic water, light and movement. Read more

Extraordinary Oil Paintings by Nick Alm

Oil Paintings Nick Alm

36 year old Swedish artist Nick Alm is a Contemporary Realist whose paintings of both social and private scenes exude an ethereal gestalt accentuated by his masterful command of light. Today we take a look at the extraordinary oil paintings by Nick Alm Read more

Bruno Walpoth Brings Wood To Life In His Contemporary Human Sculptures.

Brun Walpoth Wood Sculptures

Pinocchio would probably have gladly swapped his creator, Geppetto, for Italian sculptor Bruno Walpoth. Walpoth’s ability to turn a hunk of wood into a lifelike looking figure is impressive, to say the least. His sculpted and painted busts and human forms are anything but “wooden.” They seem to be imbued with emotion, capable of possessing a soul and striking the viewer as pensive, thoughtful – even melancholy. Read more

Mundane Made Magnificent: Michael Ward Paints The Mystery Of The Ordinary.

A self-taught artist, Michael Ward captures what British-born philosopher Alan Watts called “the mystery of the ordinary” in his acrylic paintings of things we often overlook in our daily lives. Based on photographic images, his neo-realistic interpretations of unspectacular environments and people in the world around us are composed and rendered in such a way as to bring out the beauty in what one might have previously considered mundane, if not ugly.

Here are several of his paintings:



















Biography (courtesy of the artist):
I began my artistic career doing pen and ink renderings of historical architecture. I began painting in 1980, first in gouache, then in acrylics. Artists whose work I admire and draw inspiration from include Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Richard Estes and Vermeer. I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.

Nearly all my paintings are based on photographs I have taken, primarily of Southern California scenes, over the years. Though it was never my intention to depict nostalgic scenes, many of the images I have painted have disappeared or been radically altered in the ever-changing landscape that is Southern California. Thus nostalgia is thrust upon the works. But what I am really after is bearing witness, and making people stop what they’re doing and pay attention, to something they may have never seen before, but that makes them feel “I know this.”

I am currently working on a series of house paintings. These simple, ordinary, unnoticed places have hidden interior lives, though they do not reveal them to us. The houses are from a variety of locations in the United States and Mexico. They are the place you grew up in, a place of nurture, experience, trial, memory and forgetting. They are all a common size, to symbolize our shared experience of being human.

Phyllis Lutjeans, Museum Educator and former curator, has said of my work: “Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitiude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.”

As a painter, I am self-taught.

Michael Ward Art and Design


A book of his works is available here on Blurb

See his paintings at Pasadena’s Tirage Gallery

Other galleries that represent Michael Ward:

Mesa Art
789 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949.548.3570

Studio Gallery
18001 Skypark Circle, Suite R, Irvine, CA
949.851.9181

Contact the artist directly here.

Consider Your Mind Blown. The Phenomenally Realistic Graphite Drawings of Kelvin Okafor.

Kelvin Okafur pencil drawings
above: graphite drawing in progress by Kelvin Okafor

Kelvin Okafor describes himself as a “Passionate penciled artist. Highly interested in detail and precision.” I’d say that’s an understatement once you see the phenomenally realistic graphite drawings created by this UK Illustrator. As astounding as the finished pieces are (it’s truly difficult to discern whether or not they are photographs until you look extremely closely), the evolution of the drawings shown on his blog, and as videos on his YouTube channel, will blow your mind. Read more

Paintings That Are Truly Gems. Realistic Crystals and Minerals Rendered In Oils.

Carly Waito Realistic Gem Paintings

These amazingly realistic oil paintings on masonite by Carly Waito are really precious. Literally and figuratively. The small scale works range in size from 4.5″ x 6″ to 11″ x 12′ and impressively capture the way crystals and rocks reflect and refract light. Given the healing properties of many stones and minerals, these works have appeal in both their craft and subject matter. I’d like to own several of them and hang them together. As you can see, they sell quickly (almost every single one shown in this post is sold). Read more

Hugo Kobayashi’s Nothing For Something. Paintings Of Crushed Lottery Tickets.

Hugo Kobayashi's Nothing for Something

Los Angeles born, but San Fransisco based artist Hugo Kobayashi, whose painting studio is in Oakland, has a new show opening at the Hang Art gallery today. Read more

Artists Take The Plunge: Part II. 50+ Paintings of People Swimming.


above: painting by Lorraine Shemesh

Last week I posted “Artists Take The Plunge: The Swimming Pool As Subject” and introduced you to paintings of swimming pools; empty, full, still, even at night. Read more