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

Sneak Peek of The Citiscape Show VIII at George Billis

I LOVE the Citiscape shows at George Billis. No surprise given that several of the participating artists are either personal friends or artists about whose work I have previously written or presently own. Danny Heller, Alex Blas, Rick Monzon and Matthew de Mosier (who kindly credits me with his inclusion in the show) are among the many artists whose work is featured. Opening tomorrow in Culver City, Los Angeles, the Citiscape Show VIII at George Billis exhibits contemporary paintings of Los Angeles – from suburbs to city and beaches to bars –  in various mediums, sizes and styles by some of the most talented contemporary and emerging artists. Read more

Alex Blas: From Barbie Couture To Figurative Painting

Paintings by Alex Blas

I just recently learned of fashion designer Alex Blas’ paintings. I had no idea he was a figurative painter in addition to designing high-end fashions for both people and Barbie dolls or almost a decade now. But he is. And one whose work you ought to see. Read more

Ben Johnson’s Startlingly Realistic Architecture Paintings

Realistic Architecture Paintings
Patio de los Arrayanes, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 220 x 220 cm

Artist Ben Johnson has been painting for 50+ years. He is best known for his realistic architecture paintings – large scale cityscapes and detailed architectural renderings, some of which have taken multiple years to complete. Read more

These Are PAINTINGS And No, I’m Not April Fooling You.

hyper-realistic portraits by Eloy Morales

I thought this would be the perfect post for the first of April, a day when most people are punking, pranking, and just plain joking, because this artwork is pretty hard to believe. But it’s for real. 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.

New and Beautiful Paintings by Stephen Magsig. City Views Opens At George Billis Gallery.

new paintings by stephen magsig
above: Stephen Magsig, 68 Mercer St., Oil on linen, 30 x 24″

I’ve been a longtime fan of Stephen Magsig’s work having introduced you to his Urban Alphabet paintings and his Postcards From Detroit back in 2009. Read more

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