Author: Leslie Combemale

Movie Lovers Gift Guide 2018 from ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art

Movie Lovers Gift Guide from Film Art Gallery ArtInsights Offers Film Fans

Art Celebrating Cinematic Anniversaries and Releases

All By Official Studio Artists

Reston, VA -You’ve seen “alternative posters” and “minimalist posters”, but what about art by the folks who actually helped you fall in love with the movies in the first place? Somebody has to champion them, and that would be you and us! That’s right! A movie lovers gift guide that is all art by the folks who make movies and promote them! Artinsights certainly has perfectly timed for what’s happening in pop culture this holiday season, all with art that is not only officially licensed, but created by studio artists.  Steamboat Willie has its 90th anniversary on November 18th, and Yellow Submarine turns 50 on November 13th.  Both Disney and Warner Bros. have highly-anticipated tentpole films releasing in December, with Mary Poppins Returns landing in theaters December 19th, and Aquaman swimming to screens on December 14th.  ArtInsights Gallery has art representing all these properties, making  holiday gift giving easy for the loved ones of fans who search in vain every year for something special and unusual to make the season bright.  Prices range from $150 to a king’s ransom, with several highlighted pieces in the lower range to keep budgets in mind.

No movie lovers gift guide would be complete without less expensive art! There is a page on their site with a selection of dozens of pieces below $250. (https://artinsights.com/production/santas-little-helpers-presents-for-christmas-hanukkah-yule-kwanzaa-under-250/)

Fans of Mickey Mouse and the Beatles have been celebrating all year. Yellow Submarine returned to theaters this summer, and there’s a new graphic novel release of the story.  Disney is having what they’re calling the “world’s biggest mouse party”, and have a new exhibit in New York called “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition”.  ArtInsights is ready for those with friends and family who are fans, with official art by Alex Ross featuring the Beatles called “The Fab Four “ in a limited edition mini canvas for $150. 

Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie reminds Disneyphiles where it all began.  For them, the gallery suggests one of two limited editions by highly-collectible Disney artist Tim Rogerson, one a giclee on canvas featuring Mickey through the years called “Mickey’s Creative Journey” priced at $150, the other a hand-signed giclee on paper capturing the character in a grey-toned piece called “Mickey at the Helm” for $350.

Mary Poppins, starring Emily Blunt, directed by Rob Marshall, promises to be a huge hit, especially with fans of the Oscar-winning 1964 classic.  The gallery has a limited edition signed by Tim Rogerson called “A Mary Tune”,  that shows Mary and her cohorts painted against the sheet music for Feed the Birds, written by the Sherman Brothers, who won an Oscar and Grammy for Mary Poppins. It is priced at $495.  Also offered, for the fans who have everything, is art by matte background painter Peter Ellenshaw, who, indeed won an Oscar for his work on the film. “Practically Perfect”, which is signed by Ellenshaw, who passed away in 2007, is $1100, and would be a highlight of any Disney film fan’s collection.

For Aquaman, the gallery has an image created by famed DC and Justice League Unlimited animation director Bruce Timm, which includes not only Aquaman, but many of the members of the Justice League, including Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, all of whom have been making news in live action studio news this year, called “Guardians of Justice”. Also suggested is a giclee on canvas by DC comic book cover artist Alex Ross that features Aquaman with the lead members of the Justice League called “JLA”.  Both retail for $150.

There are a number of other pieces corresponding to film art news, including art from Pinocchio, which was recently announced as a property Guillermo Del Toro will reinterpret with a new stop-motion film. Whether purists strictly stick with the original Harry Potter series, or love the newest releases written by Rowling, art from the Harry Potter book and film series is alway popular, and coincides with  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  Many are created by Stuart Craig, the production designer for all the Harry Potter movies as well as the new Fantastic Beast series.

There are a number of images by Star Wars production artists, including the limited edition “The Cold of Hoth” by John Alvin, an exclusive giclee on paper for $150 from everyone’s favorite film in the saga, as well as images representing DC and Marvel characters.  Of course, there is a veritable parade of Disney princesses represented in art, which is perfectly timed with the release of Ralph Breaks The Internet, in which the Disney princesses figure prominently, (including the use of the voices from the original feature films!)  You can find all these options on the gallery’s new blog.  See the bottom of the press release for links or contact the gallery for more information. Images of available art sent immediately upon request.

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS

Since 1994, representing a wide range of film and animation art at the gallery in Reston Town Center, ArtInsights focuses on proprietary projects and artist representation relating to the history of animation and film, and the celebration and examination of popular culture, all by artists working in the film industry. With artists like iconic movie poster artist John Alvin, studio concept artists William Silvers and Jim Salvati, and Marvel and DC cover artists Alex Ross, the gallery builds collections of original and limited edition art for their growing worldwide collector base. See the work and read the blog on  HYPERLINK “http://www.artinsights.com” www.artinsights.com. For more information about ArtInsights’ 2018 gift guide, go to https://artinsights.com/the-artinsights-2018-gift-guide-celebrates-film-anniversaries-and-new-releases/ 

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“Fab Four” by Alex Ross https://artinsights.com/product/fab-four-yellow-submarine-limited-edition-mini-canvas-by-alex-ross/

“Mickey’s Creative Journey” by Tim Rogerson https://artinsights.com/product/mickeys-creative-journey-treasures-on-canvas-by-tim-rogerson/

“Willie at the Helm” by Tim Rogerson https://artinsights.com/product/willie-at-the-helm-mickey-mouse-steamboat-willie-giclee-on-paper-by-tim-rogerson/

“A Mary Tune” by Tim Rogerson https://artinsights.com/product/a-mary-tune-mary-poppins-embellished-giclee-on-canvas-by-tim-rogerson/

“Practically Perfect” by Peter Ellenshaw https://artinsights.com/product/practically-perfect-limited-edition-giclee-on-canvas-by-peter-ellenshaw/

“Guardians of Justice” from Justice League Unlimited by Bruce Timm https://artinsights.com/product/guardians-of-justice-dc-comics-lithograph-on-art-paper/

“JLA” by Alex Ross: https://artinsights.com/product/liberty-justice-jla-mini-canvas/

“The Cold of Hoth” by John Alvin: https://artinsights.com/product/star-wars-the-cold-of-hoth-giclee-on-paper-by-john-alvin/

“Journey on the Hogwarts Express” by Stuart Craig: https://artinsights.com/product/journey-on-the-hogwarts-express-harry-potter-giclee-on-paper-by-stuart-craig/

RESTON TOWN CENTER PARKING, ARTINSIGHTS HOLIDAY HOURS, GIFT WITH PURCHASE, AND GALLERY UPDATE!

RESTON TOWN CENTER  PARKING, ARTINSIGHTS HOLIDAY HOURS, GIFT WITH PURCHASE, AND GALLERY UPDATE!

As many of you know, with the changes in parking at Reston Town Center, we have had a number of clients avoid the center and only come on the weekends, so we’ve committed to being open on Sundays, and have seen a lot more of our clients on the weekends. For those of you who have avoided the center altogether…

Now Balducci’s is open across the street!  How does that help us apart from the traffic? 

Balducci’s offers 2 hours free parking without any apps or parking kiosks.  Now, we don’t advocate you parking there and walking out without supporting the place, but who among us won’t find something awesome there? They are all decked out for Christmas, with lots of hard-to-find items and specialty foods all in one place.

There is seriously anything and everything a gourmand would desire here. Just walking through makes a food lover feel the Christmas and holiday spirit!

I spoke to the head of produce there, and told him his produce was a might pricey.  He told me there’s a reason.  and it’s a good one!  He says they go through the fruits and vegetables multiple times a day to make sure it’s all fresh and perfect, and that he personally checks every box as it comes in off the truck.  So that means if you (or your loved one) wants something that isn’t going to go bad in a day or two, or you don’t find has mold on it the minute you get home, Balducci’s is the place!

I go there often for things I can’t find anywhere else, like tarragon mustard, imported chocolates, and swanky cheese. The holidays are the time to splurge on swanky cheese!

Anyway, you can park there and walk across the street any time! Also, of course the parking is free in all the garages Saturdays and Sundays. and if you just need to run in and pick something up or drop off framing, remember you can always park right out front, as it has 15 minutes grace period.  If any of our clients ever get a ticket for being there, we get it taken care of, so just pop back in and i’ll take it to the parking staff.

Reston Town Center is dressed for the holidays, and our tree will be lit at a ceremony the day after Thanksgiving.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL HOURS:

Black (Panther) Friday, we’ll be at the gallery starting at 8am!

We’ll have cider and snacks to fortify our friends and clients. We will have a few costumed pals out at the tree after the parade for pictures with the kiddos, and we’ll be open to 6pm.

The rest of the holidays, our hours are:

Monday through Friday 10 – 6pm

Saturday 10 – 6pm

Sunday 12 – 5pm

We’ll be open on Christmas eve, from 10-2pm, for last minute pick ups and late shoppers.

We’ll be closed from December 31st to the 2nd of January to celebrate the new year.

Reston Town Center is actually a wonderful place to do your Christmas shopping! Parking is always free in all the garages on the weekends, there are great places to eat, and not only is there not the crush and crowds you find at the traditional malls, it’s also beautifully decorated during the holidays. They’ve gone the extra step this year, as they’ve been doing the last few years, to make it lovely and charming, especially at night, so come visit us.

Remember if you need to plan for coming in outside regular hours, you just need to let us know and we’ll try to arrange it. We are here to help and make the holidays as easy and fun as we can for all.

GIFT WITH PURCHASE!

We are gathering fun and exciting items to give to those who make purchases during the holiday season, so from November 17th through December 31st, you’ll get a little something geeky and art-related with every purchase! What is it? You’ll have to come in to find out, but we know it will make your season a little brighter.

ArtInsights has a great collection of art right now, and we have lights and our Yoda topped tree to remind us all there is no try.

As those of you who saw our newsletter and our gift guide blog might have surmised, we have lots of new art, and the gallery is all decked out in holiday finery, so it’s definitely worth a trip.

GALLERY UPDATE:

What else is happening? We are about to get a door out to the front of the building.  After 26 years, we thought it was time! With all the permit headaches, it’s probably going to be finished at the coldest time of the year, but we’re still excited. We won’t be using it during the winter, but we’ll have lots more air and a great feeling of openness when it’s warmer out. We want to be able to be open when we want, including outside the hours that the building doors are locked.  We aren’t sure yet how this will effect our hours, but we’ll write again and let you know when we decide.  We are imagining Friday or Saturday night events with music and new art releases. We will have an event to celebrate our new door and other special changes to the space in the spring.

ARE YOU ON OUR NEWSLETTER LIST?

We have a newsletter we send out to our clients.  We don’t send them very often, but when we have new art, or events, or something cool is happening, we let you know.  So it might be bi-monthly? Why don’t you give it a try if you want to keep up with us, read about and see all the latest releases or gallery scoops? Just go to the front page of our website and the popup will show up where you can sign up.  Facebook and blogs can only do so much!

Happy Holidays to all,

Leslie and the ArtInsights elves

For Mickey’s 90th Birthday, ArtInsights Celebrates Mickey Mouse Through the Years with Art

It’s the anniversary of the first appearance of Mickey Mouse, which happened in November of 1928.  I have always been a fan of Mickey Mouse as a rat, in particular.  Ub Iwerks made the awesome black and white Steamboat Willie.  He had designed the character after having designed Oswald, a character for which Disney lost control.

Steampunk Willie by William Silvers celebrates Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary perfectly!

Steamboat Willie wasn’t the first Mickey short created (that was Plane Crazy) but was the first widely released. It was the first Disney cartoon with synchronized sound, which is interesting, since Disney’s inspiration for the short was reportedly The Jazz Singer. Steamboat Willie premiered at Universal’s Colony Theater in New York on November 18th, and was an immediate hit. By 1932, there was a fan club, the Mickey Mouse Club had a million members. By 1934, Mickey merchandise brought in $600,000 a year.  The financial success of the character really is responsible for building the huge media empire we all know today.  It’s true that, as Walt said, “It all started with a mouse.”

Ub Iwerks, who is recognized as one of the most influential men in cartoon history, went on to animate my favorite Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Skeleton Dance.

In 1938, Freddie Moore, the famous animator known for , redesigned Mickey’s body away from looking as much like what Ward Kimball called Mickey’s “rubber hose, round circle” design, or what made when they used squash and stretch on him look so noodle-like.  Mickey’s eyes have changed a lot through the years, but Freddie Moore gave him the smaller white eyes with pupils.

You can see the changes in Mickey Mouse from Steamboat to Fantasia to Fun and Fancy Free to Today in Tim Rogerson’s piece Mickey’s Creative Journey.

That change had a significant effect, I think, on how connected fans became with the character. You can see that change in design by watching 1938’s Brave Little Tailor, and then 1939’s The Pointer, where the changes had taken place, then to, of course, 40’s Fantasia. You can see he also changed the color of his skin from pure white to a pale flesh tone. The expressiveness of his eyes, with the added pupils and eyelids, has a huge impact on his likability, and the huge following for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice short. It is nearly synonymous with Fantasia.  As Moore died in 1952, at the age of 41, his influence over the iconic character is an important part of his legacy.

Brave Little Tailer

The Pointer

Fantasia

The Mickey Mouse Club tv show, which started in 1955, brought Mickey back into popularity by bringing him into households every week.  However, there were no theatrical shorts featuring Mickey between 1953, with The Simple Things, and 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  The 1983 featurette was the first time a Mickey cartoon had been nominated for an Oscar since 1948’s Mickey and the Seal.

Even to this day, a large percentage of the sales through consumer products worldwide is derived from Mickey Mouse merchandise.

From our perspective at the gallery, there are a lot of American kids that aren’t fans of Mickey for a whole swath of their teenaged years, unlike Winnie the Pooh.  Winnie remains cool, while Mickey goes out of favor until the kids become old enough to have their own children or feel nostalgic about their own childhood.  Disney appears to be working to fill that gap by branding the character online and network television in new specials related to the anniversary. On November 4th, there’ll be a program called Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, featuring teen faves like Meghan Trainor and K-Pop powerhouse NCT 127.

Original production cel of Mickey Mouse from The Mickey Mouse Club, available at ArtInsights

We are lucky to have so much official art of Mickey for fans, created by the artists who actually work in the film industry, as well as production art from the Mickey Mouse Club we just got in.  He can be such a charmer! Mickey Mouse continues to be a character lots of collectors clamber for, especially any art depicting Sorcerer’s Apprentice, or with his lady love Minnie Mouse!

William Silvers, a concept artist who worked on Disney films like Tangled and Lilo and Stitch, and is an official artist for the studio, created this sweet original of the two lovebirds Mickey and Minnie.

If you want to see all the options for Mickey Mouse art to celebrate his long and storied career, CLICK HERE. 

And many happy returns, Mickey.  Must be nice to be wrinkle and carefree after all these years!

The ArtInsights 2018 Gift Guide Celebrates Film Anniversaries and New Releases

Are you looking for art for the loved one that loves film and art? Or just looking for something unique that will make you a superhero, a princess, a rock star to your family? We are ready for you!

Artinsights certainly has perfectly timed for what’s happening in pop culture this holiday season, all with art that is not only officially licensed, but created by studio artists.  Steamboat Willie has its 90th anniversary on November 18th, and Yellow Submarine turns 50 on November 13th.  Both Disney and Warner Bros. have highly-anticipated tentpole films releasing in December, with Mary Poppins Returns landing in theaters December 19th, and Aquaman swimming to screens on December 14th.  ArtInsights Gallery has art representing all these properties, making  holiday gift giving easy for the loved ones of fans who search in vain every year for something special and unusual to make the season bright.  Prices range from $150 to a king’s ransom, with several highlighted pieces in the lower range to keep budgets in mind. In fact, click below for the page with a selection of dozens of pieces below $250!

Fans of Mickey Mouse and the Beatles have been celebrating all year. Yellow Submarine returned to theaters this summer, and there’s a new graphic novel release of the story.  Disney is having what they’re calling the “world’s biggest mouse party”, and have a new exhibit in New York called “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition”.  ArtInsights is ready for those with friends and family who are fans, with official art by Alex Ross featuring the Beatles called “The Fab Four “ in a limited edition mini canvas for $150.  Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie reminds Disneyphiles where it all began.  For them, the gallery suggests one of two limited editions by highly-collectible Disney artist Tim Rogerson, one a giclee on canvas featuring Mickey through the years called “Mickey’s Creative Journey” priced at $150

the other a hand-signed giclee on paper capturing the character in a grey-toned piece called “Mickey at the Helm” for $350.

Mary Poppins, starring Emily Blunt, directed by Rob Marshall, promises to be a huge hit, especially with fans of the Oscar-winning 1964 classic.  The gallery has a limited edition signed by Tim Rogerson called “A Mary Tune”,  that shows Mary and her cohorts painted against the sheet music for Feed the Birds, written by the Sherman Brothers, who won an Oscar and Grammy for Mary Poppins. It is priced at $495. 

A Mary Tune by Tim Rogerson

Also offered, for the fans who have everything, is art by matte background painter Peter Ellenshaw, who, indeed won an Oscar for his work on the film. “Practically Perfect”, which is signed by Ellenshaw, who passed away in 2007, is $1100, and would be a highlight of any Disney film fan’s collection. Check out all the Mary Poppins by clicking on the picture!

For Aquaman, the gallery has an image created by famed DC and Justice League Unlimited animation director Bruce Timm, which includes not only Aquaman, but many of the members of the Justice League, including Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, all of whom have been making news in live action studio news this year, called “Guardians of Justice”. Also suggested is a giclee on canvas by DC comic book cover artist Alex Ross that features Aquaman with the lead members of the Justice League called “JLA”.  Both retail for $150, but hey, see all the Aquaman art by clicking

GuardiansforJustice

Liberty and Justice: JLA

What about the release of the new animated feature on December 14th called Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? Yes, we have art for fans of your friendly neighborhood web spinner.

SO many options, so much web swinging to do this season. Click on the picture to see all the Spider-Man images for sale!

and of COURSE we have lots of great Marvel images for your superhero-loving loved ones:

Captain America and Thor, Captain Marvel and Luke Cage, and so much more at your fingertips! Click here!

There are a number of other pieces corresponding to film art news, including art from Pinocchio, which was recently announced as a property Guillermo Del Toro will reinterpret with a new stop-motion film. Whether purists stick with the original Harry Potter series or love the newest releases written by Rowling, art from the Harry Potter book and film series is alway popular, and coincides with  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  Many are created by Stuart Craig, the production designer for all the Harry Potter movies as well as the new Fantastic Beast series.

There are a number of images by Star Wars production artists, including the limited edition “The Cold of Hoth” by John Alvin, an exclusive giclee on paper for $150 from everyone’s favorite film in the saga.

We also have the latest official images of DC and Marvel characters. Of course, there is a veritable parade of Disney princesses represented in art, which is perfectly timed with the release of Ralph Breaks The Internet, in which there is a wonderful, hilarious scene featuring the classic princesses of Disney with their original voices.  

Looking for something truly special and rare? You know we are the official representative for the art of John Alvin, and we’ve added a lot of new art from his family’s collection.  Want some of the only original Batman art created for a Batman film? Concept art for Revenge of the Jedi? Blade Runner or E.T. art by the man who created the posters for those classic films?  Maybe art from Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin? Look no further. 

We also have a number of one-of-a-kind pieces that relate to new releases and anniversaries, like The Grinch, which (STARRING BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!) releases early November. We have an original graphite from the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon classic.

Also, November marks the 20th anniversary of the Powerpuff Girls. We have one amazing, awesome production cel with all three lead characters.

Are you a fan of the Fantastic Four?

and OH Hey, we have Warner Bros. and Hanna Barbera cartoon art directly from the studio, too! Below is one half of a two-piece set of Wile E and Road Runner.  

Click below to see all the art from both studios!

We have so much more.  Contact the gallery for all the special pieces we are getting in for the holidays to make your gift giving fun and easy!

Happy Holidays, everyone, from your pals at ArtInsights.

The Peanuts Art of Dean Spille: animation history made watercolor

We are always looking for extremely rare art to offer our clients, but hand-in-hand with that, we are always trying to find ways to promote and expand awareness about the importance of artists.  There are so many important figures in the history of animation that fans and enthusiasts know little about, and we want to change that! That’s where Dean Spille comes in…

He is just such a luminary. Dean Spille, concept and background artist for Bill Melendez Productions, is the official background artist for all the Charlie Brown and Peanuts films. Indeed, he is responsible for the color stories, the graphic design, and the finished look of Peanuts TV specials all the way from the beginning.  He worked on A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in 1968, and continued to influence these classics all the way to the TV short He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown in 2006.  AND WE JUST GOT ART CREATED BY THIS AMAZING ARTIST!!

At first, Bill Melendez, in his desire to give credit to the many contributors on A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dean was listed as doing “graphic blandishment”, which is code for concept artist, background artist, or any other element not yet isolated as deserving of its own credit.  He was named as production designer for over 20 shows, shorts, or tv specials between 1977 through 2000, and as often credited as color stylist as well.

A scene from from Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown, which is the inspiration for one of the 3 originals we are offering:

Given that the art Dean created is from his nostalgia and memory, it’s amazing how close this is to what was used in Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown.  He certainly has the French village vibe down, not least because he’s lived in France for over 40 years!  See his art below:

Inside the animation industry, Dean Spille is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated, talented concept and background artists in history.  It’s impossible to extricate the evocative, inventive backgrounds when considering the look of the beloved Charlie Brown TV specials, and they are all thanks to Dean.

Though native to California, he’s been living in France for over 40 years, and is now 92.  Imagine my thrill and excitement when we were offered an extremely limited collection of original Peanuts watercolor paintings by this treasured artist of the animation world.  We aren’t even sure if we’ll get any more than these three, all of which were created by Dean from his recollections of his contributions over his career with Bill Melendez Productions on the Peanuts cartoons.

Who doesn’t remember the scene with the kids out trick-or-treating from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?

The art Dean Spille created is below.  Classic!

If you’re a fan of animation art, Peanuts, or the Charlie Brown specials, these are exceptional, rare originals that represent an essential element of the beloved cartoons.  We may have them in-house briefly after selling them, and we’ll post about that on our Facebook page, but in the meantime, as we only have three to sell, contact us soon if interested in any or all of them!  We won’t be putting them online for purchase, but rather will sell them to those who contact us, since there only 3 and are one-of-a-kind.

What a wonderful palette Dean created for this scene! The original he created is below, and it may be my favorite.  Dig his subjective use of color, and how well it works, or how well we recognize it from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

We really want to find Snoopy lovers, those who watched the animated specials as kids (or with their kids!), and art aficionados who get excited by the opportunity to have an original by an artist who is so important to animation history!

MORE ABOUT DEAN SPILLE:

In the fifties, Mr. Spille began working with Bill Melendez at Playhouse Pictures, a studio created by innovative artists who made up UPA. Peanuts’ television endorsement of the Ford Falcon, created at Playhouse Pictures, was the beginning of a partnership and friendship that lasted a lifetime for Melendez and Spille. After leaving for Spain in 1963, Dean returned to find that Melendez had created his own studio. Spille worked on the first three specials while teaching design at California State College, Long Beach. Later a sabbatical from teaching took Spille to live and work in a small town in the hills of Provence. Working on “Babar the Elephant” and later “Dick Deadeye”, he also continued working on the Peanuts films, while splitting his time between Los Angeles and France.  A definitive move to France was made as an additional project was in the works, the Emmy winning “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Dean Spille was, without question, an integral contributing artist to the success of Bill Melendez Productions, Inc.

Dean’s academic studies began at UCLA where he earned his BA in Cinema, furthering his studies at California State University earning his Master Degree in Fine Art. Dean continued his studies at the Accademia Delle Belle Arte in Florence, Italy and at Kokoshkaschule in Salzburg, Austria. Dean is also a former professor of Art at the California State University, where he taught Graphic Design and Animation. Today, he devotes his time to painting, and sells his traditional imagery throughout Europe, where he is known and celebrated for both his animation and fine art works.

Spille’s work is liberally shown through out the book, “The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation, Celebrating Fifty Years of Television Specials” .  Page 30-31 speaks of his process.

Limited Editions from Peanuts TV Specials Make Us Want To Do a Snoopy Happy Dance!

We just discovered we have a few super rare and hard-to-find Peanuts limited editions created for the anniversaries of the Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown TV specials. Given how much we at ArtInsights love all things Snoopy and Charlie Brown, it’s like we got an early Valentine’s Day gift!

What a coincidence.  Fans of the beloved Peanuts animated cartoons just celebrated the anniversary of the first airing of the 1975 Peanuts TV special Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.  Although there are over 40 animated TV specials created over the years through Bill Melendez’s studio, many fans actually remember a few of them really well.  For me it was Snoopy Come Home, for which I had the board game, the Valentine special, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. As an adult, I can to love this weird one that it turns out is the favorite of many of the animators who worked on multiple films for Melendez, What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown!. However, we can all agree that A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown are the most classic, right?

MELENDEZ AND MENDELSON MAKE TV MAGIC

Beyond the fact that the Peanuts Christmas special was a huge deal in that it was the first time the comic strip characters by Charles Schulz were translated to animation, it was also the first religious-based animated special to ever be played on tv, and offered a wonderful jazz score by Vince Guaraldi.  This cartoon has been played during the holidays every year since it played in 1965. The music was also a huge success, selling millions of copies.  At the time, A Charlie Brown Christmas was seen by 45% of those watching television in the US.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown quickly followed the Christmas special in October of 1966, although it was the third, not the second, coming after Charlie Brown’s All Stars in June of the same year. It was nominated for an Emmy. Longtime Peanuts specials producer Lee Mendelson, (who brought Schulz and Melendez together to translate the Peanuts comic strip into a cartoon, among many other important roles in the history of Peanuts specials) was outvoted in the discussion about Charlie Brown getting rocks instead of candy.  He wanted him to get his fair share.  Apparently the audience that year agreed with him, sending the character thousands of bags and boxes of candy to Melendez’s animation studio!

My childhood is filled with memories of watching the specials with my dad.  We also played my Snoopy Come Home board game a lot together.  We quoted lines from all the cartoons and the comic strip, and I’d even say seeing them every year influenced my going into a career selling art and promoting the artistry of animation.

Dog on Duty, a limited edition with three hand-painted layers, was created for the anniversary of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Dog on Duty, a limited edition with three hand-painted layers, was created for the anniversary of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It included the drawings that capture Snoopy’s struggles and bravery as a flying ace.

It was quite an experience the one time I got to eat dinner next to Bill Melendez at an event some years ago, only to discover what a wonderful sense of humor and quick wit he had.  I had already heard he was famously a great boss, according to many people in the industry who had worked at a number of studios.  In the interviews I conducted more recently, that compliment was repeated by everyone who had ever taken part in the creation of the Peanuts specials or any other Melendez studio project.

ANNIVERSARY PEANUTS LIMITED EDITIONS

This "Snoopy's Audition" limited edition was the first one released for anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas. #SnoopyVulture
This “Snoopy’s Audition” limited edition was the first one released for anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas. #SnoopyVulture

2015, the anniversaries were coming up for both the Christmas and Halloween specials.  The company connected with the Melendez family and his studio, who sells all things Peanuts and Bill Melendez Studio related in terms of art, planned a big event to celebrate with Peanuts art.  They spent a long time, with the help and design artistry of Peanuts specials director Larry Leichliter, creating an anniversary collection of Peanuts limited edition cels.  There were only 65 and 66 in each editions.  When the first piece was released, we all called those folks who had always bought art when the company released art.  They were allocated, so each gallery could only get a few of these A Charlie Brown Christmas limited editions and the It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown limited editions.  (I think I got as many as any gallery was allotted, with 6 of each edition).  Those who bought the first one, got right of first refusal on each subsequent piece so they could match the sets.  So some said yes to them all, some skipped one, and so it went.

My Peanuts collectors tend to leave their art with me for a while and come in only a few times a year.  One thing led to another, we did inventory, and POOF! We actually have a few Peanuts Charlie Brown and Snoopy limited editions (and of course some with the whole Peanuts gang!)  available for sale!  Imagine my surprise!

This Peanuts limited edition cel, "Dog Gone Commercial" captures when Snoopy was decorating his dog house for the holidays.  Classic!
This Peanuts limited edition cel, “Dog Gone Commercial” captures when Snoopy was decorating his dog house for the holidays. Classic!

Anyway, this is all to the benefit of big Peanuts fans who will fall in love with these images.  The largest Christmas and Halloween limited edition cels each took weeks to complete, there was so much hand-work involved.  If you think they look cool online, they are truly spectacular in person!  We look forward to a fan or a few fans who grew up with the cartoons and Peanuts comic strips like I did winding up with these pieces.  They can bring them home as a wonderful, nostalgic reminder of holidays gone by.  Or rather, holidays to come, because they will be playing these Peanuts TV specials every year until our great-grandchildren think they came out for them!

In this blog are all the images of the pieces we have.  Click HERE to see them all, or on each image for more information for those specific pieces.

The work-intensive A Charlie Brown Christmas limited edition art created for the anniversary called "50 Years of Joy and Wonder"
The work-intensive A Charlie Brown Christmas limited edition art created for the anniversary called “50 Years of Joy and Wonder”
The anniversary It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown limited edition that we have for sale sold out immediately when it was released, with only 66 created. Linus and Snoopy steal the show again!
The anniversary It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown limited edition that we have for sale sold out immediately when it was released, with only 66 created. Linus and Snoopy steal the show again!

Remember if you love Peanuts and the Charlie Brown TV specials, there are some original production cels available from a number of cartoons you’ll remember we get directly from the Bill Melendez Studio.  None from the Christmas or Halloween specials, but we’ve found a few choice ones for fans from Snoopy Come Home, several Valentine specials, and others that would excite you. Contact us!

We’ll leave you with this an interview I did with the producer Lee Mendelson, talking about the history of the Peanuts cartoons:

ANNOUNCING Exclusive art by Star Wars, Disney, and DreamWorks artist William Silvers

We are thrilled to announce the addition of original and limited edition art by the renowned concept and matte background artist William Silvers to our gallery!

All the art is from Bill’s personal collection, created in an official capacity as Disney and LucasFilm fine artist or was actually part of making a film.

We’re adding all the art as quickly as possible, but please contact us with requests or interest, as there are a number of originals we have not yet listed for sale, and some special images that will not be on our website.

CHECK OUT ALL HIS ART HERE.

As most of you know by now, we feature artists that actually work inside the industry, so it is a great pleasure to have his work at ArtInsights.  He is also a very nice man.  He is easy-going, has great integrity, and is committed to ever expanding his talent and skill. Here is Bill’s lengthy and impressive bio:

William Silvers is one of the preeminent concept artists working in the film industry today. Starting his career in New York as an illustrator for ad agencies, William continued to perfect his style and technique. His love of film and his passion for art led him on a path to filmmaking. He has worked with nearly every major studio, and is known for his use of diverse styles and techniques. Passionate and easy-going, William Silvers infuses his love of film and artistic expression in every piece. 

In 1995, his film career began at Walt Disney Feature Animation where he adapted his fine art painting skills to the world of filmmaking. He created unforgettable backgrounds for Disney classics such as Mulan, Tarzan,  Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear.

 Eager for new experiences William enjoyed a stint as Associate Art Director for EA Sports-Tiburon. While there he contributed to the development of the award-winning game NCAA Football.

William achieved a personal triumph when his long awaited book Painting Realistic Wildlife in Acrylic was published. The book was a compilation of his beloved Wildlife paintings and it included instructional techniques to teach and inspire young artists.

His collaboration with Disney had bolstered a deep-seated desire to create meaningful work and that drive earned him a coveted stint at Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd.  As a digital matte painter, William created some of the most stunning images for the feature films The Day after Tomorrow and Star Wars Episode III, The Revenge of the Sith.

With his reputation in the Industry growing, William accepted a position at DreamWorks Animation Studios. His work can be seen in How To Train Your Dragon 2, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Croods, Rise of the Guardians, Puss In Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2, Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special and Shrek Forever After.

 The artist recently concluded his Sony Pictures Imageworks contract as a digital matte painter for the animated comedy adventure film Storks produced by Warner Animation Group.  

William also creates new and exciting fine art pieces for Disney Galleries and Lucasfilm Ltd.  His art can be found throughout the Disney Theme Parks, and his long relationship with the Walt Disney Company continues to be a consistent theme in his career.

“What began as a foray into film making blossomed into a comprehensive career, the foundation for which was Disney Animation.”

Collectors from around the world have also embraced his personal art, which allows him to expand his artistic vocabulary and express the wide spectrum of styles that continue to bring him joy. 

We are also working on a contemporary art project with him, and we’ll bring you news of that as it takes shape.

WELCOME WILLIAM SILVERS, and may the force be with us!

Need Last Minute Gift Ideas? Give the Gift of Film Art! DISNEY ART, STAR WARS ART, AND MARVEL ART FOR $150 and under!

It’s getting down to the last minute for getting Christmas presents and holiday gifts! We thought we’d help the folks out there who are still struggling to find something wonderful, and suggest film art.  Disney art and Marvel superhero art, just to name two, make crowd pleasing, inventive gifts for family and friends who love movies.  Our experience in the gallery is it can be the sort of art people don’t buy themselves, but love and enjoy, and would be so happy to get as a gift! We have so many visitors who frequent our store and know all about the movies, and come by just to see what’s new.  They respect and look up to the artists that are represented here.  I’m also so excited when someone close to them comes in and gets them a piece.  It’s always so well received!

With that in mind, here are a few pieces that are ready to display and are $150 or under:

How many of my longterm clients know that the mice and birds in Cinderella are some of my all-time favorites?  I’m not alone.  John Rowe does a great composition of them and the star of the film, Cinderella’s castle…ummm, I mean, Cinderella.

The Life She Dreams Of by John Rowe Treasures on Canvas gift idea for $125
The Life She Dreams Of by John Rowe Treasures on Canvas for $125

Oh that haughty iris is such a great character.  There are so many minor characters that are memorable in Alice in Wonderland.  Here are just a few of them, created in a great Disney fine art piece by Michelle St. Laurent:

A Conversation with Flowers by Michelle St. Laurent Treasures on Canvas Disney Fine Art gift idea for $125
A Conversation with Flowers by Michelle St. Laurent Treasures on Canvas $125

What a wonderful piece this Dig A Little Deeper is! Heather Theurer has gotten lots of press for her live action reinterpretations of Disney princesses. Here is her version of the first African-American Disney princess:

Dig a Little Deeper by Heather Theurer Treasures on Canvas Disney Fine Art $125
Dig a Little Deeper by Heather Theurer Treasures on Canvas $125

Did you love Moana? Of course you did.  This is one of the best scenes in the whole movie, captured in Disney fine art by Rob Kaz.

Moana's New Friend Treasures on Canvas by Rob Kaz $125
Moana’s New Friend Treasures on Canvas by Rob Kaz $125

You’d be surprised at the number of adult fans this pixie dream girl has.  She should be the original “not bad, just drawn that way”, but regardless, many a fan would love to have this sometimes-sweet fairy.

Enchanting Encounter Tinker Bell Disney Sculpture from the retired Walt Disney Classics Collection gift idea for $150
Enchanting Encounter Tinker Bell from the retired Walt Disney Classics Collection $150

 

And what about Star Wars: The Last Jedi?  You loved it? You hated it?  Either way, you’re probably a fan of the saga, and so is that loved-one.  Here’s a sold-out Star Wars limited edition of BB8 the Astromech droid by Steve Thomas that no one will argue about.  The best of the new Star Wars characters captured in official Star Wars film art!

rolling-droid-bb8-star-wars-force-awakens-last-jedi-gift-artinsights
BB8 Rolling Droid Star Wars limited edition by Steve Thomas $150

Maybe that hard-to-buy-for friend or family member is a fan of Marvel. If everyone didn’t love Thor and company before Ragnarok, they do now!  We have framed special-release posters from San Diego Comic-Con of both Ragnarok and Black Panther that will be a great gift and tickle their fancy.  We also have a sold out Captain America limited edition and a great New Avengers piece…

All New All Different Avengers Marvel Art by Alex Ross last minute gift idea $150
All New All Different Avengers Marvel Art by Alex Ross $150

OMG! You can get Thor, Cap, and Iron Man by Alex Ross for your Marvel-obsessed loved-one! Can there be a better gift? No.  The answer is no.

Avengers with Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor limited edition Marvel art by Alex Ross last minute gift idea $150
Avengers with Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor limited edition Marvel art by Alex Ross $150

Of course there are lots of other options on our “GIFTS IN-STOCK” page, which you can get to by clicking HERE. 

We’ll be here in the gallery Christmas eve until at 2pm, as well as…

Thursday 10-6pm, Friday 10-6pm, Saturday 10-6pm, Sunday 12-2pm, but check with us if you need to stop by outside these hours.  We are here to help!

so come and see us and let us solve the age-old problem of gift-giving…You’ll be grateful, and the receiver will be thrilled!

Best of the holidays to you all,

Leslie and Michael

ArtInsights

Spotlight on Studio Art: Buying Original and Limited Edition Animation Model Sheets

I thought today I’d talk about my very favorite kind of animation art, model sheets.  The explanation of animation model sheets, according to wikipedia:

“In animation, a model sheet, also known as a character boardcharacter sheetcharacter study or simply a study, is a document used to help standardize the appearance, poses, and gestures of an animated character. Model sheets are required when large numbers of artists are involved in the production of an animated film to help maintain continuity in characters from scene to scene, as one animator may only do one shot out of the several hundred that are required to complete an animated feature film. A character not drawn according to the production’s standardized model is referred to as off-model.

Model sheets are drawings of posed cartoon or comic strip characters that are created to provide a reference template for several artists who collaborate in the production of a lengthy or multiple-edition work of art such as a comic book, animated film or television series. Model sheets usually depict the character’s head and body as they appear at various angles (a process known as “model rotation”), includes sketches of the character’s hands and feet, and shows several basic facial expressions.

Model sheets ensure that, despite the efforts of several or many artists, their work exhibits unity, as if one artist created the drawings (that is, they are “on model”). They show the character’s structure, proportions, attire, and body language. Often, several sheets are required to depict a character’s subtler emotional and physical attitudes.”

Finding original model sheets of characters that millions of people know and love always brings me great joy.  Actually, even finding obscure model sheets from movies or characters only loved by diehard fans or super-geeky animation fans is great fun.

In my 30+ years selling animation art, I’ve sold some amazing original model sheets.

There are two I remember the most and I’m the most proud of….One was from Alice in Wonderland, of Alice.  It was the one the animators actually used, that had been photocopied and you could find the photostat versions often online.  I think it looked something like this:

I also found a great Pongo model sheet, and since he’s one of my favorite characters, I was very excited to sell that one (so don’t fall in love ;).

Over the years, I had Snow White and the dwarfs, Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty, The Ugly Duckling, and a bunch of various Mickey and the rest of the fab five like Donald Duck and Goofy.  In 30 years, I’ve maybe found one a year.  Partly that’s because I have always done a ton of research to know where they’ve been before they get to me, and the more popular and collectible animation art has become, the riskier buying anything you can’t trace gets.

Interestingly, not that many people are as big a fan as I am of them.  I’ve always attracted more collectors who love production cels.  But..the characters that have been seen by millions and continue to be seen are created and kept consistent through these images.  It’s a big deal!  It’s the artistry of the character design sitting there on the wall!

I’m not trying to pitch you guys to want to buy them, because I do so rarely find them.   I just want people to understand the beauty and genius behind them. We do have one right now, and it’s one of those that are cobbled together by animators who want to keep a character consistent by seeing it from every angle…but it also has more than one character on it.  Another love of mine as an animation art dealer is the art of Fantasia.  The film is a classic, of course, but it also has an artistic quality that is unique in all of of Disney history.

Here is the model sheet we’ve got right now, and actually I’m looking at it in person, because it makes me happy, especially this time of year.

Unicorn model sheet from Fantasia available at ArtInsights
Unicorn model sheet from Fantasia available at ArtInsights

There are plenty of photostat versions of model sheets for collectors who either can’t find the original, can’t afford one, or just want to collect a variety of pieces from the time that capture the art behind the films they love. For example, there are lots of photostat model sheets from Alice in Wonderland, as many different ones as the number of characters represented in the film.

Here are just a few, so you can see how wonderful they are and how perfectly they capture less “popular” characters…

great examples of photostat model sheets from Alice in Wonderland
Two great examples of photostat model sheets from Alice in Wonderland

I’m toying with the idea of finding more photostat images to sell to my clients.  I didn’t use to have them or carry them, because they are some hundreds of dollars, and have been for some time, because they come from the time.

Contact the gallery if it’s something you might be interested in, because I know a bunch of old-time collectors who have them.  How wonderful would these look in someone’s office?!  Yes, they are esoteric aesthetically, but that’s what makes them work in a professional environment.  The same is true for a house that has a lot of tradition art in it.  Either original or photostat model sheets will work there when other animation might not!

For those who love Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera, there are some great images available from those studios as well.  We have an original from 1959 that’s more of a layout and a model sheet that is clearly from back when they are designing characters.  How awesome is it to know these characters hadn’t even been placed in a cartoon yet?  Fans of Quickdraw McGraw will get a kick out of that, and it’s definitely a piece of animation history.

A layout/model drawing of Hanna Barbera characters from 1959 available at ArtInsights
A layout/model drawing of Hanna Barbera characters from 1959 available at ArtInsights

Here are some limited editions with Tom and Jerry,Wile. E. Coyote and Roadrunner, and the gang from Scooby Doo.  The designs for Tom and Jerry are particularly interesting, given they were created while Hanna and Barbera were at MGM and the duo won seven Oscars and were nominated for another 7!  To put things in proper perspective, Bugs won only one Oscar!!

A limited edition of an early model of Tom and Jerry available from ArtInsights
A limited edition of an early model of Tom and Jerry available from ArtInsights
The Mystery Machine Gang and Scooby Doo Model Sheet available at ArtInsights
The Mystery Machine Gang and Scooby Doo Model Sheet available at ArtInsights
A limited edition based on a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner model sheet available at ArtInsights
A limited edition based on a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner model sheet available at ArtInsights

These do a great job of mixing the artistry behind the characters and the color and pop of production cels.  Again, they show the brain behind the movement and characterization of these classic cartoons, but in the above images you also get the color, hand-painted cel so many collectors want.

What it comes down to for me, is model sheets really represent the history behind animation.  They show our favorite characters in positions and doing things that sometimes they haven’t even done yet in a cartoon. They also capture just how talented not only the character animators are, but also those working with them who have to stay on model regardless of what is happening in their scenes.  There is so much skill, discipline and artistry in animation.  There’s no greater example of that than in animation model sheets.

If any of you collectors or animators have any great images, put them in the comments or email them to me, I always love seeing them!

Spotlight on Studio Art: IN HONOR OF THE LAST JEDI, a look at STAR WARS ART (and a review of the great new film!)

Many of you know I’m also a film critic.  I got to see the great new Star Wars release on Monday, and there’s a review on our sister site, Cinema Siren.  But for all you fans who want to read it who DON’T go on there regularly, it’s at the bottom of this article.

*it’s verified SPOILER FREE by Michael Barry, who hasn’t seen the film and doesn’t want to know any plot points*  If you don’t want to read it, you can stop at the art by Alex Ross and look no further on the post.

STAR WARS ART

In honor of The Last Jedi, I am writing a bit about the official Star Wars art we have at ArtInsights:

The art of Star Wars has always been collectible.  In fact, as many of you know, George Lucas has such a vast collection of art and artifacts from the saga, he’s building a museum to house it and his other fine fine art.

My experience of people who collect Star Wars art, not just toys or models, is they are some of the most enthusiastic, geeky collectors of all fandom.  They are notoriously obsessed with accuracy.  John Alvin created a number of images for the first three films, then for their re-releases and was thrilled to create the official images for Star Wars Celebration.

The Trench official Star Wars A New Hope limited edition by John Alvin
The Trench official Star Wars A New Hope limited edition by John Alvin

He often referenced times when a fan would come up and tell them how he got everything about a particular ship or craft right, and it was always when he was at his happiest.  He himself was an absolute Star Wars geek, and at the time of his death he left behind dozens of completely crafted, painted, and completed models of everything from X-Wings to the Falcon and various ships of the Galactic Empire.  It’s why he was thrilled when LucasFilm came to him to create an image called “The Trench” as official art for their website.

 

One of my favorite images John ever created as a limited edition is “There Will Be No Bargain”.  At the time there was no official Star Wars art featuring Salacious Crumb. We created a piece that highlighted the characters in Return of the Jedi, but included Salacious Crumb as a main feature.  Often when people come into the gallery and point out the piece, I’m temped to do my impersonation of his laugh (but I stop myself).

There Will Be No Bargain Star Wars Return of the Jedi Limited Edition by John Alvin
There Will Be No Bargain Star Wars Return of the Jedi Limited Edition by John Alvin

The art for the Star Wars Concert has a long, strange history.  The poster for the Star Wars Concert is the most highly prized original poster collectors look for from the saga. John Alvin’s art was used for the poster announcing a concert to be held at the Hollywood Bowl with John Williams.  Only 1500 were to be made and when the show was cancelled, they stopped printing.  No one knows just how many posters were created, but not anything close to 1500.  I love the concept art for the poster, because R2D2 and C3PO are two of my favorite Star Wars characters.  Like two bad pennies, they just keep showing up! 😉

Star Wars Concert Poster art and images from the concert poster from the book "The Art of John Alvin"
Star Wars Concert Poster art and images from the concert poster from the book “The Art of John Alvin”

Mike Kungl’s Star Wars art has been hugely popular, also because of the precision the artist used in creating his images.  His work was so popular, it wound up being featured on the set of the Big Bang Theory.  Even now, people come into the gallery and recognize his style from the show.

This "Patience" Jedi Master Star Wars limited edition by Mike Kungl is a reminder we've waited all year for The Last Jedi!
This “Patience” Jedi Master Star Wars limited edition by Mike Kungl is a reminder we’ve waited all year for The Last Jedi!

He excels at creating very dramatic renderings styled after propaganda posters, and that’s what Star Wars fans love about his art.  Every one is very iconic.  Here he is talking to me about his art:

We got Roger Kastel, who created the Empire Strikes Back poster to create art for us. At the time, he wasn’t even doing any illustration work any more, he was doing traditional paintings.  He created a number of graphite images based on both his work on Jaws and Empire Strikes Back.  He stopped doing them some time ago, but we still have one.  I did love working with him, and really his ESB image is by far the most iconic of the entire saga!

An original graphite by The Empire Strikes Back movie poster artist Roger Kastel
An original graphite by The Empire Strikes Back movie poster artist Roger Kastel

As to new art, since we have felt strongly a long time about only working with artists who have create art for the actual campaigns or LucasFilm projects, we don’t sell a lot of art from the new movies.  If one of the artists we know who worked on older films will do a commission, we will do those with our clients, or if artist Steve Thomas does something, we make an exception.  His advertisement-styled graphic images are very popular and reasonable for fans, and they are official Star Wars art, so we try to get as many as we can of those, because they generally get released at $89 and only go up a bit to $150 right before they sell out.  We have BB8 which sold out quite some time ago, but we have!

rolling-droid-bb8-star-wars-force-awakens-artinsights
We have this sold out Star Wars Rolling Droid limited edition by Steve Thomas!

 

Signed Star Wars: Celebration art by Alex Ross
Signed Star Wars: Celebration art by Alex Ross (which should be called, “Watch where you’re shooting, pal!”)

Alex Ross did a special piece that was for one of the comic books (still canon!) and we have that, too!  It’s a well-priced piece that was released for a convention, and we have it in the gallery.  Our favorite scoundrel is front and center, as we remember him.

If you’d like to see all the Star Wars art we currently have, CLICK HERE.

For those of you who are going to see the new movie soon, let us know what you think of it in the comments here or on our Facebook posting of this Spotlight article.  NO SPOILERS, please!  A Star Wars release always makes December even more the most wonderful time of the year!

May the force be with you.  Always.

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Review:

The Character Development is Strong With This One

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is so good that it will thrill and surprise everyone from the first generation of fans to its newest recruit. It reaffirm to all the power of the force. This film, as written and directed by Rian Johnson, moves the saga forward dramatically, but in truth, it is all about character.

The Last Jedi is unquestionably Johnson’s baby, which given how controlling the LucasFilm powers-that-be can be, speaks to their faith in his vision.  When asked how he approached crafting the story, Johnson said, “This is the 2nd chapter. The Force Awakens created these vibrant new characters, it was the job of this movie to pick them up and really test their mettle and put them through their paces.”   

It’s best not to discuss any plot points. Fans already know Luke Skywalker is in the movie, because he’s the biggest character on the one-sheet poster.  Audiences will learn more about the characters they’ve always known and loved, and more about both the sophomore and freshman classes.  As to those from A Force Awakens, Poe, Rey, Kylo, and Finn equally get their chance to shine, and show the complexity and motivations of their characters.  There are also some great new additions to the cast.  Most notable is Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico and the dynamic she brings to her scenes with John Boyega. In an interview, Tran talked about why. “From the beginning we clicked during the audition process. I don’t think there’s a better partner anyone could have when you’re going into a movie like this.”  Their chemistry is undeniable.

tran-boyega-last-jedi-cinema-siren

Kelly Marie Tran also talked about the continued theme in the Star Wars Universe of having strong self-aware female characters.  “From the beginning, the Star Wars films have always been groundbreaking in that way.  What keeps people interested is they continue to do so.”  Another new strong female character portrayed by Laura Dern has a very interesting arc we see unfold in what almost feels like real time.  The potential for spoilers dictates no more is said about her role, or that of other Star Wars newcomer Benicio Del Toro, but they fold themselves and their storylines convincingly into the saga.

With all the newer members of the cast, lovers of the franchise can rest easy about the old guard.  Carrie Fisher’s Leia is luminous, as always.  Her swan song took a 1977 ingenue albeit fearless princess, and turned her into both a general, and a powerful wise-woman.   Even at that, it is Luke’s story that is most enriched, having several wow moments that legitimately rival the last act of A New Hope. 

As to the expanded diversity in The Last Jedi, it’s not something that hits the audience on the head, but really feels right.  In a story where there is conflict and resistance, it makes sense that those who believe in freedom and equality would be coming from every perspective and gender, as well as a wide variety of alien species. 

Visually, the audiences are brought through everything from cityscapes, to deserts, vast galactic spaceships, and desolate island landscapes. Some of the most exciting scenes of dogfights in space take us through such spectacular environments they will make your eyes pop. 

Also, as one would expect, there are some spectacular sets, and, as has always been the case for the films of Star Wars, there is a great balance of the real and the digital.  Says Johnson, “We had a huge amount of practical sets for this film. Part of the lived-in feel of Star Wars is something we really wanted to capture.  At the same time, the other end of Star Wars is constantly pushing the envelope in terms of special effects.”   “Rian’s script at first count had something like 160 sets,” said production designer Rick Heinrichs, (Pirate of the Caribbean, Beetlejuice), but they wound up with around 125 sets where it was filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, as well as other locations around the world.  For example, they built a cave that was changed and relit to work for three other settings.

There’s so much going on it’s almost impossible to remember the entire story (not that it would be shared in this review..) Which of course, may be a ploy to get audiences all to see it multiple times.  At 2 hours and 23 minutes, it is definitely on the long side, and there are so many plot threads it feels like they could get knotted up in the viewer’s brain.   It’s possible there’s an even better movie that could have been carved out in the editing room.  However,  a shorter film might have sacrificed the strong character development, which is what will remain with fans long after the credits roll.

Lovers of Star Wars are incredibly lucky to have Johnson at the helm, who is clearly a super-fan of the saga. He took the stories, archetypes and mythology, and expanded and enhanced it in nearly every way.

A-

Spotlight on Studio Art: The Queen Transforms Disney Publishing Original Disney Storybook Art Illustration

I wanted to tell collectors about one of the rare times we could buy Disney storybook art directly from Disney.

Quite a few years ago, around the time Disney was deciding whether to keep having an art program or not, someone who had been working in and around Disney for many years contacted me about the likelihood of Disney Publishing opening up to sell art to galleries.  Obviously, I was ecstatic!

There are a lot of artists who created Disney storybook art that are great talents, and some of them are even legends now.  Claude Coats, Retta Scott, Bill Peet…just to name a few!  I had the great pleasure of selling a whole collection of illustrations for Retta Scott’s Cinderella book.  It was for the puppet book, not the original storybook, but they were glorious and finding and placing it with a collector is one of my favorite memories as an art dealer.  Regardless of the fact that whoever was building the program at Disney for illustration art sales wasn’t branding the art based on the artist, but rather the subject matter, I was still all in.  I knew my clients would be thrilled.

As a test to see whether there was interest, Disney was doing some low key selling of original Disney storybook illustrations on Ebay.  This was back before Ebay had unintentionally created the garage sale feel they have now. I scoured the site for when they posted art.  They only did it for a very brief time, and I knew about it from the beginning.

One of the images they placed on there was this original Disney publishing illustration from a storybook about Villains.  You can see the space to the right where the words go.

"The Evil Queen Transforms" original Disney storybook art from Disney Publishing
“The Evil Queen Transforms” original Disney storybook art from Disney Publishing

What I love about a great Disney storybook art for a well-known story is you get both color and story in one place . To me the composition and story elements of the Queen transforming into the wicked witch are wonderfully vibrant and compelling.  The skull that the poison gas is creating, and how it connects you visually with the skull of poison on the apple is scary and beautiful at the same time.  We can tell there is very bad magic at work, and the plot is about to go south for poor Snow White…

What is also great about illustration in general is that very rarely is there just one medium used.  It might be drawn on illustration board, with gouache, but enhanced with airbrush, or pen and ink.  Illustrators use whatever will solve their design problem or build the aesthetic they are after for that project.

We bought the art from Ebay, and promptly sold it to a villains collector.  Oddly, even then they didn’t know or weren’t willing to tell us who did the actual illustration. (Yet another reason I should have been working inside Disney…CREDIT, people…CREDIT!) Years later we were thrilled to be able to offer it again to another lover of illustration and villains, or rather misunderstood heroes.

Sadly, the folks inside Disney publishing thought better of selling the art out of their archives.  I do wish they’d lost their head and sold a bit more before coming to their senses!  I remember my friend Lella, who used to be the head of the Disney archives, would bemoan the fact that the company sold so many backgrounds from their movies to the public through Sotheby’s.  At least they DID.  We were only able to get about three pieces before collectors got wind of what they were doing and then the prices often went above 10k.  Lucky for us we knew about it at the beginning!

For collectors of Snow White and villains, this piece is particularly great, since it’s so prohibitively expensive to get both the Queen and the evil witch. Also, since the vast Snow White art collection owned by Steve Ison was sold back to Disney, finding original art representing the characters has gotten a lot harder and more expensive.  

I have seen cels of the moment of her transformation before, but they are very strange and also very expensive.  Here’s a way to represent the darkness of the character, tell story, and celebrate wonderful illustrative talent at once.

 

Spotlight on Studio Art: The Art of Alex Ross at ArtInsights and on Video

Alex Ross has become the #1 collected artist in comics.  His style changed the world of comic book art, and he brought an illustrative, more Norman Rockwell style, with realistic, hyper-realistic depictions of superheroes as real-life humans, albeit with way more muscles.  As a gallery that specializes in pop culture, we have carried the work of Alex Ross for over 20 years…Now, his agents have finally started making videos where Alex himself talks about his work and inspiration.  I thought i’d talk about some of my experience selling his work, and post some of the videos here:

He talks about his realism in art here:

As great as Alex Ross’s work is, he wouldn’t be nearly as famous in terms of art collecting had it not been for the Warner Bros stores.  They got behind his work and promoted it as real art as well as a collectible.  His images were some of the crowning glories in the stores, always put in a place of prominence. His new limited editions were released to increasingly committed fans who were quickly becoming completist collectors.

I had my own taste of Alex’s enthusiastic fandom when ArtInsights was the first and only gallery to represent Alex Ross Art at a comic convention.  We had a booth at New York Comic Con showing only The Art of Alex Ross.  Alex’s representatives were kind enough to give us some great exclusive limited editions, and we also had full color and graphite originals.  No other art gallery before or since has had that exclusive.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Giclee on Canvas by Alex Ross AP1
Crisis on Infinite Earths Giclee on Canvas by Alex Ross AP1. We released this image in our Alex Ross booth at NYCC.

I had been working with what is now the head of the collections of Alex Ross limited editions for over 20 years at that point, and she knew me well, so she knew I would represent the art with integrity and honesty.  The same agent had been in charge of the Warner Bros. stores before they went out of business, so she knew everything necessary to design and implement a fine art portfolio for Alex Ross.  She’d been doing it for decades.

From the first day of the convention, we were swamped with convention attendees.  Some of them were just fans in love with his work, but not interested in buying art.  Others were avid collectors looking to buy the latest exclusive.  We had a Doctor Strange, Captain America, and Batman exclusive signed lithograph that we sold out of the first day. Had there been any DC Comics original art of the Justice League, a concern in the far east would have bought every one of them.  Alas, he has not been working on DC projects for some time, so there was no art for sale.  Apparently this one group will buy absolutely anything, with almost unlimited funds.  This is one reason why mere mortal collectors should look to graphites if they want something original of his art.

Many people wonder why Alex never comes to conventions.  There’s an easy explanation for that, but I think fans and art collectors often don’t consider it.  Alex still paints in the traditional way.  For the most part, he is not creating inside a computer.  He still uses brushes, models, and paint.  That means that when other working artists can make adjustments by clicking on the mouse of their computer, Alex Ross would have to completely repaint the art.

He talks about physical painting and why he does it:

He is a traditional illustrator in a digital world, but he likes it that way.  His idols are Norman Rockwell, Leyendecker, and the rest of the geniuses of twentieth century illustrative art.  He was particularly influenced by Andrew Loomis, who was not only a great illustrator, but the author of instructional art books essential to the craft.

If you know the work of Norman Rockwell AND Alex Ross, you may recognize the strong influence and reference Alex Ross used from some of Rockwell’s works in Ross covers for Kingdom Come and Justice.  Here is a video of Alex Ross talking about his inspiration for The Justice League paintings:

To my mind, when Alex Ross creates images like the Marvel Shadows and the DC Shadows series, he does his best work.  I usually prefer his images of single characters.  To my mind, we get to see shadows and light playing on the subject more distinctly, seeing more specific choices he’s making.

My favorite images to date, by far, are his images inspired by Universal Monsters.  Created entirely in shades of grey, black and white, these pieces show the nuance with composition, shadow, and light only a great illustrator can express.  There are times when Alex’s color art is so frenetic and intense, I have a hard time focusing.  That’s not to say it isn’t compelling, I just think in Alex Ross’s Dracula, for example, or his Bride of Frankenstein, you almost feel like you could step into the painting and become part of the story.  They are at once evocative of the films represented and seductive as unique illustrations, separate from the subject matter.  Whether you know the stories or not, you are drawn to the tableaus he has laid out before you.

ALEX ROSS UNIVERSAL MONSTERS:

Not only are all the Universal Monsters officially licensed images, the folks at Alex Ross Art got permission and became officially connected with Bela Lugosi and even has the logo of his estate on the certificate of authenticity.  Much to absolutely no surprise, his Universal Monsters giclees on canvas were the hit of San Diego Comic-Con.  They outsold all the Marvel and DC images! 

The whole set of Universal Monsters giclees on canvas by Alex Ross
The whole set of Universal Monsters giclees on canvas by Alex Ross

There were only 15 put aside as matching sets, and they are far less than if you buy them individually and we have #13 if anyone is interested in the whole set.

ALEX ROSS SPIDER-MAN:

We love Alex Ross Spider-Man art.  Whenever we get the opportunity, we get whatever Alex Ross Art releases for our clients.  Alex has loved Spider-Man his whole life, and actually his first memory of him is the live-action character on The Electric Company! 

Spider-Man: Rockomic by Alex Ross Signed Limited Edition Lithograph
Spider-Man: Rockomic by Alex Ross Signed Limited Edition Lithograph

We have a piece called Rockomic and another very sold out one called Spider-Man Visions, plus the more recent Spider-Man: Marvels. My own memory of Spidey is from the Saturday Morning Cartoon, which was the best!  It came on at 6:30 am and I got up especially to see it.

 

Am I the only one who really loves Aquaman?  I mean, he’s not just some stupid character to be made fodder for jokes in Entourage!  Whether he’s the blonde character I know from the Superfriends or Jason Mamoa, who nearly singlehandedly saved the new Justice League movie, I enjoy having him around to manipulate water, make jokes, and talk to fish… Apparently, Alex loves him, too.  

He talks about it:

(If you like the image below, you can find a limited edition of Aquaman HERE.)

If you’re a fan of Captain America (which I am!) and Iron Man, here’s Alex talking about what he enjoys about creating images of these superheroes.  And you can find some great Captain America art HERE.

One of the latest releases from Alex Ross is of Wonder Woman, and it’s called “Wonder Woman: Goddess of Truth”.   After the image was posted on the Alex Ross twitter feed, Patty Jenkins saw it and fell in love with it and sent Alex a note saying how beautiful it was.  The best aspect of Alex Ross’s Wonder Women: Goddess of Truth is how perfectly it translates into giclee. 

Wonder Woman: Goddess of Truth Giclee on Paper by Alex Ross
Wonder Woman: Goddess of Truth Giclee on Paper by Alex Ross

Giclees are basically a very high-quality ink-jet printer.  Instead of only 4 different inks, there are many different ones that spray microscopic drops of paint that read the original within a millionth of a difference in color.  This original watercolor gets translated so perfectly, it really looks like the original.  Actually, I call it “Colors of the Wind” Wonder Woman, and we only have APs. For obvious reasons it was very popular when it was released and sold out immediately.  This image is my very favorite superhero portrait he’s ever done.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll leave you all with videos of Alex talking about his career and sharing advice to artists:

Click here If you want to see all the art by Alex Ross on our site…

and for those artists out there, find inspiration here and wherever you go.  If Alex can do it, so can you.  Make a plan, and stick to it.  Work hard, and stay positive.  For the rest of us, we can be the vital ones who support these visual artists by hanging their art on our walls!

Spotlight on Studio Art: On Pearl Harbor Day, The Evocative Band of Brothers Art by John Alvin

John Alvin did art for the campaign to promote the wonderful, timeless HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, which won 6 Emmys.  I thought on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I’d examine the story behind John Alvin creating Band of Brothers campaign art and find out more about the process, and the general fascination with World War II history I recall John having and discussing with me on a regular basis.

Concept art for Band of Brothers by John Alvin
Concept art for Band of Brothers by John Alvin

I remember John Alvin and I talking many times about World War II.  He never mentioned his personal history, or how he was connected to it.  I told him some of the stories about my family, which he found very compelling.  My grandmother Colette had been working in London when France fell and Charles de Gaulle made his speech about the importance of everyone doing what they could do in the war effort.  She was working directly under Rene Pleven, as part of de Gaulle’s Free French Forces.  She went to de Gaulle and asked him how she could help, and he told her he needed her in New York.  She had grown up in New York, spoke both French and English, and knew many important people in the US who could help, so he sent her there to organize relief for the Free French.

My dad, who was only 5 or 6 at the time, had to come from Paris to Vichy, France, to North Africa and onward to New York to reunite with her while she was doing her work for de Gaulle.  My dad told me during that time he saw a man get kicked down a long flight of stairs in the subway by a German officer, cracking his head open.  He remembers it vividly to this day. He doesn’t remember Pearl Harbor, because in France, they were already deeply into the war.   

John was fascinated. He never told me his story himself.

Concept art for Band of Brothers by John Alvin
Concept art for Band of Brothers by John Alvin

When he spoke to me, it was about that book and that series, and how great he thought it was.  I, too, fell under its spell, especially as so many great actors took part.  I’d been a fan of Tom Hanks since Mazes and Monsters. His second collaboration with Steven Spielberg, the Emmy Award-winning miniseries was about “Easy” Company, a parachute infantry regiment. It made Damien Lewis famous in the US, (a gift that keeps on giving..) and was at the time the most expensive TV miniseries ever made by a network. The first episode premiered on September 9th, 2001, two days before the September 11th attack.

I just spoke to Andrea Alvin about why she thought he was so connected to his work on Band of Brothers. As you’ll see, John Alvin’s connection to the subject ran deep.  His father, Albert Alvin, had been a career military man.  He was a captain in the Army, and spent World War II as a military intelligence officer stationed in Italy, because he spoke fluent Italian.  His mother Rena had been an Army nurse and followed Patton’s troops.  She was at the Battle of the Bulge, where she worked right behind the front lines caring for the injured from all forces; American, German…anyone who needed urgent medical intervention.   The battle lasted from December 16th, 1944 to January 25th, 1945.  For the rest of her life, she would get weepy every year around Christmas remembering the horrors of that traumatic experience.

Graphite concept art for HBO's Band of Brothers by John Alvin
Graphite concept art for HBO’s Band of Brothers by John Alvin

Also, as a young child, John Alvin lived for about four years in Germany.  His father was part of the occupational army helping rebuild Germany*.  When John was 4 or 5, his dad took him to an abandoned Messerschmitt factory.  It was like a graveyard of airplanes.  He was allowed to climb on and in the planes.  It made a huge impression on him, and Andrea counts that experience as one of the main reasons he was so obsessed with building models.

The art John Alvin created for the Band of Brothers campaign, though not ultimately used, has an emotional quality and visual authenticity derived from his love of history, interest in research, and his personal connection to that time. The color images look like they are done in pastel, but John never worked in pastel.  He worked on pastel paper, and used Prisma color pencils and freehand airbrush to get the effect of pastels.  Though not sure, Andrea thinks John may have also used some actual pictures of his father as reference.

Whatever his inspiration, he captured the bravery, and the intensity of focus and commitment the men of Easy Company must have maintained as they struggled through the terrifying experience of surviving war.  On the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we think of all those men and women who gave their lives or lost their optimism and their innocence, and who fought bravely to keep this country safe. 

We also remember that standing up for those being endangered around the world, as well as on our own shores, is the true mark of patriotism.

If you’re interested in any of these great images, click here for the John Alvin Band of Brothers art page. 

*years later, John would find out that the entire time he lived in Germany, they had a bodyguard who followed them everywhere.

 

Spotlight on Studio Art: The Harry Potter Concept Art by Production Designer Stuart Craig

Production Designer Stuart Craig has quite a CV. Beyond being the BAFTA award-winning designer for the entire Harry Potter film series, he has also won three Oscars, for The English Patient, Dangerous Liaisons, and Gandhi.  He has worked on over three dozen films, including as art director on classics A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Superman (1978).  Do you love Notting Hill, The Mission, or The Elephant Man? He worked on those, too. He has continued his part in translating J.K.Rowling’s vision for the cinematic world with last year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and is currently working on The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is being released in 2018.

He is essentially the architect of the world we see onscreen for all the Harry Potter movies.  Indeed, as directors came and went, his involvement stayed consistent.  An argument could be made that continuity, and the loyalty of fans to commit to every film, are largely to his credit.

Journey to Hogwarts by Jim Salvati

When the Harry Potter studio tour at Leavesden was opening, Ruth Clampett, who has always been the conduit between Warner Bros. and the art world for all things Harry Potter, worked to get the art used to create the environments, that so compelled fans of the franchise, into the tour.  She wanted Stuart Craig Harry Potter prints to be available for purchase by his fans.  Ruth has always been a great judge of what Harry Potter fans want, since she herself is a superfan.

I remember when I spoke to Stuart Craig, he said he couldn’t imagine anyone wanting his concept images.  The pieces Ruth wanted to release were of finished and “in process” concepts, which were created by both Stuart Craig, who drew out the graphites, and architectural and concept artist Andrew Williamson, who finished them in colorful, fully rendered concept images. Williamson is now the Global Head of the Art Department at Double Negative.  Double Negative has worked on Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Justice League, Blade Runner 2049, and many more of the biggest films of the last nearly 20 years.

Ruth went about selecting images evocative of the film series, that would resonate with fans in both the UK and the US.  It required quite a bit of convincing to get the art into Leavesdon, but when she did, they were a huge success, much to Stuart Craig’s surprise.  Production designers see their work as a means to an end.  It was hard for him to picture fans wanting to put Stuart Craig Harry Potter prints as art on their walls.  My experience is quite the opposite.

Because I was involved in selling official Harry Potter art to collectors from the very beginning, I knew many of the collectors who loved and bought the art of book cover artist Mary GrandPre who had embraced the films would also collect art by the man partially responsible for bringing the world of the books to the screen.

I love seeing how a movie comes together.  I love seeing design, alteration, and creativity as it develops ideas into physical form.  Not enough people realize how much the production designer and their team influence the finished film and how it’s received.

Take a look at the many wonderful images of Harry Potter concept art by Stuart Craig on our ArtInsights page for the production designer.  Because we were in it at the beginning, we get to have limited editions by him that say “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London” on them.

Meanwhile, I spoke to Stuart in 2011 before the release of the first of the two last films.  I just posted it on YouTube as a video (it is mostly just my phone interview, but there are pictures of his art accompanying it)–if you want to hear a bit about his career in his own voice, check it out HERE.

 

Artist Insights: Andrea Alvin talks about her new work “Samuel’s Candy Canes”

I have enormous respect for contemporary artist and former partner in Alvin and Associates with famed cinema artist John Alvin, Andrea Alvin, and so I spoke to her about her great new piece, Samuel’s Candy Canes.

She has been actively working as both a commercial and contemporary artist since the 70s. With her partner John, she was part of creating iconic movie posters like the ones for Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein and more recently, the advance for Tim Burton’s Batman.  All the while, she was honing her style and aesthetic as a contemporary artist focusing on nostalgic imagery.  After losing John suddenly to a heart attack in 2008, she wrote a successful book about his career, The Art of John Alvin, and is now slowly getting back to her own work. Andrea Alvin is creating intensely evocative paintings of objects that bring us back to our childhood memories, through visually considering and sharing memories of her own.

Her new image called “Samuel’s Candy Canes”, inspired by candy in Samuel’s Sweet Shop, in Rhinebeck, New York,  is both a celebration of the season, and a choice to lean into joy, regardless of the time of year or the darkness of our current circumstances.  I spoke to Andrea about this new piece, her career, working with her famous husband John Alvin, and her perspective still creating, 40 years later, while continuing to change as a person and an artist:

LC: You went to school with John, right?

Andrea Alvin: Yes, I went to Art Center College of Design, and actually I was a few years ahead of him.

LC: How did your aesthetic develop for nostalgic realism? Or is that how you’d describe your art?

AA: When I first started coming back to painting, I was stuck.  I didn’t know what to paint.  A friend of mine said, “Oh my god, your house is so full of stuff! Collectibles, and all kinds of things everywhere…why don’t you just paint your stuff?” That’s how I started just going around with my camera and editing through the camera and taking pictures and painting those scenes.  In a lot of them it just was a view of homey-ness and somebody’s things. We had a lot of collectibles and toys around the house, so it started that way. As I started to refine it, I started thinking about what made me happy to look at, and what I wanted to say, I realized having my major in school in advertising design, I’ve always been focused on popular culture as it relates to advertising, and growing up as a kid in the 50s it made a real mark on me.  One of the things I realized is there are a lot of iconic things in  our everyday lives that were iconic then and are iconic even now. That’s where I started trying to focus on Americana and what was very American.  What makes us who we are. What was interesting to me and special to me as a kid and what is also special to my daughter, or a younger generation.  Or my grandson.

LC: When you say you were returning to painting, what do you mean?

AA: I graduated from school, and worked in animation up until John’s career started taking off, and then I had my daughter Farah.  When she was able to go to school for a couple of hours a day, is when I started painting again.  So that was in the late 70s.

LC: What did you see as nostalgic then?

AA: I don’t know about nostalgia then, because the things that were nostalgic to me where going back to the 50s. What happened inadvertently was some of the paintings I painted then are still or maybe even more evocative now. Like “Wow! I remember Peanut Butter Boppers!” Those are gone now.  Or “That wallpaper sure is ugly but boy, do I remember it being popular in the 70s”…those things are very nostalgic now.

LC: How did or does being a women in art influence your style or perspective, would you say, or does it?

AA: I never thought about it that there was a limitation for me. The only limitation that I thought of was I didn’t want to be a teacher. That’s what I was told repeatedly as a woman in art. I had to be a teacher. When I was a teenager, and came to New York on a visit, pretty much one of the only artists I remember seeing was Marisol, who you barely hear about any more.  There just were very few woman artists around. I still never thought I couldn’t do it because I was a woman.

LC: What about working with or at the same time as John. He was such a well-known artist in his industry.  That had to be interesting, or a challenge. There are a lot of elements in the finished posters of his or of Alvin and Associates that are your work.

AA: Right.  I’m the “Associates”…It was very difficult.  John was the kind of artist as an illustrator, that if you asked him to paint a train in perspective coming over a hill with a haunted house, he’d just sit down and sketch it, and it looked pretty good! I can’t do that, or maybe I could if I concentrated really, really hard, but that’s not how I worked.

I’m have to be more deliberate and know how I’ll proceed. It made me nervous about painting because if I was going to paint, what was it going to be, and if I paint realism with John around, how is that going to work? Am I going to be compared to him? I just had to put blinders on and paint.  We had different approaches. He would say to me, “Why don’t you do several sketches and then do them in color and go from there?” and I’d just think I would never get anywhere that way! I’d never get the painting done.  So I’d say “Good idea” to him and “No.” to myself and keep my blinders on and go on to how I wanted to do it.  Where being around him was super helpful and what I miss horribly every day is having that other set of eyes when I could say “I’m stuck. I know I need something. Something’s wrong and I can’t figure out what it is.” or the other thing was asking “Is this painting finished?” It’s always a tough call for artists and it’s so important to have someone you respect you can ask about that.

LC: I do remember John speaking of your talent often with respect and appreciation.  He was, as many artists are, a bundle of neuroses, but always very clear about his belief in you.

AA:  I think the big difference in our approaches is that John always wanted to be an illustrator.  He wanted to tell stories.  That’s why he was so well-suited for the movies. I don’t have a problem coming up with and painting things I wanted to paint, whereas when he was left completely open like that, I think he struggled.

LC: You’ve had some success creating official images for Disney and Warner Brothers, but you have found so much more freedom in creating your own work with imagery that sings to you and speaks to your own memories.  Can you talk a bit about the new painting “Samuel’s Candy Canes” and how that came together?

AA: What’s so interesting is that is was just last night that there was a festival in Rhinebeck called Sinterklaas where there are thousands of people coming into our little town and there are activities for children and carolers and it turns the town into a Norman Rockwell Christmas and it’s really beautiful and then there’s a parade.  It’s like a Mardi Gras parade, with giant puppets done by Sinterklaas creator Jeanne Fleming, the same woman that does them for the Greenwich Village Halloween parade. One of the first years I went to Sinterklaas was shortly after John had died.  I brought my 35mm camera and I was taking a lot of pictures. It was just kind of a magical night.  One friend I went with earlier in the evening and then she had to go, and I found other friends who walked with me for a while, and just when I was about to go home, another friend asked me to go to dinner.  It was one of those incredible nights where I was worried about being alone and people just showed up for me.  I took some great pictures that night. I dug them back up.  I was trying to figure out where to go next in terms of subject, because I was tired of coming in really close like the cupcake or the cookie, so I went back to those old photos. There was this great quality of light in them.  The candy canes were inside a store called Samuel’s, which was owned by a guy names Ira.  We were just visiting with Ira and went in and took pictures in the candy store and Ira then passed away a few years ago in a very similar way that John had. He was close to the same age, had a heart attack, he was getting his life together…so it was a perfect thing to create art from being with him that night and those beautiful candies.

The store was bought by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Paul Rudd.  They own the candy store now.  They wanted to keep the store as Samuels, keep it the same and they figured if they didn’t buy it, someone else would buy it and turn it into something else and it would be gone forever.  So I think that, by them, was motivated by nostalgia and just loving what the store stood for and what it meant to the town. That’s kind of the story.  I went in there last night, and the bucket that they were in was still there. It’s different, but it’s still there.

LC: One of the great aspects of the art is it doesn’t just speak of the holidays.  There’s an element of speaking to holding on to joy and of optimism.  I also see an interesting connection to the time you were still in the midst of grief and found kindness.

AA: I realize inadvertently looking back at my work that lighting, especially since I moved to New York, lighting is very important in the paintings.  Most of the photo-realism, and it’s difficult to call my work photo-realism, but most of the realists I know aren’t concerned with that, they’re concerned with the surface quality. I always have some background light that’s enveloping the subject.  Yes, it’s happy, because you see that it’s candy canes and holiday, but the lighting is warm.  It’s like fireside lighting.  There’s a warmth to the lighting that’s different than if I were saying, “Look!  This is a happy, happy candy cane painting.”  It’s warm.  Most things I see around the holidays with that subject matter would be in bright light, very Christmas-y kind of colors.  This is darker than that.  It’s almost like we’re sitting by the fireside, not at Christmas, but rather, reminiscing about holidays gone by, and holding on to those memories.

LC: Was that a conscious thing, to create an image that is about moving forward in the face of loss?

AA: Honestly, I don’t know.

LC: I think as artists, you guys sometimes get to a place with a piece, not knowing when you start, where you meant to go, but having gotten there, you realize that was the intention all along.  Like the idea of knowing when it’s done, somewhat comes from having gotten the message into the art, and seeing it fully formed.   I know you have a deluxe giclee that is hand-embellished, and you’re doing it, when often artists farm out embellishments.  Why is it important to you to do it yourself? I know John was the same way about doing his own.

AA: It’s my work and I really wouldn’t want someone else going in and doing some kind of odd interpretation on it.  John and I were both very hands-on. It’s why we wanted to be the people who created the art instead of the art director who guided someone else doing the art. We’ve both been art directors. I think that I look at it from the beginning from that point of view.  On compositions, I have a tendency to push the boundaries of the canvas. There’s almost a tangency to the sides. I think my compositions can be unusual.  It comes from my design background.

LC: In “Samuel’s Candy Canes”, you get two different feelings visually, one up close and one a bit further away.  That’s cool, and that’s part of your style.

AA: Right. Great! I want people to see the brushstrokes.  I don’t want to have it look like a photograph when you see the art in person.  It looks like a photograph online. It looks very photographic, and they resolve photographically when you stand back from my work.  When you go up close, you see all the brushwork, I’m not trying to hide it, I want it to be part of the image.

Spotlight on Studio Art: Star Wars Visions Deluxe book and limited editions

Star Wars: Visions was released on its own, and in a deluxe edition with five hand-signed giclees.  They include art by Alex Ross, Moebius, Donato Giancola, Daniel Greene, and Jamie Wyeth. The deluxe book also includes 40 extra pages focusing on the artists’ processes, complete with sketches.  There were only 500 created.

It sold out immediately, as collectibles of this nature do.  We got as many as we could at the time, and of course didn’t open them, that being the privilege of the collector who takes them home.  So we never got a close look at the prints. The one copy we still have sits unopened. 

The images were curated by J.W. Rinzler, who was the executive editor at Lucasfilm. He is also responsible for New York Times bestsellers The Making of Star Wars and The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and The Complete Making of Indiana Jones.

George Lucas decided, as an avid collector of both the art used to make and promote the Star Wars films, and fine and illustration art, to go out and find artists he loved in the fine art world to create images relating to his films.  This is a great idea, obviously, but here’s a little-known aspect of that project.  When an artist creates art relating to Star Wars, they have to, as part of the contract, offer their art to George Lucas as the lowest market price.  That is to say, if the artists involved usually work through galleries or agents, Lucas would have to have the right of first refusal for the art before even the galleries or agents had access.  This seems perfectly fair for those who usually create art for the franchise.  What about those outside the usual Star Wars Universe?

A number or artists used in the book are very famous in the world of contemporary fine art.  What a genius move for an art collector to get the lowest possible price for art by these successful artists, while getting them to create unique commissions for him.  Win-win? Yes!  Indeed there were only a few artists that didn’t sell their pieces for the book to Lucas.  As someone who is artist-centric, i’m going to say that’s a solid win for artists everywhere.  Now that, years after the release of the book and his acquisition of the art created for it, we know the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built in Los Angeles, we can look forward to seeing at least some of these originals in person on its walls.

The beauty of this book, ultimately, is the continuing belief by Lucas, and his support of it through the creation is this art, that there should be no distinction between “high” art and “popular” art.  This is a notion I’ve been standing behind for the 25 years i’ve had a gallery dedicated to film, animation, and contemporary art.  I look forward to seeing the many paintings he bought from John Alvin, as well as his huge collection of art by Norman Rockwell.

AS TO THE BOOK:

Since the release of the book, Moebius has passed away, so getting a signed limited edition by him as part of the set is reason enough to buy the deluxe edition.  We’ve not really been promoting that we have a copy, because we certainly don’t want someone to buy the book and break up the limited editions and sell them separately.  This is one of those collectibles best reserved for a collector who will know how nice and right it is to keep them together!

There’s a great video about the collection of the artists HERE.

Spotlight on Studio Art: FOUND! Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

We just unearthed this set of Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin!  A fan asked us about availability of art from Gremlins, so we started researching the archives of the Estate of John Alvin, and lo and behold: a full set of storyboards for a finished advanced movie trailer!

Each one of the 17 images, posted below in sequence, were painted by hand as 5 x 7 fully executed paintings. The script is below the paintings and is original from the time, of course! If that doesn’t show us all just how much the movie and illustration worlds have changed, I don’t know what would! Beyond how great and exciting these are for fans of Gremlins, seeing the actual teaser trailer and finding exact moments captured from the storyboards…that’s just ultra-cool for movie geeks, especially when those storyboards were done by John Alvin, who did the official one-sheet for the film!

Sad to say, John did do some other sets of storyboards that became trailers, but the art from them has gone the way of whatever art director he was working with at the time. Notably, he did several of them for Jurassic Park. Two sets were used for the finished promotional trailers for the film, but none of the art survived.

Here is the Gremlins trailer, though, which you can watch to see his paintings come to life, and enjoy the messaging recreated in voiceover.  (Here is a link if you can’t see the video here.)

For those with interest in purchasing this set, I’m happy to report (and sorry to break it to interested parties) that we sold the whole set to a big fan and they are thrilled to add it to their collection!

Whether you might have been in the market or not, we’re betting it’s still going to be the coolest Christmas movie production art you’ll see this year!

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboard by John Alvin

 

A screenshot of the advance trailer, which follows John Alvin’s storyboards very closely!

 

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Eggs making a mess in the advance trailer, as in John’s storyboards.

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

A broken clock is about to strike 12 am, as in John’s storyboard.

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

The clock strikes! The shadows on the finished trailer are the same as in John’s storyboards.

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Discovery is imminent, as indicated in John’s storyboards.

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

John’s storyboard was used, right down to the box with holes. COOL!

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

Gremlins Teaser Trailer Storyboards by John Alvin

“Mom’s gonna kill us!” as created in John’s storyboards.

Wouldn’t it be so great if more of this historic art existed now, having survived the process of filming and campaigning the movies of our youth?  At least here we have a great example of hand painted campaign art by John Alvin for 1984’s Gremlins, a true Christmas cult classic!

Spotlight on Studio Art: Concept Art for Disneyland by Walt Peregoy

We were so excited when we gained access to images created by Walt Peregoy.  It was when he was alive, and we got to speak to him and meet him on several occasions.  He was truly a consummate artist, just like so many artists who were integral to the creation and development of Disneyland.

Finding rare and authentic art actually used to create a film, or build an enduring world like Disneyland is one of our greatest joys.  So many people online are finding and buying art created after the fact, or by fans.  Many of these fans are wonderful artists, but they are still creating fan art!  When we are able to offer concept art for something loved the world over, (in this case, Disneyland) it goes in our memories as yet another reason why we stick to small business and owning an art gallery.  Somebody has to be the custodian of the production art!  To us, there is a difference.  Putting our hands on the art, knowing it was toiled over, designed in some mid-century modern office, and even better, to recognize the avant-garde design style that went on to influence 101 Dalmatians, and inspire Disney to give the designate “LEGEND” to the artist.  Well, that’s the whole point of “film art by the filmmakers”.

Born in 1925, Peregoy knew early he wanted to be an artist.  He started taking classes at the ripe old age of nine, in Berkeley, California.  Through his teenage years, he studied at Chouinard Art Institute, (where animation luminaries Chuck Jones and Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston went, among many others) and at 17, quit school altogether to work at Disney, before abruptly leaving to fight in WWII, and then studying at arts universities after the war in Mexico and Paris.

In 1951, he came back to Disney.  Along with working on the designs for Disneyland, he and another artist also known for his stylized artistry, Eyvind Earle, worked on 1958’s Paul Bunyan, for which they were nominated for an Academy Award. He went on to be lead background painter on Sleeping Beauty, and became color stylist on 101 Dalmatians and The Sword and the Stone.

There’s a great Disney documentary called, “Four Artists Paint One Tree”.  What makes it so great is the fact that four illustrators who worked at Disney and in commercial art were highlighted, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Joshua Meador, and Peregoy.  Walt Disney always believed the artistry required for animation and imagineering was “fine art”, and there were no qualifiers to the artists who worked at the studio.  To him, they were as impressive and talented as those in museums, and he promoted that perspective as often as possible.

What this documentary shows, and what I talk about all the time when people come into ArtInsights and ask about the artists represented, is that regardless of what these artists are working on, be it a character like Cruella, a background from Sleeping Beauty, or concept art for Disneyland, they are able to infuse it with their aesthetic, AND follow the guidelines required for the project.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dg8w6gk4cE

FANS OF ART AND ANIMATION SHOULD SEE THIS!!

I could watch this documentary over and over.  (and went down that same rabbit hole I go down every time I watch it…fascinating!) Are these artists stilted when they speak about their creations?  Yes.  Who cares?  Seeing them paint and explain their designs is ever-fascinating.  For any artists wanting to learn about how to express their own aesthetic, it’s superb.  For the lucky person who buys the concept art from 1955 for Disneyland by Walt Peregoy, it just reaffirms his genius.

ArtInsights Celebrates Aladdin Turning 25 with John Alvin, John Rowe, and Rodel Art

Today, on November 25th, the Disney classic of the new Golden Age of Animation Aladdin turns 25.  Who doesn’t love and remember Robin Williams as the Genie?

Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture of Aladdin’s The Genie.

This “Magic at Your Fingertips” Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture by Ruben Procopio captures him perfectly.  So many artists worked on the film that got and deserved credit…we can look back and point to lead animators like Eric Goldberg, who was in charge of developing the genie, and the co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker, who had Robin Williams in mind and approached him with fingers crossed that he would do it.

The characters of Aladdin and Jasmine have continued to resonate far beyond the release of the film.  Aladdin had yet another animation superstar, Glen Keane as supervising animator, who also developed Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

Jasmine’s singing voice was provided by Broadway performer Lea Salonga (who was hired based on her work in Miss Saigon) and had female character specialist Mark Henn as lead animator.  His influences for her included his own sister and actress Jennifer Connelly.

We remember going to the Sotheby’s auction and the enthusiasm for the work of these animators.  Aladdin is one of the wonderful films in which we can really see these 2D animators do their best.

Also, for the Aladdin poster, our friend and consummate movie poster artist John Alvin was tapped to do the entire adult campaign.  We have some wonderful examples of his process in the gallery, and not only did John Alvin create the advance, but actually several images used around the world to promote the film.

Click on the art for all Aladdin art available from ArtInsights, including John Alvin’s art!

Disney wanted to see lots of images before they decided which ones to use, so John Alvin had various sizes of fully rendered art.  Here is one example:

We have a large image close to one of John Alvin’s finishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endless Diamond Sky by John Rowe
Endless Diamond Sky

Check out all our Aladdin art at ArtInsights.  Meanwhile, we congratulate all those involved with this classic film and are so glad to know only the animators who build the film, but also some great artists who have done official interpretive art, like John Rowe’s Endless Diamond Sky and Rodel Gonzalez’s Flight Over Agrabah.

Flight Over Agrabah by Rodel Gonzalez
Flight Over Agrabah

 

 

 

Go celebrate Robin Williams and traditional 2D animation today, on Aladdin’s 25th anniversary!

ArtInsights Has Gifts for all your Disney, Marvel, Warner Bros., Star Wars, and DC fans!

It’s the holidays. Gifts are needed, stat! Not only does ArtInsights have a brand-new, easy to navigate, purchase-friendly site, we also have a lot of great images in stock, ready to ship, or ready to be wrapped and carried out.  Why is this an awesome thing?  There comes a time when we all need new, exciting, surprising gifts for our loved one.  What’s a person to do?  Come to ArtInsights!  Almost everyone loves movies, or cartoons, or superheroes, or all of the above! If you come home with the art actually created by the folks who make these essentials of pop culture, who work at the studios, make the posters, make the cartoons, you will be most valuable player of the holiday!! NO, buying a great gift isn’t the way to someone’s heart, but as Marilyn Monroe would say, “Gee! Doesn’t it help?” It shows you care enough to go out and find something super special that no one else would even think of.

Of course, if you buy at ArtInsights and it isn’t well received (a rare occurrence), you can always bring it back and trade it for something else!

We have art in all price ranges, from $50 to $98,000. (Want to buy an original by John Alvin, created in the process of making the Beauty and the Beast movie poster?)

Do come by and see what we have in our gallery in Reston Town Center, or check out the gift guide online.  It’s easy to buy and we’ll ship it right out to you!

Some of the art we have available:

Toy Story art by Andrea Alvin, The Avengers art, Guardians of the Galaxy art, Wonder Woman art, and Doctor Strange art by Alex Ross, sold out C3PO and R2D2 art by Steve Thomas, Frozen concept art as well as Frozen art by Amy Mebberson, production art from Fantasia, Batman and Wonder Woman art by Jim Lee, vintage Hanna Barbera art from The Flintstones, art from Harry Potter by production designer Stuart Craig, Lilo and Stitch, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella art by Michelle St. Laurent, Tim Rogerson, and Rob Kaz, and so so much more!  Click here to see a bunch of options, or contact us directly to request a specific film or character.  Don’t forget we also have new contemporary art from the Ten x Ten x Ten and Art Outsiders projects by genius pop artist extraordinaire Tennessee Loveless!

We will be at the gallery all weekend this weekend, Friday from 10am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm…if you come into the gallery remember to register to win a sold out Marvel Captain America image by Alex Ross!

and if you are far-flung, on the web we are ALWAYS open, so great gifts are just a click away!

Contact us with any questions. artinsights@gmail.com or 703-478-0778.

Happy Holidays from ArtInsights!

New Art Outsiders Limited Editions Released! Prince, Grace Jones, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing

We are pleased to announce new Art Outsiders limited editions! Available now at the gallery just in time for the holidays, are images by Tennessee Loveless from the Art Outsiders, including titles:

Prince / High Priest of Pop

Alan Turing / Codebreaker

Billie Holiday / Lady Day

Grace Jones / Love to the Rhythm

Albert Einstein / King of Physics

These images are giclees on canvas, and each, as with all the Art Outsiders, tells the story of the artist from all walks of life and how they changed the world, despite the struggles they endured as part of their work.

Come see these great new images this weekend and meet Tennessee Loveless, who will also be signing his new book “The Art of Tennessee Loveless: Ten x Ten x Ten Mickey Mouse Contemporary Pop Art Series”.

ABOUT THE ART OUTSIDERS
From Tennessee:
In this project, I will be creating portraits of people who were outsiders of their own field of work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion, and beyond, I will be writing the stories of each outsider’s life, and imbedding it into the structure of their portrait. Here the piece acts dually as a portrait AND a story, and all of them combined will talk about persevering through the darkest of times to create a different kind of beauty that changed the world.
From Leslie:
Tennessee and I seem to mesh really well with the essential elements for inclusion in Art Outsiders.  Some names came very easily, some led to a bit of arguing, and some we both knew instantly just wouldn’t be acceptable for either of us.  In Tennessee’s research, he has sometimes encounted information that made continuing difficult.  But history is fickle.  Artists have sometimes had to be opportunistic, bendable, or have had questionable decisions.  It becomes about a balancing act.  When the destructive nature of their choices overrides how much they have inspired the world to expansion, we have to let them go.  There are certainly some names that are very personal to us, and since it’s our project, we’re ok with that.  We are also learning about people about whose influence we were entirely ignorant. That’s what makes Art Outsiders so beautiful.

The creation of the Art Outsiders project in Tennessee Loveless’s own words:

During the winter out in a warehouse space in Athens, GA I decided to paint something different. I was coming to an end with my project with Disney in where I was painting 100 different things revolving around the same silhouette of the classic Mickey Mouse face. From the beginning of this project, I started with the classic geometric shapes and lines that I was used to, but over the course of  five years my aesthetic slowly started to change, . .and this was primarily forced into the project as .. how can one NOT change when trying to paint 100 of the same silhouettes and not be boring? I became less interested in communicating in color, and more interested in creating different and more complex content for the viewer. As I progressed past each one, my pieces became more saturated and more chocked full of emotional structures. The story became more in-depth, and by the last piece everything became so complex that it was impossible to just start over with anything being ‘simple’.
It was a perfect segway into this new project, entitled “Art Outsiders”, which was created by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren and head honcho over at ArtInsights Gallery) out in the Washington D.C. Metro area. Since I was riding on the waves of telling someone’s story and creating dialogues in my last project, we decided to extend this idea into telling the story inside the portraits of people. More specifically, all of these people have something in common, as they were ‘outsiders’ in their own element.
It was something that I could not only physically DO, but it was something that I could relate to. In every bit of the sense I relate to the outsider story. I was born colorblind, and yet continued to pursue my life as a painter. I failed out of art school, and my aesthetic was labeled as ‘nauseating’ by my teachers. I got a 2 bit degree from a no name college in apparel design and couldn’t land a fashion job to save my life.
I still worked.
I STILL worked, and gained recognition for my portraits of drag queens. I mostly showed in bars and coffee houses because no gallery would have me. I had no degree in painting, and no formal training, and wasn’t accepted as an artist in the fine art world.
I still painted.
I STILL painted, often working in the corporate world to pay the bills.. and it would be MANY MANY years until I’d have the chance to show in gallery spaces. I was insidious and relentless with my work. If a city wouldn’t accept my work as serious, I would often move to another place and start over there. I’d walk with my portfolio in the random cities I lived in, often to be turned away because my work was uninteresting and rudimentary.
I kept going.
I kept trying.
I kept doing.
I kept walking into galleries even though I knew I’d be rejected, and eventually people started taking me in. I ended up at the World of Wonder Gallery for Season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in where I showed my work of San Francisco drag queens.
Things began to happen.
Eventually, and by complete accident, I ended up working for Disney in licensing and product development through a temp job that became permanent and expanded into something else, something more. It was here where my work was discovered, and I was given multiple attempts to prove myself as an artist. I was untrained as a painter and sketch artist, and I would fail MANY MANY times before I was pitched to Disney Fine Art.
And even now in my career with Disney that’s done quite well, magazine and television interviews, and multiple product lines developed with my drawings on housewares and clothing, I still am considered an outsider of the fine art world because I was not classically trained, and I have made a living as a commercial artist.
I am an outsider. My work does not neatly fit into any division of a current art movement. My work does not compliment others in group shows…. and I am often the neon sore thumb in a sea of classically trained works.
I am an outsider. I am story teller. I am a painter, and I will never stop working.
In this project, I will be creating portraits of people who were outsiders of their own field of work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion, and beyond, I will be writing the stories of each outsider’s life, and imbedding it into the structure of their portrait. Here the piece acts dually as a portrait AND a story, and all of them combined will talk about persevering through the darkest of times to create a different kind of beauty that changed the world.

Tennessee Loveless Appears on “Drag Friday” and Small Business Saturday at ArtInsights!

Famed Drag & Contemporary Artist TENNESSEE LOVELESS appearing in person

to sign book and release new art for “DRAG FRIDAY”  and “SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY” at ArtInsights Gallery!  Meet ‘10SC’ on November 24 & 25 from 2 – 6 pm 

Reston, VA – In conjunction with ‘Black Friday’ holiday events at Reston Town Center and Small Business Saturday, ArtInsights welcomes Tennessee Loveless for a book signing and an exhibit of original and limited edition art from the new retrospective book “The Art of Tennessee Loveless” and the worldwide exclusive premiere of new images from The Art Outsiders Project by Tennessee Loveless. The Art Outsiders is a portrait collection of important and influential creators who, through their struggle and determination, have changed the world with their unique genius. The Chicago-based, internationally known artist will be making a personal appearance 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25 at ArtInsights Gallery, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, VA.  There is a display and sale of his original and limited edition art from the book “The Art of Tennessee Loveless: The Mickey Mouse TEN x TEN x TEN Contemporary Pop Art Series”, the first ever art retrospective on an openly gay artist in Disney’s history, and from his “Art Outsiders” series, including new limited editions of Prince, Grace Jones, Judy Garland, and Billie Holiday. As always, gallery admission is free. For more information, contact ArtInsights at 703-478-0778 and visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.artoutsiders.net” www.artoutsiders.net.   

The new book release is important because it marks the first time Disney publishing has released an art book representing an artist who is out and proud.  Tennessee is also known for several other projects, including the “Drag Landscapes”, where he creates portraits of drag artists, and similarly to Art Outsiders, tells the story of these performers, whom he travels the world to interview, inside the body of the portrait.  Tennessee’s career included and Award-winning stint working as Disney Consumer Products, so it’s a natural, as well as an honor, that Disney would choose him to represent this important first in their publishing portfolio.

His fine art representative and partner in The Art Outsiders project is ArtInsights owner Leslie Combemale. The gallery is excited to have the artist present to unveil new limited editions from the ever-expanding Art Outsiders series on the holiday weekend. From her perspective, the fact that Loveless is colorblind and limited in his ability to see color, is a fascinating after-thought in considering Loveless’ unique talent and artistic voice.  “Tennessee’s art comes from his entire being, and his life experience. It’s true he has had to choose colors based on psychology rather than a personal visual understanding, but that is only one aspect creating the unique depth of his images. The TEN x TEN x TEN series is a fascinating look at how a popular icon can be manipulated to inject cultural context.  The Art Outsiders project, for example, he is entirely immersing himself in the lives of the artists he is painting.  He is speaking to their struggle, importance, and relevance. I’m thrilled it’s being so well received. People either love or hate his art, and I think that’s a great sign! It’s true for all iconoclastic contemporary artists”.  

ABOUT TENNESSEE LOVELESS

Tennessee is inspired by his fascination with pop art, flamboyant fashion and film icons, and the underground drag culture. Although he attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, he began his career in earnest by painting drag queens in San Francisco. Simultaneously, while gaining recognition for that work, he became an product developer and artist at Disney, where he ultimately came to prominence with the 10x10x10 series, one hundred iconic silhouettes of Mickey Mouse’s face expressing a pop journey, exploring the history of the icon, while bringing global, societal, and personal context to the imagery. He has created art for an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, was honored with a Smithsonian Artist Residency Fellowship, has been the featured artist in Anthology Magazine, and made one of the “People of the Year” in Instinct Magazine. The darling of contemporary art collectors around the world, he has been an artist in residence in Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago. He was the 2016 official Summer Olympics artist with designs created for Speedo representing Brazil and USA, created the logo for drag queen superstar Shea Coulee, and was the official artist for Chicago Pride 2017.  More information is available at  HYPERLINK “http://tennesseeloveless.com/” www.tennesseeloveless.com

Loveless comes by his love of drag through his own experience as an accomplished drag performer both in San Francisco and Seattle with Trannyshack, the drag performance group founded by Hecklina at the Stud bar in San Francisco in 1996. He is also the founder and programmer of the Internet music show Beautiful Noise Broadcast, which has since morphed into Gorgeous Sound Underground.  

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS GALLERY

ArtInsights is a privately owned gallery located just outside Washington DC at 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, Virginia, in Reston Town Center. The gallery focuses on official art from all the major studios, including Disney, DC, Marvel, and Warner Bros., as well as proprietary projects and artist representation relating to the history of animation and film, and the celebration and examination of popular culture. With artists like Tennessee Loveless, John Alvin, and Jim Salvati, the gallery builds collections of original and limited edition art for their growing worldwide collector base. Open since 1994, and co-owned by Combemale, ArtInsights is expanding to allow the display of the contemporary work of artists and art projects represented by Combemale Creative, her company for international art consulting and artistic representation. The gallery has Loveless’ Art Outsiders art as well as representative art from his entire career, including drag queens and 10x10x10. Visit ArtInsights at  HYPERLINK “http://www.artinsights.com/” www.artinsights.com. For more information about The Art Outsiders project and Tennessee Loveless, visit  HYPERLINK “http://artoutsiders.net/” artoutsiders.net.  

# # #

Editor’s Note: Tennessee Loveless is available for phone and in-person interviews. Contact Leslie Combemale at ArtInsights Gallery, 703-478-0778,  HYPERLINK “mailto:artinsights@gmail.com” artinsights@gmail.com 

ArtInsights Holiday Gift Guide for Film, Animation, and Contemporary Art: We have that special art for your loved one!

The truth is, it’s very hard to get something surprising, special, and unusual enough to be remembered far beyond the holidays.  We’ve always been so happy that ArtInsights, and film, animation, and contemporary art, is one way to make the season brighter.  It isn’t just about buying something, is it? If you’re going to offer a gift, It’s knowing those you love well enough, spending the time, being inventive, and really expressing appreciation about them being in your life.  That’s what takes a holiday to an even more special place.  WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED!

The way people’s eyes light up when they see their favorite characters represented, or the passion they recognize in a portrait of, say, David Bowie, that corresponds with what Bowie’s music has meant to them.  Those are frequent occurrences here. There’s no better time than when we hear how a gift of art from our gallery is received.

With that in mind, here are some great options for those searching for that special piece.  We have a wide variety of prices and images, so we’ll just post links here, and you can click through and see whole collections.  Also, please bear in mind that we have lots of pieces in the gallery that are even less expensive that what we show here on our website, but as we ship internationally, we tend to just keep most pieces under $100 for those calling or stopping by to find that ‘little something’…

Let’s start with this page of things we have framed and in-stock, much of which is hard to get, sold out, or special…it’s by no means exhaustive, but there are some interesting, and beautiful art options HERE.

If you are a fan of Tennessee Loveless (and who isn’t, with the release of his new book on October 31st, 10x10x10, The Art of Tennessee Loveless?!) he will be here Thanksgiving weekend for Drag Friday (happening on Black Friday, obviously!) and we will have new limited editions from The Art Outsiders, of Prince, Grace Jones, and Billie Holiday, as well as new 10x10x10 images that appear in the book. You can see all his work HERE.  (you can buy the new book from us or from Amazon.)

 

THE ART OF DISNEY:

The best art for the holidays for gifting is often from the Treasures on Canvas collection, which can be found HERE:

(we loved this new Moana piece, and quickly got it for the gallery!)

 

THE ART OF MARVEL:

Alex Ross has done some great images for Marvel this year, and the price range starts at only $75!  We have a limited number of images for that price of Captain America and Doctor Strange, as well as a few other well-priced “under the table” images–Call us.   For other Marvel art, go HERE.

 

THE ART OF HARRY POTTER:

We just had a Harry Potter event over Halloween, and were able to get some wonderful, exclusive images to sell.  We also have original art used in the making of the films.  Of course, as always, all the art is created by artists who actually worked on the films or books.  You can find all our Harry Potter art HERE.

Two images have been double signed by Dan Radcliffe and concept artist Jim Salvati, and they can be bought together for $1500, or you can buy just the Golden Snitch image for $750.  Only ten exist from this exclusive duo-signed set, and only 2 are left for sale.

 

THE ART OF DC COMICS:

Timing, timing, timing.  If it isn’t the blockbuster hit Wonder Woman, that broke all the records for female directors, it’s The Justice League.  DC is all over 2017. Maybe this is the perfect time to get some Wonder Woman or Batman art?  Or something will the whole Justice League?  A link with lots of great DC art is HERE.

If you live within driving distance, we also have some great hard-to-find framed movie posters, including The Fly, Gremlins, Aliens, and The Black Hole.  There are production cels and original drawings here, too, including an original, signed original cel of all three of The Powerpuff Girls together. Between what is in the gallery and what is on our new, (not completely perfect, but getting better all the time) website, we hope shopping with us will be fun and solve the evergreen problem of “let’s get something super cool, but what?”

I’m sure we can find some art here that will make the end of 2017 a bit more memorable and joyful for you and yours!

Best of the holiday season to you all, and hope to hear from you or see you soon!

Leslie and Michael of ArtInsights.

John Alvin’s Blade Runner Movie Art from 1982 at ArtInsights

Blade Runner by John Alvin.  Everyone knows what that poster looks like….John Alvin is known for a number of images, although sometimes not by name.  The prolific and genius movie poster artist called it “the promise of a great experience”, when he created the key art for over 200 movies.  If you remember, when recalling a movie, the poster instead of a scene from the film, that’s a great movie poster. John Alvin did that many many times. The Lion King, E.T., Young Frankenstein, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Blazing Saddles, and of course, Blade Runner, are just a few of the posters he created.

Blade Runner 2049 is releasing to overwhelmingly great reviews.  Seeing it and writing about the film for Cinema Siren,  I couldn’t help but think John would have loved the new movie as much as he did the one in 1982.  He talked about it a lot to me during our friendship.  One thing that the new movie has done is yet again reinvigorated interest and appreciation for the classic sci-fi film and its poster.

So, we have a few images created by John Alvin that those of you who love traditionally illustrated movie posters and the great movie from 1982 can buy and have for yourself.  There are two limited editions, and in several versions.  Neither is signed by John Alvin, but they are both gorgeous, and capture the cyber punk aesthetic and emotional power of the film.

We also have one of the “I’ve Seen Things “ that was sent to John for approval before they created the edition. He had intended to keep it and frame it for his own studio, and so he signed it.  It’s the only signed piece from the edition, and is oversized.  It might be best purchased by someone within driving distance, although, for what will be fairly expensive endeavor, we can ship the framed piece anywhere.  The size of it is 40 x 53 inches. We also have one original graphite from 1982 used in the making of the finished poster.  If you’re interested in that, give us a call.  It’s pricey, but a piece of film history.  Several collectors recognized the importance of John Alvin’s work as part of film history when his key art for E.T. went at auction for $400,000.  There are movie lovers all over the world, after all!

The edition called “No Choice, Pal” has been created with the estate of John Alvin, and has a number of versions.  Delivery takes about 4 to 6 weeks, although will get faster as we continue on our path to doing more publishing for both John’s work and the work of our other artist partners.   

Here’s the info on “No Choice, Pal”:

Giclee on paper: edition size 1982, 6 APs, 6 PPs. size 14 x 19, image size 10 x 15. Retail $125.

Giclee on canvas: edition size 263 with 6 APs, 6 PPs. size is 19 x 23.75, Image Size: 15″ x 19.75 Retail $495.

ArtInsights Gallery is Building, Growing and Expanding!

We at ArtInsights are expanding, contracting, moving, shaking, and all good things. We are in the midst of adding some elements to our brick and mortar store, and at the same time making our website (hopefully) easier to navigate, as well as easier to maneuver when you want to buy!

As many of you know, even thought we are experts and have wonderful relationships with a lot of Disney and film artists, we have starting creating partnerships with contemporary artists that we are very excited about and fills us with pride. After being in business over 25 years, we wanted to add a component to ArtInsights that had social resonance

As I’m writing this, I’m considering what has happened in Las Vegas.  A friend lost someone there, and it reaffirmed the desire on my part, as art director, to only add art to the world that has a healing, or contemplative, or politically resonant component. We live in complicated times.  Times that require us to come together.  Some of us are related to, or connected to, people we don’t understand or agree with.  This is the time when, if nothing else, art will bridge that gap.

With that in mind, I want to let all our collectors and fans know we will have both studio art, meaning LucasFilm, Marvel, DC, Disney, and rogue film art like Blade Runner represented, and will be slowly adding our new projects under the heading of contemporary art. We are going to keep them separate, and there will be changes in the physical gallery coming up that will do that as well.  We hope you’ll come by and see what we have done when everything is all pulled together, and of course visit between now and then as well!

First thing on the agenda, after the sprucing of our new website, is to get a new door into our gallery to the front of the center, because there is a huge building being constructed across the street.  We’ll also have an awning to make us a bit more noticeable.  The interior of the gallery will be going through some changes as well, but those will be a bit slower in happening, since we want to construct a few cool elements that will take some design.

Check back often here on the site, and of course you can always give us a call at the gallery if you’re curious about some of the contemporary art projects we’re working on, or you are thinking of adding some contemporary art to any of your environments.  We have been are will be doing art consulting, both here and abroad in Europe and Asia.

Thanks so much and we look forward to exciting you with great new images of the best studio and contemporary art for collectors old and new!

Leslie and Michael

ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art

The Art of Tennessee Loveless 10x10x10 book releases October 31st!

We are thrilled there is a new retrospective about Tennessee Loveless and his 10x10x10 series, The Art of Tennessee Loveless, releasing on October 31st.  It’s the first ever Disney publishing release featuring an out LGBTQ artist! Edited, with some notes by, and with the book authorship credited Disney insider Dave Bossard, it shows all 100 images from the collection. the 10x10x10 project lifted the iconic imagery of Mickey Mouse into the realm of contemporary art in new and vibrant ways, using the same silhouette but incorporating various world cultural and artistic references.

We’ll have Tennessee here to sign and talk about the project, with limited editions and originals from both the 10x10x10 series and the Art Outsiders.  Stay tuned for the date!  Meanwhile, you can pre-order it on Amazon HERE.

From the Amazon write-up:

“Tennessee Loveless-a Los Angeles-based contemporary pop artist-used bold colors and patterns to create a series of a hundred detailed Mickey Mouse paintings on 10 x 10 canvas. This deluxe art book showcases the beautiful art as well as explores the fascinating world of the artist behind it. Tennessee creates a poetic irony when one considers the fact that he is almost completely colorblind. Despite many obstacles throughout his life and career, he has persevered in pursuing his art. He is driven by his passion for painting people and iconic fictional characters in a way that strikes an emotional and nostalgic connection through the power of color.”

NEW SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON ART 2017 RELEASES SEEN and APPROVED!

Marvel Shadows Set Alex Ross

Oh San Diego Comic-Con, how we love you and love/hate you.  Two gazillion folks wandering the aisles at once.  We should all be making Mooing sounds.  And yet, there’s no better place to have an art release, especially by fan favorite Alex Ross.  We had seen the images, but had to see them in person to report back to anyone “on the fence” or wanting to hear our opinion of how dramatically they presented in person.

As always, at SDCC 2017, we are double-focused. We get to see all the new releases, especially by Alex. We also scour the con for new artists or artists we want to work with more.  We found a few potential future partners, so we’ll see how that develops, and will update you as we do.

Meanwhile, we made a direct march to the Alex Ross booth first thing on Wednesday night, accompanied by clients who wanted to see them with us. Sure enough, there were some gorgeous pieces released, like the Universal Monsters pieces, the Marvel shadows pieces. Did what we love sell the best? Were we spot-on with our prediction of  which would be the hottest and best received?

In a word, YES!  Surprising me not at all, the Universal Monsters series was the most popular. I knew the images would be a big hit, even though they aren’t comic-book derived.  There’s something about seeing Alex Ross’s art in shades of grey, without his usual color palette, that really shows how well he uses shadow and light. You can see the influence great illustrators have had on him, like J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell, who were both geniuses with light.

There were only 15 sets of the series put aside as sets, and they of course sold out.  We have several we have bought for our clients, so contact ASAP if you’re interested, or love all things monsters.  The Dracula and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are our favorites in terms of images, but everyone loves the Bride of Frankenstein!

We sold as many Marvel shadows series sets as we could get our hands on, and are still trying to see if anyone who had right of first refusal says no, so do let us know if you’re interested in them as well! We have the images individually if there’s a superhero you love more than the rest.  We’ve had hundreds more hits on Iron Man, although we love Thor the best. They are $825 each unframed and rolled.

OMG BATMAN DETECTIVE #31 AND SCARS

Detective Comics 31 full image

Tucked into the interior of the booth was one of my two favorite new releases, the Detective #31 piece, inspired by an old comic book most of you fans will know inside and out.  I was driven to read the old classic from seeing Alex’s new interpretation of the cover.  I knew it would be gorgeous in person, and I brought several of my clients in to see it, and actually sold 3 more for the booth while I showed the piece to my own clients!  My favorite colors, red and purple, are featured.  What’s not to love? 

(see below for the original and one of the first homages of Detective Comics #31) 

Detective Comics 31 - Batman 227

The other piece I knew would be a huge hit is Scars, but as intense as the subject matter is, it’s still impressive as art.   I see the symbolism and metaphor of outside scars vs. inside scars, as well as the power of Alex using black and white, but it was for Batman Black and White, a BIG DEAL book they did at DC that Batman fans always list as one of their favorites.

There are other releases, but those are the ones that struck us the most, and those are the ones that made the fans and collectors crazy in the best possible way.

Balancing our Cinema Siren / Women Rocking Hollywood panels with our work for ArtInsights is always a challenge at San Diego Comic-Con.  Those of you who know us here, know our passion for changing the status quo for women in film, both in live action and animation.  It is a natural extension of working with the art of film and Leslie being a film critic.  We were thrilled, then, to be able to succeed in our panels (videos coming soon!!) and see some great new art that we can wholeheartedly approve and get behind.

We are always working on our next great new partnership, and we’ll let you know when we get there—we take things slowly now so we know we are in something supremely cool and future-bound!

For now, bask in the awesomeness of Alex Ross 🙂

SO EXCITED ABOUT OUR SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panels!

sandiegocomiccon

SO EXCITED ABOUT OUR SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panels!

We have the announcement for the dates, times, and panelists for our panels at San Diego Comic-Con 2017!  For those of you going, let us know and we’ll try to get you in to the panel of your choice.  For those of you hanging back at home or on your yearly vacation with your toes in the sand and your head in the clouds, we will be filming them as usual and posting them when we return!

We are thrilled and honored by those who have helped once again to make these panels happen, not least the folks at ASIFA: Hollywood, Women in Animation, and Women in Film: LA, as well as the Women Rocking Hollywood sponsor, Wattpad Studios.

if you want an idea of the crazy experiences and what I do, go over to Barb, for which I wrote a little something:

http://barbmagazine.com/2017/06/26/cinema-siren-says-its-time-for-comic-confidential-2017-edition/

Our three panels, that are are:

FRIDAY:

1:00-2:00 Women Rocking Hollywood: Women Directors Changing the Face of Film and Television Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female directors.  Now What? While there’s still a long way to go to equal the number of women behind the camera with women, who make up 51% of the population, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This 2nd annual panel at SDCC focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women expanding opportunities for women in film who have made noise and winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (exec director, Women in Film: LA) Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director: Queen of the South, director: Dear White People) Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director: Silver Skies, director: Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead) Victoria Mahoney (director: Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime) DeMane Davis (writer/director: Lift, director: Queen Sugar) Angela Robinson (writer/director: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director: Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black.. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren). Room 23ABC

10:00 to 11:00 Cartoon Creatives: Woman Power in Animation In this 2nd annual panel at SDCC, we examine the history and trajectory of women working inside feature and TV animation, and talk to directors and show runners of animated shows and specials across networks and studios, as well as a historian bringing to light some great hidden figures in our past.  These inspiring women are show invention and creativity that is expanding the industry. They talk about the rich history of women in animation, their mentors, what’s happening industry-wide, and inside their own exciting shows.  Scheduled to appear are Marge Dean (co-president, WIA, supervising producer SuperMansion) Mindy Johnson (film historian, author of the upcoming “Ink & Paint-The Women of Disney Animation”) Victoria Ying (visual development, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, Moana) Shadi Petosky (writer/producer Danger & Eggs, founder, Puny Studios) Julia Vickerman (writer, Powerpuff Girls, director, Rad Lands, Twelve Forever) Elaine Bogan (director, Trollhunters, Dragons: Race to the Edge) . Moderated by Leslie Combemale (CinemaSiren.com). Room 23ABC

SATURDAY:

1:00-2:00 Women Rocking Hollywood: Women Directors Changing the Face of Film and Television Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female directors.  Now What? While there’s still a long way to go to equal the number of women behind the camera with women, who make up 51% of the population, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This 2nd annual panel at SDCC focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women expanding opportunities for women in film who have made noise and winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (exec director, Women in Film: LA) Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director: Queen of the South, director: Dear White People) Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director: Silver Skies, director: Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead) Victoria Mahoney (director: Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime) Aurora Guerrero (writer/director: Mosquita y Mari, director: Queen Sugar) Angela Robinson (writer/director: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director: Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black.. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren). Room 23ABC

meanwhile, you can find past panels here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAv_TjmuqNPtn1UMPd6IMBXPEYvRCJqDL

Wish us luck!  We’ll have our wonderful new salesgirl and wonder woman, Holly, here for part of while we’ll be gone, and you can check on our message machine or give the gallery a call for our hours while we’re in SDCC.  There will also be some SDCC releases you might want to find out about, and we’ll be posting about them the first day we are able and allowed!

Live long and prosper, do or do not, allons-y, etc.,

Leslie, Michael, Holly, and Christine, the whole SDCC gang.

Happy Anniversary Harry Potter! This Harry Potter art gallerist and fan looks back

Making a Great Exit

Happy Anniversary Harry Potter!

I can’t believe it’s been 20 years.  These are the books that spawned a thousand ‘ships’ and fanfics, not to mention creating one of the richest women in the world, the highest paid actress, blockbuster movies, Wizard Rock, many conversations about acceptance and tolerance, kids that read voraciously for the first time, a crazy powerful fandom,  conventions that broke records and brought friends together, positive actions in the form of charities like the HP Alliance, and of course, art.

At the very beginning of the series, when it hadn’t even gotten to the states yet, my friend Ruth had interest in the series, and she paid attention to when Scholastic released them in the US, going after the license to release the art here, with all the art created by illustrator Mary GrandPre. She told me years later no one believed it would sell.  I was the first person to promote them when she announced the collection.  They were beautiful, created by a female illustrator, and celebrated reading! How could I not be excited?

Harry Potter: Counting the Days

I started to work with her as much as possible, and when new pieces were released, I was the person who promoted them the most.  This led to getting some exclusive pieces for the gallery, and to being part of a number of Harry Potter fan panels at San Diego Comic-Con, where I met some wonderful friends I am close to and respect to this day.

Here is me on the panel with Darrin Criss, before he got hugely famous, but not before he had become the Harry Potter version of one of the Beatles. Seriously, there were shrieks from his fans during and after the panel, and someone proposed to him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaAXLumvEUM

One of the weirdest things about being part of the Harry Potter world and selling the art, is I became a strange sort of minor celebrity in the fandom….not like the StarKids or MuggleNet or the Wizard rockers, but still, people knew who I was. After the above panel, two teenage girls came up and asked me for my autograph.  What?? I showed them where the line was to meet Darrin….but they said I was the reason they were going to study art, because they wanted to be part of creating the official art and in my various talks I’d explained about the value and importance of illustration art. It’s the one and only time it happened, but it was very sweet. It also made me feel good about what I do for a living.  I was particularly pleased when the collection of art by Mary GrandPre wound up in a Buzzfeed post and it got viewed, well, lots and lots and lots. It was posted on June 26th, as well, only in 2013!

https://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/16-rare-harry-potter-illustrations-from-the-books-artist?utm_term=.etR3DqnwpM#.tsXqP15Bd2

When Leavesden was opening and they were going to have an exhibit of art and a shop with items for sale, Ruth was able to talk them into releasing art signed by Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig, that showed his ideas for various locations in the movies, with the fully rendered images created by architectural and movie concept artist Andrew Williamson.  Again, they didn’t think they’d sell, and again, they proved hugely popular.  Here is one of my favorites:

Journey on the Hogwarts Express

I also, in the time that HP got more and more famous, became closer friends with artist Jim Salvati, who had actually worked on the films as a concept artist, and so I got some art from him he had done for the movie.  That was incredibly exciting, and those who love the movies can really appreciate how the intensity and passion as an artist fits with the themes of the movie.  Here’s a limited edition with Harry and Hedwig:

Harry and Hedwig by Jim Salvati

Every day I encounter some reference to HP, or think of one.  This morning on my walk, I was going to once again avoid the walking tunnel that goes under a big road because it looks creepy, dangerous, and frankly, it reminds me of Death Eaters.  Today, though, I ran through it in honor of the anniversary (crazy, but what can I say?) and as I checked my fitbit, the number was 7,777. 

I had to laugh.

Thanks, Jo.  You’ve inspired millions of kids to read, write, draw, find acceptance, and aspire to more.  We’ll keep reading the books, watching the movies, writing the fanfic, and creating art, and when we do, we’ll think of you, and of Harry, the boy who lived.

L.

ps. If you want to see all the official art of Harry Potter available for purchase, go HERE.

Art Outsiders Wine Dinner at Mon Ami Gabi in Reston and Bethesda- Join Us!

MAGRestonentranceandbar area

Join us at Mon Ami Gabi Reston on Tuesday, June 6, and Wednesday, June 7, at Mon Ami Gabi Bethesda, for an evening of delicious french fare, thought-provoking art and great conversation, featuring artist Tennessee Loveless and ArtInsights gallery owner Leslie Combemale.

artinsights_161231#3, 1/3/17, 1:50 PM, 8C, 9000x11976 (0+0), 150%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/30 s, R46.0, G20.6, B41.4

Mon Ami Gabi Bethesda Interior

The renowned contemporary artist and contemporary art expert are partnering with the restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You, hosting the Art Outsiders Wine Dinner in both locations. Tennessee and Leslie will present Loveless’s famed project “The Art Outsiders,” discussing the creative process behind the development of the project.

Ten-Art-Outsiders-for-wine

The Art Outsiders is a collection of portraits of people who were outsiders in their own fields for work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion and beyond, their stories are uniquely embedded into the design of each portrait, allowing each work of art to display a narrative of history, courage and perseverance.

Evening includes a welcome reception with passed hors d’oeuvres starting at 6:30 pm, followed by a five-course dinner paired with boutique wines. Click here to see the full menu. The event is priced at $75 per guest (plus tax, gratuity not included). Advanced tickets required; please call Mon Ami Gabi at 703-707-0233 to book your reservation for Reston, and 301-654-1234 to book your reservation for Bethesda.

 

MAGBethesdaExterior

Mon Ami Gabi Reston exterior

Here’s the menu, but by all means click to see more information!

The menu, although you can look at it more closely with the link!

About Mon Ami Gabi:

Mon Ami Gabi is a classic French bistro that embraces a passion for food, wine and culture. Whether you come for the Onion Soup Au Gratin, Steak Frites or decadent Profiteroles, Mon Ami Gabi offers something to satisfy all tastes. For those looking to indulge in a unique dish, the Escargots de Bourgogne with garlic-herb butter is literally a sizzling experience. To complement the menu, an extensive selection of more than 80 boutique French wine varietals, handpicked by renowned chef and owner Gabino Sotelino, are served by the glass or bottle from our signature rolling wine cart. While the favorites are here in abundance, there’s always something new when you’re ready to fall in love all over again.

About Lettuce Entertain You:

Since its beginning in 1971, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE) has maintained a sense of humor and enjoyment while creating high quality, successful restaurants. Due to the innovation of LEYE’s Founder and Chairman, Richard Melman, and his creative team of partners and employees, LEYE currently owns, licenses or manages more than 100 establishments in Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, California, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.

Jim Salvati- Painting, Music, Morrissey, and The Image Projects: The Musician’s Image

Jim Salvati, who i’ve known for over 20 years, is without question one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met. While he’s aware he has a unique eye, and is often very proud about and happy with his work, he’s also very humble about just how rare a talent he is. In fact, he told me when his wife asks him what he’s working on next, he always says “Just making another pizza”. 

He has now turned his focus and considerable artistic insight towards our new partnership called “The Image Projects”, starting with “The Musician’s Image”.

So far, all the art he has created has been commissioned, because we want a limited number of images of the same person or group, and lots of collectors are excited about it and want to “adopt” their favorites.  Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Queen, Green Day, and Morrissey are just a few either finished or in his queue.

Jimi Hendrix “Bold as Love”

Jimi-Hendrix-Jim-Salvati-image-projects

We just got two images he created of Morrissey in the gallery. Sometimes when Jim gets started, he gets so excited about his work after the research and study of a subject, he can’t choose between his many ideas, and that’s when he creates two paintings.  Such is the case for his works of the famed Smiths front man and historic Britpop figure.

 Morrissey “Meat is Murder” detail

Morrissey_ART_Detail_3

Morrissey “Meat is Murder”

Morrissey-Jim-Salvati-meat

Morrissey “Let Me Kiss You” detail

Morrissey2_Detail_JimSalvati

Morrissey  “Let Me Kiss You”

Morrissey2_JimSalvati

I love how these two images capture different times in Morrissey’s career and shifting world view, one is pure musician, in the other, a deeper aspect of him, ever conflicted, is captured.

I’m constantly floored by Jim Salvati’s work.  I sold some of his originals from Harry Potter years ago, and occasionally he has some personal paintings I am able to offer to my clients.  It’s all great, but always shocks me is, even given my high level of expectation, how impressed I am with the finished commissions when they arrive.  He has this way of not showing me any images beyond the concept stage so I become as excited and curious as my clients are. He never disappoints! I’m going to steal a word Jim uses when he’s talking about great images. His art is always “juicy”.

I love that after knowing Jim for over 15 years, he finally mentioned he had worked with the west coast studio Andy Warhol opened in Los Angeles. He worked there early in his career, the year before Andy’s passing.  That’s the way Jim’s life has been.  He’s always got some really cool project, so he rarely looks to the past behind him. He once did a collaboration piece with Herb Ritts for a book and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibition.  He has created album and CD cover art for Radiohead, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackson Brown, Peter Tosh, Curtis Mayfield, The Hollies, and most recently, Frankie Valli. Jim became a licensed official Disney and Warner Bros. interpretive artist, worked on concept art for Harry Potter, Happy Feet, and a bunch of other movies. He still surfs most days (even though he’s not an unbreakable twenty-something) and teaches at the prestigious Art Center College of Design, which he has done since 1985 when he was hired by the legendary artist Phil Hays, who also introduced him to Andy Warhol.

No doubt i’ll find out some other fascinating tidbits as I continue working and spending time with him, but really how much more would anyone to read about him to be very impressed, and not a little exhausted by proxy?

I remember when I was just starting to consider doing proprietary partnerships with artists I love and trust.  I had begun getting really excited about what Tennessee Loveless was doing with The Art Outsiders, and how well it was being received by collectors and contemporary art experts.  One day I was sitting in my gallery, and Jim, who lives in LA, just walked through the door.  For a few seconds I thought I was hallucinating, but then I realized it was indeed Jim standing there with a big smile on his face.  He was exhibiting across the street at an international portraiture competition, (where he would win a place in the top 5, above thousands of other fine artists) had looked up my gallery’s proximity, (literally about 100 yards away) and stopped by.  It was that day we came up with The Image Projects.  

I’m really excited where it’s headed.  If you’re a fan of Jim’s and/or love music, consider adding your name to the commissions list.  You can contact me at the gallery about pricing and payments (artinsights@gmail.com), but I assure you, whatever he does with your beloved favorite bands or musicians will be even better than you can imagine.  I have the art to prove it.

Leslie

ArtInsights

Musings on Beauty and the Beast, then and now, from an animation and film art expert

beauty-beast-cinema-siren-artinsights

Sometimes my persona as Cinema Siren and my metier as an art gallery owner and expert in animation come together in a delightful way.  Not often, mind you, but yes, from time to time.  This week I got to see the new Beauty and the Beast in advance and reviewed it for my readers (you can find it here), and I daresay there are few people outside of Disney who have seen the 1991 animated feature as often as I have, so it was fairly easy to compare the two films, the songs, the characters, and the live-action verses the animated backgrounds and scenery.

beauty-and-the-beast-ballroom

Though excited and openminded about what Disney might do to bring new life to a recent classic, I was also concerned that Belle would remain the strong, positive, inspiring role model Linda Woolverton created her to be.  In fact, I needn’t have worried. As portrayed by Emma Watson and written by the new screenwriters, (both of whom were men) Belle is not only a loyal friend and daughter, she is also an inventor, avid reader, and would-be fearless adventurer.

As someone who loves the animated film and its heroine to be near perfection for the era and technology of the time, of course seeing the new movie brought back all the warm feelings I have for the older one.  That includes the memories I have of talking to John Alvin about his part in creating the adult campaign, which wound up being the only campaign.  That iconic poster of Belle and the Beast dancing is forever etched in my mind, as only the best cinematic images always are.  Disney hired John to create an image for the movie poster that would appeal to adults because he was already known for iconic, emotional images like the one he had created for E.T.  John excelled at the use of light, smoke, and shadow to build a magical, mystical quality.  It’s the Beauty and the Beast poster that gave birth to the expression “Alvin-izing, which captured a feeling, a visual romance, that, as John himself used to call it “created the promise of a great experience”.  In talking about the making of the poster image, he talked about using “heavy light”, the light Stephen Spielberg used in E.T. and Close Encounters. That was the look he was trying to emulate in the Beauty and the Beast art. It was only the second time John Alvin had worked with Disney, and the poster was such a success, it led to a long and fulfilling partnership with Disney feature animation.

images

I also remember when Disney had the auction at Sotheby’s where they sold original backgrounds from the film. You see, Beauty and the Beast had no cels.  It was just after they had switched away from using them, in favor of scanning the original 2D drawings and coloring them inside the computer. Still, the movie was such a hit, people wanted whatever original art they could get from it, so it was standing room only, and even famous collectors filled the auction house, eager to get a piece of what even then they knew was animation history.  Since then, if you ask members of the Disney archives and research library, they’ll tell you it was a mistake to let backgrounds vital to the history of the film go to collectors.  At the time, it was very controversial in the world of animation that they were going to create cels for the original backgrounds from the movie. Some collectors wouldn’t touch them.  The original estimate, during all the fuss about created cels, was $670,000.  The results of the auction were actually double that, bringing in $1,255,815.

Check out these two articles from the time:

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/17/movies/animation-auction-is-questioned.html

http://articles.latimes.com/1992-10-19/entertainment/ca-469_1_top-expectations

Also, the ballroom scene was an example of the steps towards computer animation, and the entire scene was a mix of both hand-drawn and computer animated elements. One of the best things about the new film is the fact that the ballroom sequence could be brought to real life. The design team, which I highlight in my review as being all female-led, spearheaded the utilization of 7 x 4 foot chandeliers inspired by those in Versailles.

Beauty and the Beast

As to some of the concern by fans that artists involved with the original would feel like they were slighted by a live action film that was so heavily inspired by their work, I say, ‘rest easy’…I know a bunch of them, including one of the producers who also produced the new live action update.  They feel honored, appreciated, and edified to know their project not only stands the test of time, but so inspired a new group of artists that they painstakingly researched their work in the development of this new iteration.

If you’d like to see several originals used in the process of John Alvin creating the iconic movie poster for 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, stop by ArtInsights.  See the new movie first, so we can talk about it, and celebrate the wonderful history of this classic story, a tale, as they say, as old as time.

Tennessee Loveless Releases 1st Piece in “Vox Populi” Art Project: “PoMo Patriots” through ArtInsights

When Tennessee Loveless and I started working together on his project Art Outsiders, we were moved and overjoyed at the reception and reaction it got from collectors and fans around the world. Since the start, he has built a solid foundation for the collection, having created images of “Art Outsiders” in a wide variety of important fields, including Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Alan Turing, Billie Holiday, Amelia Earhart, and Divine.  It’s been quite a ride so far, and this very exciting rollercoaster doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  Tennessee is also going full throttle with his own project, Drag Landscapes, and still making great DJ sets through his Beautiful Noise Broadcast, and I’m working to build several other collections with artists, as well as writing interviews and film reviews on Cinema Siren. Enter Vox Populi and PoMo Patriots

We apparently didn’t have enough to do, so of course we decide to do another project together.

It started during the election.  No matter your political affiliation, there’s no denying this country has been pulled apart and an ugly underbelly has been exposed.  People’s rights are being taken away, the integrity of mainstream journalism is being brought into question, there are alarming ethics issues rearing their heads, and that’s just for starters.  Yes, those on the side of the new administration will say all sorts of other things.  The point is, our country is going to hell in a handbasket faster than anyone thought possible, and that’s saying something.

The forefathers and mothers of our country did not fight for our freedom and create a new country so we could light a match and put it to flames. Those same fathers and mothers stood up when they saw injustice, and over hundreds of years, they and countless critics of those in power have spoken out, risen up, and used democracy to keep America the inclusive, welcoming, melting pot it was born to be. As has been said many times, freedom isn’t free. We have to fight for it. We also have to fight to bring this country back together again.

Patriotism isn’t just a word for conservatives.  All kinds of people, whether they’ve been in America for one day, or their family stepped off the Mayflower, love this country.  It’s with this in mind we have started a new American flag project called “Vox Populi”. We are both incredibly passionate about it, and have been talking about it a lot: why we both feel we have to speak through art right now, why we want to call upon the many different voices of dissent in our country’s history, and why we are uniquely placed to do so, since ArtInsights is within easy driving distance of DC and the belly of the political beast. We both might be very busy, but together we decided we couldn’t NOT do it.

This President’s Day, many of us are reflecting on our current state of affairs and how we can make a difference to inspire change.  We thought it would be the perfect time to release the first piece, “PoMo Patriots”, (or an abbreviated version of Postmodern Patriots).

The Sunday before Presidents Day, we went all over Washington D.C. taking pictures of Tennessee holding the original art in front of the monuments to the various people quoted. Below are some of the pictures of our adventure introducing the art to Washington and its important historical landmarks:

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PoMo Patriots at the Reflecting Pool.
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PoMo Patriots on a beautiful February day on the mall.
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Tennessee and PoMo Patriots with the MLK Memorial.
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PoMo Patriots at the Korean War Memorial.
Vietnam Memorial
There’s little more moving than people finding those they love written in the Vietnam Memorial. PoMo Patriots is there.
Vietnam Memorial
So many lives lost and represented at the Vietnam Memorial. They died for us, and we must take a stand.
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PoMo Patriots at the World War II Memorial.
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PoMo Patriots at the Lincoln Memorial. The guards were wonderful and kind, and they loved PoMo Patriots.
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Tennessee and PoMo Patriots lands last in front of The White House. He didn’t mean to smile, but the art got such positive attention and several kids told him how much they loved it. He was moved and honored.

We saw license plates from more states than ever before as we drove around trying to find parking on an extremely crowded 70 degree day in the Nation’s Capital.  Surprisingly, we encountered mostly positive responses, ranging from polite curiosity to awestruck enthusiasm.  A few people were truly moved, which I hope meant they got the intense, emotional aspect of how Vox Populi came to be, the passion with which we are approaching every aspect of its release, and what it the project means to Tennessee and I as an artist and an art gallery owner.

To be fair, we did also get a fair amount of shade and side-eye, which would have been more helpful if they could have actually created cover for our exposed ginger skin.  What, though, could they possibly have against two redheads carrying an interpreted symbol of our country? I’d say we all have a lot of work to do.

QUOTES:

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better…..This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Abraham Lincoln

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression…..because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action. Malcolm X

Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never given.  It is won. A. Philip Randolph

There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained. W.E.B. Du Bois

We need in every bay and community a group of angelic troublemakers. Bayard Rustin

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down. Eleanor Roosevelt

Finally, let us understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win. Bernie Sanders

So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy. Roger Nash Baldwin

A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. Grover Cleveland

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress. Barack Obama

Hope will never be silent. Harvey Milk

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King, Jr.

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage…. on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. Harry S Truman

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington

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I wanted to include Tennessee’s perspective on this new project , and his impetus for bringing Vox Populi to life:

“I love America.

I love my fellow Americans.

I love my fellow Americans even if they hate me because I’m queer.

I still love them.

I love America so much I am willing to use whatever ability I have, to fight for people to be here.

I love America so much that I am willing to create art as a mirror to show people, even though we were founded on a poisonous colonialist and ongoing imperialistic structure (which I dislike greatly and will continually fight against) that this ‘MELTING POT’ exists because of activism for ALL EQUAL RIGHTS.

I love America so much, that I have used my blood, sweat, and tears to create a piece about a pattern I am ironically terrified of because of people confusing “patriotism” with “nationalism”.

I love America so much that I used quotes of people who fought for inclusivity and equality like Malcolm X, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin and more…

I love America so much that I turned their quotes upside down on the flag so that my fellow Americans had to contort themselves beyond the pattern to read what America was about.

I love America so much that I flew to DC with this portrait and stood in front of every monument, INCLUDING THE WHITE HOUSE to talk about the state of our administration.

I love America so much that I fought through my fellow American’s jeers, shade, and disdain for what I was doing.. and yet I was overwhelming met with hugs and tears.

I love this country enough to know when its absolutely backwards and fighting itself… because EVERYONE BELONGS HERE.

I love America.

and yet I am afraid of the thing I love.

Regardless I will fight as an advocate with my cis white privilege ..

because my weapon and shield is a brush and my voice.”

We also displayed the art in ArtInsights, and PoMo Patriots got exactly the kind of reaction Tennessee was looking for, over and over and over.  And…in fact, we could have sold the original four times the day it was seen for the first time, and all to collectors far more conservative than we would have expected!

Everyone contorts themselves and changes their perspective to read the many important messages of those who have loved and worked for the freedom of our country:

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We have limited editions of this piece, (which was sold immediately upon displaying it) and you can find information on it HERE. If you love what you see, stay tuned for more from this project.  We are so excited for you to see it come together! (ps. a percentage of proceeds from the sale of limited editions goes to the ACLU)

Wonder Woman original production art in honor of the Women’s March on Washington

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In honor of the Women’s March in Washington on inauguration weekend, we are offering some rare Wonder Woman original production art from Justice League. They are drawings, as they didn’t use cels in the animation, and we don’t have a bunch, but the 8 we have are all wonderful, kick-ass, and represent the character well!  CHECK THEM OUT HERE.  We will only have them this weekend, so now is the time!

Many of you know we have a large contingent of collectors and art and animation fans meeting up at the gallery and going in to march on Saturday.  That’s not to say we don’t love our ‘Right-minded’ collectors, but we all have to walk our walk as WELL as talk our talk, and that is particularly true to those of us in art and small business.

Those of us who are marching, and those supporting those who will be there certainly need inspiration and motivation, and this demigoddess is the Amazonian to give it!  A percentage of all sales this weekend will benefit Planned Parenthood.  CELEBRATE POWER and THE WONDER OF WOMANHOOD this weekend!

Also, all the art available for purchase is benefitting women-owned small businesses: both in the retail and wholesale!  We are working with the lovely and hard-working Ruth Clampett of Clampett Studio, and her cohort Michelle Smart, who handles production art for them.  I, Leslie Combemale, CRAZY FEMINIST ART LOVER, co-own ArtInsights (as you know)…Plus you will also be supporting low cost healthcare for women around the country.  So what are you waiting for? Lasso yourself a great new piece of art 🙂

Cerphe’s Up Book Signing with Cerphe and Rock and Roll Art at ArtInsights!

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We are so excited to host famed long-time DJ and radio broadcaster Cerphe Colwell of Music Planet Radio at ArtInsights! He’ll be signing copies of his book Cerphe’s Up, about his 45 years as a rock and roll insider in and around the DC area.

In preparation of his coming to the gallery, we put together some great originals and limited editions from our collection to display, including great pieces of David Bowie, Kate Bush, Ringo Starr, and the Beatles, by artists Tennessee Loveless, Jim Salvati, and Alex Ross.

If you are a music fan you should definitely come meet Cerphe 2-4 pm on January 28th, when he will be at ArtInsights in Reston Town Center…(on a day when parking is free;)  

His stories are legendary, as is his kind, mellow demeanor.  Cerphe’s Up features great interviews with Tom Waits, Stevie Nicks, George Harrison, The Rolling Stones, and more.  Currently playing great tunes at the successful internet radio station Music Planet Radio, he has worked for WAVA, DC101, and WJFK, and is the one who brought an unknown Bruce Springsteen to the attention of DC music lovers. He has the awards to prove it!  It’s also co-authored by Stephen Moore, who has co-authored three other successful books about awesome famous people, including Washington treasure Helen H

Cerphe’s Up has nothing but 5 star reviews, and it has become a bestseller. You can buy it at our event and have him sign it to you directly, or signed to the favorite rock and roll historian, musician, or music fan in your family and friends. JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!

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We’ll also have the art of romance, as we do right around Valentine’s Day.  It might be early for those guys out there who forget until the day of and wander home with flowers you buy from 7/11, but that just means you will be prepared.  We have The Little Mermaid’s Eric and Ariel, Belle and the Beast, Mickey and Minnie, lots of the other cartoon couples you might enjoy. 

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Obviously Cerphe’s Up will make a wonderful Valentine’s gift for music-minded loved ones….and speaking of ROCK AND ROLL, so will the awesome art we have on display by Tennessee Loveless of David Bowie, who so loved the world he became the man who fell to earth…;)

Art Outsiders: David Bowie

We hope to see you Saturday the 28th, barring several feet of snow.  We’ll have a blast, and you will have a special opportunity to meet a local legend, surrounded by wonderful art!

Leslie at ArtInsights

January at ARTINSIGHTS: What we are doing about parking in Reston Town Center

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About parking in Reston Town Center.  Those of you who know us know we don’t ask anyone to do anything we wouldn’t do.  While we don’t have a philosophical issue with paid parking in general and in Reston Town Center in specific, We aren’t pleased at all with the choices they’ve made putting it together and publicizing it.  A number of you don’t want to have to download the app, which requires saying yes to a number of permissions.  Beyond that, the technology utilized for parking involves taking a picture of your license plate.  On the Reston Town Center website, it says the system doesn’t keep the picture after you leave.  Some will be comfortable with that, others won’t.

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Art by KC Green

SO:

COME ON THE WEEKENDS WHEN IT’S FREE!!  Starting next weekend, our hours:

Monday through Friday 10-6, Saturdays 10-6, Sundays 12-5.   

Should you WANT to come during the week, we will validate your parking with any purchase.  Either way we’re happy to see you, and thrilled with your support. We want to continue to grow and be happy about being here, because for the most part the company that now owns the center has been great. If they see significant damage to their position in the marketplace, they might make some changes, but we don’t want our gallery or any of the small businesses in the center to bear the brunt of their mistakes!  so again:

VISIT US ON THE WEEKENDS!  That way you can still enjoy all the great aspects of Reston Town Center.

Meanwhile, do let us know positive suggestions and thoughts in the comments!

Best and warmest to you all,

Michael and Leslie and the whole Artinsights crew.