The Hildebrandt brothers were a huge influence on me growing up and I still enjoy seeing Greg’s work, (Robin Hood most recently.) When my wife pointed out to me that Greg Hildebrandt would be making an appearance at the Sahara West library in Las Vegas October 13th, I marked it on my calendar and was not disappointed. Greg discussed his adaptation of the comic strip Terry and the Pirates, his influences growing up as well as a wealth of other engrossing topics. His wife Jean (who also happens to be his Representative) was equally fascinating to talk to and learn from. Greg remains passionate and speaks with an enthusiasm as vivid as his illustrations.
While vacationing in San Francisco, I was determined to find an elusive Maxfield Parrish painting on display “in a bar.” After some research, I found the Palace hotel had a little place called the Pied Piper bar. Lo and behold—named after the original painting!
“The Pied Piper has hung above the bar of the Palace Hotel since 1909 except for its brief stay (1989–1991) at the De Young Museum in San Francisco during the historic $150 million restoration of the hotel. The mural was reinstalled in the room adjacent to where it had hung for nearly eighty-three years. The old Pied Piper Room was renamed “Maxfield’s” and turned into a restaurant. The Pied Piper, in its new location at the Palace with its new cleaning and improved lighting, again shines resplendentfor all who come in pilgrimage to see this venerable San Francisco landmark.
We wonder if, indeed, bartenders still heed Mr. Parrish’s admonishment, written in a letter to Helen Hess: “When customers can no longer tell how many children they can count on the [Pied Piper] mural, send them home to their families. A guest drawing a glass is apt to note a child in the painting that resembles a little one at home and then and there cancel their wish for an additional glass.”
Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks By Alma Gilbert-Smith
WOW, what a painting! If you are ever in the financial district in San Francisco, drop in and have a pint, you won’t regret it.
A little trivia: Parrish is depicted in the painting as the Pied Piper himself (his two sons are depicted as well.)
I bought this extraordinary used book (which is out of print as of 1983.) This gem contains chapters such as: “Getting the Picture Idea” /” How To Select a Model”/ “The Importance of Detail” / Poses and Props”/ Making the Charcoal Drawing”/ Making the Color Sketch”/ and “The Final Painting”.
I wish Watson-Guptill Publications would release and updated edition with modern printing in full color, with a hardcover—it is the only way I can think of to improve on this classic.
The Illustration Academy held a week long continuing education workshop in San Francisco in March that I attended.
I still reflect on the week-long program—it was that great.
“The days began at 9:00 AM with studio time, lectures, slide presentations, demonstrations, or figure drawing scheduled until 9:00 PM. Students remained in the studios and worked until after midnight on the assignments. All of the instructors listed were in attendance for the full week, except for Geroge Pratt, who was with us for about a day and a half.
Also during this busy week, the students conceptualized, researched, and completed an assignment given the first day by the faculty. The week ended with a final critique of the completed works. One week in length, this Illustration Academy was shorter, but every bit as intense as the seven week program.”
I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to watch them work and ask questions about anything and everything related to a career in illustration.
Joel Nakamura came to Las Vegas for a Neoteny seminar on the 10th of March. He was here two years ago when I met him for the first time.
During his most recent visit, I painted his portrait and he was kind enough to sign it.
Neoteny is defined as “the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal.”
Josh is a commercial artist with an impressive list of clients. One of my favorite projects he designed was some work he did for Disneyland, be sure to check it out—especially at the Disneyland gallery in Anaheim the next time you happen to be at “the Happiest Place on Earth.”
Back in July 2006, I went to Comic Con in San Diego for the first time in my life. It was as much about popular culture as it was comics and I enjoyed it—but after four days, I’d had enough. (I can get overly visually stimulated by a trip to a grocery store, so Comic Con was certainly an assault on the senses.)
I met several artists and illustrators whose work I have admired for years, including:
I was also able to attend seminars featuring Matt Groening, Ray Harryhausen, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Anthony Zuiker, Rosario Dawson and Lewis Black! Despite the large, unusual crowds, it was a memorable experience.
The American Association of Editorial Cartoonists (or AAEC) is one of those web pages you might want to bookmark and add to your morning cup of coffee browsing habit (if you have one). It is updated regularly and has loads of cleverness from some pretty brilliant minds (not to mention gifted hands.)
For fans of illustration, check out the publication put together by Dan Zimmer.
Why not buy a subscription and help make this beautiful magazine a well-deserved success?
The Illustration Academy is held in Richmond Virginia (it used to be held in Independence Missouri) and brings students together with some of the best professional illustrators working today. Worth every penny if you are serious about illustration.