Sat, 31 March 2012
I do not believe in providence. Not at all. Doesn’t matter that we’ve been fans of illustrator David Grove for forever. Doesn’t matter that out of nowhere, a friend of the show emailed us and basically offered to hook us up with him. Doesn’t matter that while he wasn’t a podcast guy (at all), David graciously agreed to chat not knowing what it would entail. And it doesn’t matter that a wonderful career-spanning art book on Grove came out not four months ago. Nope, that ain’t providence.
Okay, thinly-veiled sarcasm aside, this interview was a coupe. If you’re at all a student of illustration, and by that I mean the hey-day of it, you know David Grove. He worked throughout the 1970s and ‘80s and left a trail of broken art-loving hearts when he finally retired from commercial work in the ‘90s.
Book covers, editorial illustration, national ad campaigns and movie posters were his bread and butter — and he knocked them all out, folks! The Outsiders, Pale Rider, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Vision Quest are just a few of the films Grove painted posters for. And they made him a star of his industry.
We would be telling a big fat lie if we said we didn't have an awesome time on this one. David was witty, warm and charming, and he told terrific stories. And if you know anything about his life, you know he’s got a few. Last year, Norfolk Press put out an art book called David Grove – An Illustrated Life. It is chocked full of drawings, sketches, color illustrations, photographs, and yes, tales from Grove’s past that will curl your hair.
Do grab a copy of the book from his site. It’s well worth the asking price ($35). And while I don’t believe in providence, I do love and believe in great art. David Grove’s kind of art.
Mon, 19 March 2012
The fortunate son makes his debut on SiDEBAR (okay, that’s a little too cheesy even for me).
Former illustrator and now fine artist Eric Fortune stopped by to hang out with us and we’re happy that he did. We’ve known this young lad for a couple of years now, so it was 'bout time. Eric is an Ohio-based artist and a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). He tells us in the interview that being an Ohio resident has had its unintended perks. Over the years, he’s become friends and colleagues with two other local guys, who at one time, were his artistic heroes: Chris "C.F." Payne and John Jude Palencar. Payne is the dean of illustration at CCAD where Eric received his BFA, and Palencar has been a visiting speaker and lecturer at the school (both are awesome, by the way).
Take a looksee at Fortune’s beautiful and ethereal paintings and we’re sure you’ll agree with us when we say, "they are the stuff that dreams are made of". Gorgeous!
And check him out on-line at his blog and website, or at Muddy Colors, the art blog he contributes to with other lauded painters like Justin Sweet, Greg Manchess, Jesper Ejsing and Daniel Dos Santos (just to name a few).
Yeah, it’s like that.
**As fate would have it, we recorded our talk with Eric the day after legendary illustrator and designer Ralph McQuarrie passed away. At the end of the episode, there's an Easter egg discussion between us on the life and career of McQuarrie. It wasn't something we really prepped for, but it was from the heart.
Mon, 12 March 2012
Welcome to the return of Bookshelf Babble-On. It's been right at a year since we've done one of these and it feels good to get back. On these episodes, we do what the title suggests — run off at the mouth. But for good reasons! We each pick a book off our shelves and do a quick, little mini-review. Very laymen in approach, but we try to keep it interesting. Check it:
Swain’s pick was Kent Williams’ Amalgam: Paintings and Drawings 1992 - 2007. If you know me at all, you know there is a certain brand of painter I adore, and Kent fits that bill in spades. He’s one of the Fab Four (he was college roommates with George Pratt, John Van Fleet and Mark Chiarello), started out in comics, and has since became a fine artist and part-time teacher. Amalgam was published in 2008 and collects about 15 years worth of personal work by Williams. It’s a beautiful book that definitively showcases his visceral and provacative approach to picture-making. And it was well worth the three years I waited for it to be discounted on-line before buying it. Hell, I’m patient if nothing else!
Dwight’s weapon of choice was a graphic novel called Transient by our friend, Justin “Coro” Kaufman. Coro is the co-founder of ConceptArt.Org and Massive Black Inc, but is also a brilliant artist in his own right. He’s been a guest on the esteemed SiDEBAR microphones before, and during our chat with him, he spoke at length about the process of making Transient. The book wasn’t finished yet, but he had us salivating with descriptions of the tale and teaser images. Well, our appetites have been satiated. Transient is here, it’s hot, and Dwight Clark has it. And Coro’s work on the story is quite good both as writer and artist. We highly recommend you put your eyeballs on it. Go here, true believers.
Closing it out is Adrian with a collection of art by Spanish artist, Sanjulian. If you don’t know Sanjulian’s work, you need to. Truly, one of the best painters and illustrators of the last 40 years — be it fantasy or any other genre. Adrian snagged his pick recently at a local comic convention here in Atlanta, and is to be applauded for doing so (it's amazing). The book was put together by European publisher, Glenat, and it's all in French. But we'll be the first ones to say that great art surmounts all language barriers. In other words, we feel Sanjulian! This tome (named after the artist) covers everything he excels in — fantasy, adventure, romance, horror, sci-fi — everything. Sanjulian’s name gets compared to guys like James Bama and Frank Frazetta during our discussion, and that is not hyperbole. He’s that good. Check his stuff out wherever you can.
Tue, 6 March 2012
We used the word "legendary" in the tagline on this one, and for good reason. Mark English has earned it. After years of brilliance in his chosen field, and after influencing an incalcuable number of younger artists — it applies. Period.
Mark is someone who has been on our radar for a very long time. Dwight and I (and now, Adrian) delayed asking him on the podcast until now because we wanted to make sure that we were ready for such a talk. That our collective skills for gab were up to the task. That (and this is being completely honest), that we wouldn't sound like three chickenshit art nerds with nothing of substance to say to an artistic hero. After all, Mark is someone who entered a field where guys like Austin Briggs, Al Parker and Bernie Fuchs were already doing it real big. And he not only held his own with those fellas, but made his own mark (no pun).
Over his career, clients like RCA Records, GE, Ford Motors, Redbook, McCall's, TIME and Sports Illustrated were all well served by English’s talents. And he went on to receive hundreds of awards for his work, at one point being the most awarded illustrator in the history of the Society of Illustrators. Also important to note, in 1983, Mark was elected to The Illustrators Hall of Fame in New York alongside venerated predecessors like Maxfield Parrish, N. C. Wyeth and Frederick Remington.
Nowadays, Mark is retired from the illustration game. After three decades of knocking them out of the park, he decided to start painting for himself. And yes, he kicks ass at that, too. Have you seen his personal work? Geez.
We hope you enjoy our interview with the legendary Mark English. Again, he’s earned that title.