October 31, 2011

Breakthrough Week - Michal's Stay in New York

What a worldwind week for us! We have had the pleasure of meeting, spending time with, and getting to know Michal Dziekan, the winner of the first ever Breakthrough Contest. 

Michal was a delight and by the end of the week he was crisscrossing NYC by foot and by metro. I don't think he ever walked this much in his life. On tuesday Oct 25th, we had a party at our office and invited judges, art directors, artists, and friends to celebrate his big win. We gave him his plaque, his certificate, and his cash prize. Many of our artists came out including Gregory Manchess, Mark Summers (all the way from Canada), Dongyun Lee, Goni Montes, Scott Brundage, Rudy Gutierrez, and Tim Bower

So now that this week is over and we can finally catch our breath, we wanted to give a great big thank you to everyone who helped and supported us with the Breakthrough Contest. Here is to Breakthrough 2012!

We were lucky enough to have pictures of the event and I would like to share them with you now. 

Tamson Weston (Tamson Weston Books) and Richard Aquan (Harper Collins) talk to our interns Mel and Delia

Michal talking with Natasha Boyshaw (The iSpot) and Tim Bower

Richard Aquan (Harper Collins) speaking with Michal (Breakthrough Winner) and Anastasiya (Richard's Assistant)

Irene Gallo (Tor Books) with Michal and artists Goni Montes, Chase Stone, and Mark Summers

Bob Pastore (Workbook) with Richard Solomon

Artists Chase Stone with Mark Summers

Artist Dongyun Lee poses for a picture with winner Michal

Our graphic designer Ana Gomez, artist Gregory Manchess, Richard and Anastasiya (Richard's assistant) 

Irene Gallo (Tor Books) with artist Chase Stone

Michal shares a laugh with artist Scott Brundage

Artists Dongyun Lee and Goni Montes pose for us.

Richard awarding Michal his Prize

Everyone gathers around to see Michal receive his prize

Artist Chase Stone with one of the judges, Bil Donovan

A certificate we gave as a thank you to the judges and to Michal

October 25, 2011

My Trip to Iowa for the Opening of the World Food Prize

Hello friends and colleagues! The weekend of October 8-9th, I had the pleasure to attend the “soft” opening of the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. The opening was for all the contractors who participated in the multi-year restoration of the landmark library in downtown Des Moines.

The World Food Prize is dedicated to the elimination of world hunger. As such, it awards a prize each year to the person(s) who makes the most difference in the fight against hunger. The inspiration for the prize comes from Dr. Norman Borlaug, considered to be the founder of the green revolution, who, because of his discovery of “miracle” crops, is responsible for saving the lives of over 1 billion people worldwide. The building is dedicated to his memory.

I would remiss if I didn’t mention 2 people without whom this project would not be possible. First is the former ambassador to Cambodia, Kenneth Quinn, whose idea it was to build this spectacular library and conference center and who put this project on his back, the same way he worked tirelessly to get America’s POW’s and MIA’s out of Vietnam. Ken Quinn is quite the man.

Also, Deborah Beckett, Director of Design at Gensler USA, over three years ago she called to inquire about artists in our group and how she may work with us. Since that first call, we have worked on countless projects together and she has stepped it up and used her exceptional taste to champion great art. Sometimes out of a project like this comes true friendship and I count myself lucky to develop a personal and professional friendship with these two people.

Our participating artists included Gregory Manchess, who was commissioned to do 4 wonderful paintings that were placed at the top of the rotunda as lunettes; they depicted the four times of days in four places that Norman Borlaug made an impact with his work.

2 of the four lunettes in the rotunda by Gregory Manchess

Mark Summers created over 20 busts of the previous winners of the World Food Prize in the Founders Ballroom.

 20+ portraits by Mark Summers

David Johnson did several pen and ink artworks that were engraved and now hang in the Ruan Laureate Room.

David Johnson's illustration was used on this plaque.

A wonderful project was to create 2 large mosaics that now hang in the Ruan Laureate room. The subjects were past Laureates of the World Food Prize, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan of India and Dr. Evangelina Villegas of Mexico, who was the first female Laureate. It was up to Kinuko Craft to create the paintings after which they were sent to Canada where Mosaika artfully translated them into very detailed mosaics. 

Kinuko Y. Craft's paintings were translated into mosaics.
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn with Kinuko Y. Craft and the current Governor of Iowa,  Terry Branstad

Another project that needed to be fullfilled was to find a wonderful landscape artist that lived and worked in Iowa. With the help of Gary Kelley, he put me in touch with Genie Patrick who created 2 large oil paintings depicting Iowa landscapes that now hang in the Iowa gallery.

Genie Patrick's landscape paintings

Gary Kelley was commissioned to paint a large oil painting, which he did in 4 panels. The artwork takes up an entire wall of the Iowa Gallery room and shows native Iowans responsible for some of the most important agricultural discoveries of the 19th and 20th centuries. He also went to visit Norman Borlaug’s place of birth and depicted that in another painting hanging in the Iowa room. 

Gary Kelley in front of his large painting in the Iowa Gallery

Lastly, John Collier worked on 2 challenging projects: a life-size sculpture of Norman Borloug, father of the green revolution which graces the Gardens behind the building and 4 paintings. Like Kinuko’s mosaics, these were also fabricated, this time into tapestries. John sent his artwork to Magnolia Editions in Oakland, CA where they were transferred into 3d weavings. They now hang in the Borlaug Ballroom. 

2 of John Collier's paintings that were transfered into tapestries.

John Collier's sculpture now resides in the beautiful gardens. 

It was a coming out party for me to see over 3 years of work unveiled in such a spectacular venue and made me feel proud that so many of my artists have participated.

World Food Prize official website: www.worldfoodprize.org

Des Moines Register articles about the opening here and here.

Video about the history of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates here.

Kinuko Y. Craft Joins the Illustration Group

Kinuko Y. Craft is one of the most well-known artists in fantasy genre, a legend in her own right. For several years now, she has been part of Richard's Art on a Grand Scale group, contributing large scale work to clients such as the World Food Prize building in Des Moines, Iowa. Just last week, after a conversation with Richard at the opening of the World Food Prize building, Kinuko decided to join the illustration group. We are very proud and excited to have her in our group! 

“With her broad range of work and international acclaim, there is no further explanation required about Kinuko Y. Craft as an artist. In spite of the many awards and honors bestowed upon her, we must respect most of all, her steadfast attitude and the desire which drives her to continue to follow her artistic dreams.”

Shinichi Doi, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you haven't already, take a look through her amazing work on our website: 


Thomas Ehretsmann - "Consider the Evidence"

Thomas Ehretsmann received a call from The Boston Globe to create this portrait of Elizabeth Warren. Only catch was, he had only 2 days to do it. Thomas, who is known for his very detailed and life-like portraits, did a great job in the short time. 

October 24, 2011

C. F. Payne, World-Class Illustrator AND Teacher


I began teaching illustration when I was living in Dallas, TX at Brookhaven College around 1982.  That led to my teaching at then-called East Texas State University in Commerce, TX followed by a teaching stint at Miami University upon my return to Cincinnati in 1987.  Eventually I landed here teaching at Columbus College of Art and Design for the last 15 years or so. It began in a class that met once every three weeks for three days to now my commuting weekly to Columbus from Cincinnati for my Tuesday and Thursday junior illustration class titled, “Styles and Concepts’.  Here at CCAD I teach and serve as co-chair of the Illustration Department with Stewart McKissick. 

Student Work
Two years ago I switched from teaching juniors and seniors in an elective portfolio class to what is now a required junior “Styles and Concepts” class.  The class is structured to teach illustration process and practices for the purposes of leading students toward a direction for personal expression. 

Over the years I have found teaching to be extremely gratifying.  It helps to keep me grounded and forward thinking.  One of my goals is to create the same positive experience I had in my years of study at Miami University.  Though the specifics of how we teach at CCAD and the shifts in curriculum change, working students to build a solid foundation for career building is our challenge.  What I try to bring to my class is a positive work ethic, guided by time tested picture making procedures and processes in an effort to achieve tangible progress the student can see in their own work for confidence building and artistic growth.
Class critique
My day usually starts between 5:30 AM – 6 AM, getting my breakfast, making my lunch and heading to Columbus before 7AM.  I usually am able to get to Circle Hall, our Illustration Build at CCAD, around 8:45 AM – 9 AM.  From 9 AM – Noon I have office hours to take care of some administrative duties or meet with students.  I eat my lunch with Stewart in our office while discussing our daily concerns and get ready for my first class that begins at 12:30 PM.  My first class runs until 3PM – 3:15 pm with my second class beginning a 3:30 PM.  The second class ends around 6 PM – 6:15.  After wrapping up and maybe meeting again with students, I try to head home by no later than 7 PM.  On my way home I often stop by the White Castle to pick up a sack of ‘whiteys and an iced tea for the two-hour trip back home.
Class critique
In total, I have four classes, totaling around 70 students.  The students come in all sizes, shapes, talent levels and motivation levels; I see it as my challenge to reach each and everyone.  Some days your are a teacher, other days you are football coach, a preacher, a mother and a drill sergeant.  All in all, it can be a grind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am very proud of our graduates, of whom many are doing well.  I say that with the clear understanding that it is they that make us look good.

I got into illustration because I like to draw.  I got into education because I like to teach.
So far, so good.

A Muammar Gaddafi illustration by Doug Cowan

Here is a recent illustration Doug Cowan created for self-promotion. With the recent news of Gaddafi's death, we thought we would share this great portrait of the dictator who rule Libya with an iron fist for 40+ years.

October 21, 2011

First Annual MALEFICIUM Dark Art Exhibition - Opening Reception Oct 29

The first annual MALEFICIUM (try saying that ten times fast) will have it's opening reception on October 29th in Westmont, IL in the studio of special FX artist Anthony Kosart. The exhibit will feature all sorts of spooky, scary, and malefic artwork from artists including our very own, Jason Seiler.

For more information, go here: 


Yan Nascimbene's paintings included in Millon - Petits Papiers Auction

Three of Yan Nascimbene's paintings, including a recently completed illustration for Guideposts magazine, will included in the Millon - Petits Papiers auction on November 20, 2011.

For more information: http://www.petitspapiers.be/

For international bids: contact@petitspapiers.be,  011 33 6 25 49 64 05.

Public showings:

Brussels: November 11, 12.  11:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Galerie Petits Papiers, 1 place Fontainas, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
Paris: November 17, 18.  11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Salle VV, 3 rue Rossini, 75009 Paris, France.