~ Dedicated to my parents Howard and Louise
With a background in the Natural
Sciences Howard David Johnson uses traditional media including oils,
pastels & colored pencils and also embraces leading edge digital
media in the creation of his realistic depictions of fantasy, folklore,
mythology, legend, religion, and heroic history. He works in and mixes
a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings *
Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings *
Photography * 2D & 3D Digital Artistry* and Mixed Media including
any and all of the above*
of GALLERIES ~ LINKS to LARGER ART
additions include Angel Art, Women Warriors, Celtic Mythology
and Legends of Cú Chulainn!
Gallery Icons for Two-fisted Tales of VALOR &
Frontline Combat featuring Legendary Warriors of History,
Knights and ladies of Arthurian Legend, Celtic, Nordic, Asian
and Olympian mythology~ Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Science
Fiction, Portraits and more!
All these pieces of art and the
text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S.
Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David
Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or
non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply
contacting the author via e-mail or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm
On the World Wide Web
since 1996 ~
The Legends of History (below right)- Educational multi-media art
galleries exploring the Myths & Legends of the ancient world
& War & Civilization; The Outline of History through realistic
art, prose, & essay... An introduction to legendary Spartan
Warriors ( below left) and legendary women (below center)
Mystery, Babylon, the Great -The Deesse et chimere
Icon (below 2nd from left) Links to
a Symbolist art gallery featuring an astonishing disclosure about the
Beast (Chimera) from the
book of Revelation and more Apocalyptic Prophecies or Daniel in the lion's Den for our newly
updated Angel Art Gallery... and The Antiquities of the Hebrews Gallery ~
Featuring the Adventures of The Prophets...
on The World's Great
Religions (Kwan Yin icon below right)- An educational multi-media art gallery
embracing religious tolerance and
exploring the world's great religions and their impact on war and
realistic art, prose, and essay...
Women Warriors of World
History- "The Trung Sisters of Viet Nam" [above far left],
Warrior Women of World Mythology "Scáthach ~ Teacher of fighters"[center
left], Legendary Queens: "Zenobia,
Queen of Palmyra"and The World's Great Religions "Kwan Yin"
Click on the images above to see the galleries, [ ca.
2001 - 2023 All in Mixed Media [Oil Paints and Digital 2D &
Mythology; Greek & Roman Myths: Click on the images above for
portraits & introductions to the legendary gods
of Olympus, The Titans, The Greek Heroes, as well as realistic
illustrations of Homer's The Iliad & the Odyssey, Helen of Troy
& The Trojan Horse, Jason & the Argonauts & more.
MYTHOLOGY: "The life & Adventures of Cu Chulainn " , Click
the image above to see dozens
of illustrations from the Irish Epic "Tain bo
Culailnge" aka The Cattle Raid of Cooley ca. 2019 - 2023 All in Mixed Media
[ Oil Paints and Digital 2D &
SCIENCE FICTION and
FANTASY ART GALLERIES: Click on the images "Encounter on Enceladus, "Fairy Queen FAND
& the Sea Dragon" & "Strange Worlds" to see the collections ~
All created in Mixed Media [ Oil Paints & Digital 2D & 3D] ca.
of Contemporary HISTORY PAINTING ~ "The
Seige of the Alamo",
"President Abraham Lincoln" & "The Old Breed: 1st
Marines Assault on
Pelilieu Beach" 2016-2017 All in
Mixed Media including Oil Paints & Digital 2D & 3D
Who is American
Illustrator Howard David Johnson?
In one of David's
invitations to the
Florence Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition, (a partner in the United
Dialog among Nations), UN Secretary General Kofi Anon wrote him:
"Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace.
best, artists speak not only to people; they speak for them. Art is a
against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness... Art
doors for learning, understanding, and peace among nations."
Howard David Johnson is
a contemporary realistic artist and photographer with a background in
the natural sciences and history. David works in a wide variety
of mixed media ranging from oil on canvas to digital media. David's realistic illustrations
have made appearances in every major bookstore and game shop chain in
America as well as magazines and educational texts around the
Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the
University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in
England, The Australian Mint, The National Geographic Society,
Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, MGM Studios, Warner Brothers Home
Video, ABC/Disney, CBS TV, PBS TV, The History Channel, Enslow
Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX, Tree-Free Greeting,
Verizon wireless, Apple IPOD, Penguin, Doubleday (Now Random House),
Harlequin Top Historical Romances, and the History Book of the Month
Club, as well as appearing in periodical publications like Popular
Photography and the Wall Street Journal.
A Traditional style portrait
of the artist
. [Photo by his son Erich.]
After a lifetime of drawing and
Traditional Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996,
( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous
American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Working in a variety of
media David offers his customers a variety of options and more than
three decades of experience. As an illustrator he has not only used the
computer but has been involved in the development and marketing of
software for Adobe Photoshop. Digital art, Colored pencils, Pastels,
Mixed media, & also Oil Paintings can also be commissioned for
select projects.Digital illustration projects
start at $500.U.S. and group rates are available. David delivers custom
made copyright free illustrations & old fashioned customer service
when he does work-for-hire. To publish existing pieces of his
realistic art, David sells licenses starting at only $99.USD.
Scrolling Down for More on our Business and Retail Services
and Essays and Articles on Style & Technique
You can e-mail for more details at:
Your business, letters
and links are always welcome!
PAINTINGS ON CANVAS FOR SALE:
Dozens of Johnson's 38
x 28 Oil Paintings on linen canvas are currently available for sale.
Many digital works can also be rendered in oil on canvas. Each design
will only be rendered in oil once at this size and can be delivered
FEDEX or equivalent in as little as 60-90 days.
Every original comes with a signed
dated Certificate of Authenticity.
Write for current availability and
David can also do a completely new picture designed in
digital media (for more on this visit his digital media page) and when
we approve the photo-montage, he uses it as reference to render it in
oil on canvas. No surprises. Existing Artwork is shipped very
well protected and go out to you immediately
via Fed Ex or USPS Express mail upon receipt of payment at our expense.
All new creations cost a bit more depending on what is involved. All
new creations and rendering photo montages into art on paper are a LOT
of fun with e-mail attachments and digital cameras.
People have written asking me to tell
them how to tell my digital and
mixed media from my Prismacolors or oils. The very fact it is so hard
to tell is my point! This new media looks very presentable and costs
far less! ALL HALLOWS EVE was begun as a digital montage .This is your
guide: above far right is the digital composition... As you're browsing
my galleries and can't spot the difference I won't tell you... that
would spoil the fun! Is it worth tens of thousands to you to be old
Mixed Media including
| Prismacolors on
Oil Painting on Canvas
ALL HALLOWS EVE was rendered in oil on 20x16
canvas in 2010 (right) and features Titania
in this illustration from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. Even
when displayed at the same size the oil on canvas is clearly a superior
illustration to the 2006 Prismacolor Painting on paper. (left).
Considering many oil painters charge $60,000.00 USD and up these
$5,000.00 USD and up prices seem very low to me...
paintings are for sale, e-mail for info...
Art Gallery has been
honored by more than 40 million Unique Visitors
from the Four
Corners of the Earth
Friends from around the world thus far :
Iceland, Finland, Norway, Netherlands,
Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Sweden,
Scotland, Wales, Ireland,
Monaco, Andorra, Italy, The Vatican
Greece, Macedonia, Cyprus, Turkey, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria,
Lithuania, Poland, Austria, Romania,
Spain, The Russian Federation, Estonia,
Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Malta, Portugal,
Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Slovak Republic,
Beasts of Tarzan" ~ 2018
| Viet Nam,
Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia,
Israel, Palestinian Territories, Egypt,
Libya, Mali, Algeria, Niger, Saudi Arabia,
Oman, The United Arab Emirates,
Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Iraq,
Iran, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon,
Eritrea, Liberia, The Republic of
Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Angola,
Ghana, The Ivory Coast, Zambia, Zimbabwe,
Sudan, Nigeria, Namibia, Sudan,
Uganda, Kenya, Eritrea, Tanzania,
Botswana, Malawi, Senegal,
Jamaica, Dominica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Central African Republic,
The Faroe Islands, Greenland, Yugoslavia,
Macedonia, Croatia, The Czech Republic,
Bosnia, Herzegovina, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Lesotho, South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand,
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Macau,
Malaysia, Taiwan, Nuie, New Zealand,
Caledonia, Vanuatu, American Samoa,
Cook Islands, Australia,
Micronesia, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, The Heard
and McDonald Islands,
The Philippines, Guam, Palau, Cocos Island, Djibouti, Cameroon,
Chad, Gambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, The
Kingdom of Tonga,
Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, India,
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Chagos Islands, The Republic
Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Nepal,
Indonesia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay,
Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Aruba,
Venezuela, Bolivia, Suriname, Guyana, Aruba,
The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica,
Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and
Barbuda, Barbados, The Virgin Islands, Saint
Lucia, The Netherlands Antilles, Panama,
Northern Mariana Islands, Saint Vincent &
Grenadines, Grenada, Ecuador,
Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cayman
Islands, The Bahamas, Honduras,
San Marino, Saint Kitts & Nevis
Anguilla, Burkina Faso, Equatorial
Guinea, Polynesia, Madagascar,
and my home, The
Great Free State of
Idaho in the USA...
your home is not listed here please
e-mail and tell us where you're from...
checks, money orders & traveler's cheques of
all kinds. We will also gladly accept Swift international bank transfer
or for Credit and Debit card orders: You can use Western Union (1 877 984 0469) or you can send it by Swift bank
transfer. For Swift you'll need our bank codes, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We usually respond within 24
hours and you'll have your first three lessons the very next day. Be Sure and send your regular AND E-mail
addresses with your tuition payments! Use
your credit card with Paypal!
Send Payment to:
SPEEDY SERVICE! As a courtesy customers
receive their first 3 lessons the same day we receive payment by
The complete 15 lesson course
on CD-ROM disks go out in the mail out the next day! *
Essays and articles on Realistic Art
and Art philosophy yesterday and today.
Also: Information about
Original Art, books and Posters for Sale as well as Art Instruction
Art, & Art Philosophy
Howard David Johnson
is an outspoken proponent of mechanical aids to visual art. His mission is to
our vanishing cultural heritage, not to prove his talent.After
a lifetime of working in traditional drawing and painting media like
Oil painting, Pastels, Graphite, Charcoals, Inks and Colored pencils,
he expanded to
2D and 3D digital media and now creates images combining all these.
Queen of the Olympians" MMXII Mixed Media
Drawing upon more than fifty years of experience, he rarely uses
only one medium any more and every picture has a different
combination or recipe so he simply calls it all Mixed media.
you know the Greek word "Photography" means "Painting
with Light"? Today with the advent of computers it truly lives
up to it's name.
to developments in Art and Technology, a broader definition of
painting is needed than that which is found in common usage.
Oracle of Delphi" MMXIX Mixed Media
Introducing an exciting merger of traditional visual art and cutting edge technology... a new
art form for the twenty- first century... Art Numerica is not limited to realistic art but
also offers limitless horizons for everything from cartoons to abstractions.
It is the most dramatic
development in the visual arts since the Renaissance.
Art and Technology: From the
Camera to the Computer
overview of the shifting cultural attitudes toward Realistic Art in the
last 150 years
by Howard David Johnson
The first decade of the
21st Century has seen a grass-roots counter-revolution in
the art world which has overthrown the stranglehold elitist proponents
of Abstract expressionism gained on academia, the media and the art
world at large in the early 20th Century.
Realistic Art was declared obsolete and irrelevant at the
beginning of the 20th Century due to the easy chronicling of
persons, places, and events by the Camera - in spite of this new
technology empowering the greatest era in Realistic Art history. The
“Modern Day Artist” refused to die and began to explore realms of the
heart and mind the camera could not record. The proponents of Abstract
Expressionism gained control of elite art collector’s markets followed
by academic institutions and the media leading to the abandonment of
centuries of classical teaching methods and traditions in our
universities. Even the best realistic art was later denounced and
ridiculed as the dismissive and often even hostile Art establishment
created elitist scorn for Realistic Art in general. This created a
disconnect with the general population who could not relate to the
tenets of Abstract Expressionism. The advent of the internet broke the
absolute domination of the opinions of the Abstract School on media and
academia and opened the floodgates of artistic expression and free
opinions. Free at last from institutionalized condemnation, more and
more artists began to choose realistic treatments and a tidal wave of
fabulous new realistic art has been created in every conceivable visual
art media for museums, galleries, books, movies, and video games.
the camera became commercially available in the early 19th
Century it became clear that the visual artist was no longer an
indispensable member of society. Just about anyone could point and
shoot this device at persons, places, and things and get very fast and
very realistic results. Resentment from thousands of years of artists’
social and political influence fueled the notion that visual artists
should be declared obsolete. The adoption of the camera as an artist’s
tool and the advent of an era of glorious and unprecedented realism in
painting did not stop the movement to crush the political and social
influence of the artist.
realistic artists like Pablo Picasso and others like Vincent Van
Gogh courageously answered this challenge by exploring concepts that
could not be photographed with brilliant and visionary works. It was
from these honest and ingenious notions that the schools and
sub-schools of Abstract Art developed. The freshness and innovation of
this movement took the art world and academia by storm. The excitement
of defining the tenets and the delight of bewildering the masses gave
rise to an elite class of critics who could control the lucrative art
collector’s market with obfuscation and intellectual snobbery.
wealthy art collector’s market gave credence to Abstract
Expressionism’s “high art” status and the advice of well placed critics
became extremely valuable and they formed an alliance with like-minded
academics. As time passed, this trendy movement whose concepts were so
hard to argue with gained control of the establishment and elitism took
root. It was not long before traditional painting methods were not
taught in universities any more as realistic art was no longer
considered “Real Art” and tenets like; “Art must be ugly”, Art must be
new” Art must be obscure”, and “The best Art is offensive” took hold in
schools and printed media.
Not satisfied with control over
the most lucrative galleries, collector’s markets and academia, these
elitists moved from dismissive to openly hostile attitudes toward those
who still loved and created realistic art. The merciless and unprovoked
rebukes of great realistic artists like Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and
so many others are well documented in 20th century
histories. That’s not “Real Art” and why do you waste your talent on
“Mere Illustration” were some of the nicer comments. Illustrators in
the 20th century wore these rebukes like badges of honor,
like black eyes gained from standing up to schoolyard bullies, knowing
in their hearts what they were doing was worthwhile and the narrow
minded views of their critics were not the only valid opinions. By the
end of the 20th century, the long apprenticeship tradition
was broken and classical realistic art methods were lost forever. The
Shock Art movement in the 1990’s carried the tenets to new extremes as
“ART” became a dirty word. U.S. Government Endowments for the Arts were
discontinued. Abstract Art had become the norm with its obfuscated
themes and was then itself considered irrelevant and academically
worthless. Art programs were then removed from countless public school
curriculums to make time for standardized test preparation. There is no
way that mandating more math, requiring more reading, or scheduling
more science will replace what we have lost as a
the turn of the 21st Century the Abstract Expressionists
had been in control for generations with a thought control blockade in
books, newspapers, radio, television and schools. Anyone who disagreed
with them was told they were too stupid to understand “Real Art” and
theirs was the only voice to be heard. What had begun so beautifully
and sincerely was hijacked and violated until it became a byword for
vulgarity. Then came the internet and the realistic artists, long
silenced began to express their views. It was like the boy who cried: “The
Emperor has no clothes!” This revelation spread like wildfire
through the cultural consciousness. Suddenly, it was no
longer a disgrace to hold something other than those narrow views.
Galleries on the internet showcased generations of repressed artists
realistic works in a tidal wave art history calls: “the Realistic
Revolt”. Of course, Abstract Art still flourishes today especially on
college campuses, but the narrow views of its most fanatical proponents
are no longer cruelly dominant.
Realistic Revolt has brought the return of respectability to
illustration and realistic landscape and portraiture. When I see the
works of today’s vast multitude of realistic artists coming from a
thousand different directions at once, tears come to my eyes, for I
have worn the title “illustrator” as a badge of honor for decades and
am deeply moved to have lived to see new developments in art and
technology drive the visual arts to levels of quality beyond my wildest
dreams. I predict 3D and digital media will grow more and more
realistic until photos seem noticeably inferior. The internet has not
only opened the floodgates for artistic expression, but employment and
untold artists are earning a living shattering the “Starving Artist”
stereotype so engrained in our cultural consciousness. The beginning of
the 20th century saw technology threatening the survival of
the professional artist and the end of it saw the unbridled tenets of
Abstract Expressionism like “Art must be offensive” threatening the
very existence of art as a part of our culture, the modern day artist
has once again refused to die and has embraced technology to create a
rebirth of realism that Art critics, collectors, academics and everyday
folk can all embrace and celebrate in ways I once feared had been lost
to us forever.
Howard David Johnson (2012)
practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without
rudder or compass
and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always
be based upon a
sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and
gateway, and without it
nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."
|Howard David Johnson is a contemporary
realistic visual artist and photographer with a background in
|the natural sciences and history. He
works in a wide variety of realistic art media ranging from traditional
|oils, pastels and others to
cutting edge digital media. He loves mixing media. This site features
|examples of his Realistic Art,
including illustration, photography, experimentalism, and fine art
Prismacolor pencils are not at all what people think of
when they hear the word 'drawing'
Pencil Art- rendered in Prismacolor and Spectracolor colored
pencils with Ebony pencil lowlights on Windsor & Newton Cotman 140
lb. Water Color Paper . Background heightened with Rembrandt Soft
pastels. Even with nothing but pencil & paper the use of original
photography as a source makes this mixed media.
The various galleries
linked to by the icons above show many examples of David's
Realistic Art, and are grouped by theme rather than media. There are
also sample illustrations from his books on Fairy Art and
Mythology. Since boyhood David has studied and copied the old
To create his art works David begins with a concept followed by a
realistic sketch, researching and traveling to find scenes and
locations. Photography comes next. Working in his Analog Photography
Studio with live models he follows up with a digitally assembled photo
montage in the computer, combining original and old realistic elements
to create a new work.
Using a strategy employed by J. W.
Waterhouse, the realistic artist David imitates most - his wistful and
graceful models cannot be underestimated in their contribution to the
stunning beauty and the potential for lasting appeal of his work.
and training the right models is the hard part, then Photography,
Mathematical Design and Digital Composition all come before the image
is transferred to paper or canvas and rendered in mixed media (
including prismacolor pencils, oils, acrylics, and or many other
traditional art media).
As a boy David dedicated his life to art in 1960. From 1965- 1999 he
used xeroxes and tracings to make his preliminary montages. This is
patterned after the manner used by Maxfield Parrish and other
19th century notables.
Beginning with a tracing, David then draws or
paints from these complex original Computer Photo Montages.
Many of these are on display on this web and slated for future
completion in a variety of traditional realistic art media.
has built up an enormous library of original source photos to use in
his realistic art. For decades David has sought out the most
beautiful models and brought them in for sessions in his analog
photography studio. Working in a realistic style inspired by classic
illustrators David is deeply rooted and grounded in the Greco-Roman
artistic tradition, Feeling that especially with realistic art -
that the human form is the ultimate arena for artistic expression.
favorite medium for traditional realistic art is colored pencil because
of the high speed and low expense, and people began expressing
difficulty in telling his colored pencil drawing from photographs in
the early 1980's to which he said: "There is NO GREATER COMPLIMENT to
the photo-realist than disbelief." In the last 35 plus years
David has also mastered Oils, Pastels, Acrylics, Watercolors, Inks,
Scratchboard, Gouache, Photography, and most recently, even the highly
controversial digital media.
As a commercial illustrator David has
not only used the computer to create realistic art but has been
involved in the development and marketing of computer imaging software
for Adobe Photoshop.
Pandora's box : First a sketch, then a photo, then a collage,
then a Prismacolor Painting, Then finally rendered as an oil painting.
(above) Painting dozens of layers of Transparent glazes of Oil on
lifelong dream to become a master artist came true when his Traditional
Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London England in
1996. His mixed media has also been displayed in numerous other
ones since such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having achieved
international acclaim as a traditional realistic visual artist Howard
David Johnson first experimented with combining traditional and digital
media in 1999. Because of his passion for realistic art, photography,
and art tradition, David elected to embrace it and joyfully be a part
of this era in the visual arts as a 21st century realistic artist. Computers have not diminished David's passion
for working in traditional art media. He still loves to draw portraits
from his own photographs as well as using them to create realistic
story-telling illustrations in various media.
"Art tradition and etiquette suggest
the artists who have been most influential should be mentioned at
exhibits; these original new pieces shown in this exhibit take their
inspiration in part from the paintings of Waterhouse, Alma-Tadema,
Church, Godward, Moreau, Bouguereau, Leighton, Ingres, Moore, Parrish,
Rackham and others. Most of my sources are changed so much they are
impossible to detect, but sometimes I make it obvious to pay homage.
Where would Walt Disney be without the Brothers Grimm, Hans
Christian Anderson, Victor Hugo and so many others? Where would Aaron
Copeland have been without American folk music? Thomas Nast's Santa
Claus without traditional images of Father Christmas? Picasso without
African art? These are artists who made names and fortunes
through Public Domain appropriation, one and all. Beethoven did
"variations on a theme" with the works of Mozart for the same reasons I
have done mine with Waterhouse and others- to learn and give homage to
the artists who most inspired me. " ~ HDJ
This site features realistic paintings & pictures including oil paintings and lots of other exciting
realistic art media such as colored pencil drawings, pastel paintings,
acrylic paintings, gouache paintings, water color paintings, and pencil
drawings, and also featuring studio, field, & aerial
photography, digital painting and photo-montage and all these
media mixed in an assortment of experimental combinations.
Working in a wide variety of media to create his realistic art David
offers his customers a host of payment and product options. He delivers
these custom made copyright free realistic illustrations and old
fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire.
Realistic Art has appeared in every major bookstore chain and fantasy
gaming shop in The United States and has been used in educational texts
and magazines all over the world.
Lost Worlds of Fantasy and Science Fiction ~ A n
Exhibition of illustrations in the tradition of H. Ryder Haggard,
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P.
Lovecraft and others
Since 1974 when David began his art career doing dinosaur
reconstructions and artifact records as a scientific illustrator for
the University of Texas David has earned his living in a variety of
ways including illustrating all kinds of books, magazines, CD covers,
and all sorts of games, greeting cards, calendars, portraits, murals
and the like with his contemporary realistic art...
David Johnson, or David as he is called, accepts select commissions to
paint custom oil paintings with down payments starting at only one
thousand dollars. Other media, like colored pencils or digital are of
course far less expensive.
He grants permission to use his 72 dpi
images for most educational purposes simply for asking courteously.
Visit his Permission page for
complete info. To use his existing realistic art commercially, David
offers licenses for publishing starting as low as only $99. USD
love hearing from you! Use the e-mail link to contact him...
Opinion Essays on Realistic Art yesterday and today by the artist.
education has been almost completely removed from American Schools.
Today, most American college graduates cannot name even one living
artist. There is no way that mandating more math,
requiring more reading, or scheduling more science will replace what we
have lost as a culture.
art, the action of laying colour on a surface, or the representation of
objects by this means. Considered one of the fine arts"
"Painting. noun. 1.) The act or employment of laying on colors or
paints. 2.) The art of forming figures or objects in colors on canvas
or any other surface, or the art of representing to the eye by means of
figures and colors any object; the work of an illustrator or painter.
3.) A picture; a likeness or resemblance in shape or colors. 4.) Colors
laid on. 5.) Delineation that raises a vivid image in the mind; as in
Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language
One: On Realistic Art:
What is YOUR
definition of ART?
MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME...
Brief essay dealing with attitudes toward Realistic Art and prior
developments in technology in history)
Snobbism in the arts is nothing new. Some
people will tell you that oils are the only valid medium for realistic
paintings. That Colored Pencil, Digital, and other Realistic Painting
and Drawing Media are not valid for "real" art. Young artists,
Don't let them bother you. Their forerunners used to condemn Pastels
before they gained acceptance and called them "crayons" when Johann
Alexander Thiele (1685-1752) invented them. Mercilessly
disrespectful art critics of the time could not stop the
Experimentalists no matter how viciously they attacked and derided
them. "Crayon-painting" as it was called in England was practiced early
on by persecuted pioneers in Switzerland and many other nations. What a
debt we owe to these master artists who refused to knuckle under to the
pressure of those short-sighted critics during those historic and
experimental times. It took until 1870 with the founding of the
"Societe` Des Pastellistes" in France that respect came at last
to these heroic & immortal visual artists.
In England the liberation
of the Pastellists from slight regard and undeserved disrespect came
with the first exhibition of "The Pastel Society" at the Grosvenor
Gallery in 1880. Pastel Painters like Mary Cassat and others
from America and other nations forever silenced the snobs with
their masterworks and gained recognition at long last for Thiele's
invention as a valid art medium. I am persuaded that history will
repeat itself. Like Pastels, I believe these wonderful new
colored pencils and even Digital Realistic Art Media will one day
receive the recognition they deserve as powerful mediums of artistic
expression just as pastel paintings did. What is your definition of
art? Have you thought about it?
"anything that makes you feel or
dancing... it can be a little skip in the step or rise to the level of
the incomparable Russian Ballet. Did you know that just the materials
alone for a single oil painting cost up to a thousand dollars these
days? Even paying the artist less than minimum wage no one but the
super rich can afford them anymore.
STYLES and MEDIUMS
Pastels, Acrylics, and Colored Pencils combined while the detail
reveals Realistic art and Abstract art styles harmoniously combined in
the same picture.
Something's got to give. Realistic paintings in oil have been highly
prized for centuries and the appeal and following of realistic art is
undiminished to this day. Oil paintings featuring Abstract Art and
Realistic Art are generally the most treasured form of all the visual
art media and with good reason. But snobbish art critics favoring
abstract art have declared that realistic paintings, or
illustrations are not art for a century.
With so many representationalist paintings by so many immortal
master artists hanging in the Louvre, the Hermitage, and the British
Museum and others I think the disrespect for realistic illustrators
that dominated the 20th century is academically ridiculous as well as
vain and intolerant, insisting theirs is the only valid
opinion. What is your definition of Art? I believe almost any
form of human expression can be raised to the level of "high art"
especially visual art and Realistic illustration...
my own definition of art, which is: "anything that makes you feel or
think" most abstract paintings are not "real art" to me personally,
because abstract paintings usually neither make me feel or think,
usually focusing obsessively on technique and avoiding any coherent
content. I usually draw a complete blank mentally and emotionally when
I look at them. In 1979 the Houston Metropolitan Museum of Art
displayed a triptych of 3 giant paintings they paid fifty
thousand dollars for- three blank white canvasses entitled
"untitled". Then there was "The incredible new artistic Genius" with an
I.Q. of 62 ...Congo the chimpanzee with his gala New York art
exhibition...an elaborate prank played on the Snobbish American Art
critics about a generation ago by research scientists in the field of
primatology. Imagine how upset they were when he created one of his
"ingenious masterpieces" right before their eyes. ( My Source
for this is the Time Life Science Library volume entitled "The
education has been almost completely removed from American Schools as a
result of generations of this kind of fabulous nonsense
contributing to America's cultural illiteracy crisis. Now, the works of
Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and other notables are being removed
from school libraries. After generations of this, most American
college graduates today cannot name even one living visual artist,
abstract or realistic.
There is no
way that mandating more math, requiring more reading, or scheduling
more science will replace what we have lost as a culture.
What is your
definition of Art? ~.H.D.J.
Note: Abstract Paintings by
Congo the Chimpanzee outsold Warhol and Renoir by over 25,000 dollars
in June 2005 at a London art auction. Born in 1954, Congo created more
than 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of two and four. He
died in 1964 of tuberculosis.
Art : The Rebirth of Realism in the 21st Century
thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today
has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérica, or digital
art media in the 21st century. Artists never stop exploring with
mediums. Artists have
been developing techniques, experimenting with different tools since at
least twenty- five
thousand years ago, when the first artist picked up a charred stick and
picture out on the wall of his cave. You'd think everything would have
been tried by now,
but it hasn't. Exploring new mediums this very day is just as exciting,
just as full of
freshness and newness as it ever was.
The creation of Realistic art has been the goal of most artists since
the dawn of civilization. Realistic art was the pride of ancient
Greece. The world's greatest museums are full of realistic art.
Realistic art WAS art until the advent of the abstract expressionist
movement in the twentieth century. The coming of the camera in the
nineteenth century changed realistic art forever. Suddenly, realistic
art was not the only way to create realism in portraits and historical
records. The work of the realistic artist was suddenly made into an
expensive luxury. The political power of the realistic artist was
broken and they were no longer an indispensable member of
society. Hostility to the creators of realistic art goes back to
ancient times and the jealousy of advisers to the Pharaohs and others
who were not able to spend as much time with their rulers as their
portraitists. Although with the aid of photographs, realistic art
achieved levels of excellence undreamed of, the realistic art movement
of the late nineteenth century was short.
None of these
people earning their living creating realistic art could compete with
the speed and low cost of photographic portraiture. Determined to
survive, great realistic artists like Pablo Picasso ingeniously turned
inward and began to explore things that could not be photographed in a
new school of art, abstract expressionism.
The day of the fine art superstars had arrived. It was now largely just
a hobby to abstract and realistic artists alike. Illustration, because
of advances in printing technology enabled an elite few to earn a
living with their realistic art. These illustrators working in
realistic art media were condemned and ridiculed in much the same
way Europe's great symphonic composers were condemned for working in
motion pictures after fleeing the nazis during World War Two. The rift
between realistic and abstract art grew wider and wider. The
universities and key media usually sided with the abstract camp and
derided anyone working in any realistic art media declaring boldly that
realistic art was not "real" art. Immortal giants of realistic art such
as Maxfield Parrish were mistreated their entire lives. They were
accused of selling out for creating beautiful pieces of realistic fine
art to earn a living. The attitude that the true artist must suffer and
starve and die in poverty became a rule. There were the Abstract art
superstars, the professional realistic illustrators, and the hobbyists
who, although cut off from gainful employment and social influence
still recognized their artistic gifts as a calling rather than a
Early abstract art masters proved themselves as
realistic artists before delving into realms of the intangible. They
had to do this at that time to prove themselves because of the
challenges they faced from the establishment for going against
the status quo. In the latter part of the 20th century, realistic
artists like David were challenged to do abstract art to prove
themselves as shown in the example above (Deirdre of the sorrows).
Later realistic art training was abandoned in most schools and things
like splattering paint in fits of rage were deemed more than
enough. By the end of the 20th century something as destructive and
ridiculous as nailing a pack of cigarettes to a shoe was considered
fine art but not realistic paintings. Fashions in art have often been
as silly as fashions in ladies hats. As the century drew to a
close, many people had had enough. The realistic revolt was at hand.
The rebirth of realism was fueled by the advent of the digital era.
Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, an artist or
illustrator could earn a decent living again with his realistic art.
This is historic. Realistic art is not going to go away, especially now
that photography has truly merged with traditional realistic visual
art. Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "painting with
light". Now with the advent of digital media the capability of
realistic art has become almost limitless, truly, "painting with
light". The merger of all the world's art forms to realize the
potential of motion pictures has come now to still realistic art media.
This website for example, combines music, prose, poetry, photography
and traditional realistic art media to create an experience beyond
merely looking at realistic paintings.
twenty- first century is already seeing a new renaissance in the arts
because of the world wide web. There has never been anything like it.
Abstract art, computer art, photographic art, and realistic art are
continuing to be separate schools of art but are also blending to
create exciting new horizons (Art Numérica). Although Digital art does
offer completely new horizons to the artist in the 21st century it does
not mean the end of our time honored art traditions. Instead, it offers
additional ways to keep these traditions and schools of thought
fresh and alive.
~ Howard David Johnson MMII
Cycle" Now on sale from Oxford University Press...
you! Your business, letters & links are
Mythic Art creations take their inspiration from the realistic
paintings of the old masters just as the film West Side Story came from
Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, who in turn copied it from Pyramus
and Thisbe, from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Our shared cultural heritage,
great works of art, literature, music and drama, cinema, folk tales and
fairy tales are all drawn upon again and again by the creators of new
works. These works in the public domain are both a catalyst and a
wellspring for creativity and innovation. Where would Walt Disney be
without the Brothers Grimm Hans Christian Anderson, or Victor
Hugo? Where would Aaron Copeland have been without American folk
music? Or Thomas Nast's Santa Claus without traditional images of
Father Christmas? Pablo Picasso without aboriginal African art? Public
domain appropriators, one and all. When America was formed, copyright
law was created to promote the public creativity and had 14 year terms
to reward the creators, but now with 100 plus year terms very little is
currently allowed to enter into the public domain and its preservation
is of the utmost urgency to our future cultural well-being. In
keeping with art tradition and etiquette following the exhibit , I
mention some of the artists and writers that have influenced me the
most; William Bouguereau, John William Waterhouse, Ivan Ivanovich
Shishkin, Edmund Blair Leighton, Howard Pyle, Arthur
Rackham, Arthur Hughes, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Viktor Vasnetsov,
Jean Auguste Ingres, Anthony Van Dyke, Lawrence
Alma-Tadema, Wallace Wood, Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta, Ray
Harryhausen, H.G. Wells, Gustave Moreau, William Morris, Henry David
Thoreau, Will Durant, The Pre- Raphaelites, The Symbolists, et al.
these pieces of
art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered
with the U.S.
Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David
Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many legal
uses is freely available by simply contacting the author or visiting
Music by Peter
Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( 1840-
1893) - "Swan Lake"
for Visiting the
Realistic Art Galleries of Howard David Johnson...