Spectrum 19

I received my copy of Spectrum 19 a few weeks ago. This is the most eagerly anticipated annual collection that I look forward to receiving each year. I rely on this volume to keep me hip and aware about the fantastic art genre.

It’s taken me a while to plug the book since, the better the art, the longer it takes for me to peruse. I like to take a leisurely stroll by viewing around 30-40 pages a day. This lets me truly absorb and enjoy each work. It would be a disservice to me and the artists to flip through the pages quickly. This book defines the pleasure of observation.

I’m constantly amazed at the number of artists who do excellent work that are unknown to me. I get a thrill out of seeing fresh faces (to me, at least) and broadening my awareness of what is going on in the field of fantastic art. I realize that some of these individuals are young artists just beginning to gain exposure, while others are mature players who have been in the industry for decades. Regardless, these showcased works represent the best art from those submitted to Spectrum, who were selected by an esteemed panel of five judges. I feel Spectrum documents the current trends of the year not just to enjoy today, but also to serve as a historical preservation of the year for the future.

As I focus on my praise for the interiors, I’m going to jump into the first section highlighting the Advertising selections. This chapter is modest in page count, yet took me a considerable amount of time to peruse. There’s Tyler Jacobson, Android Jones, Frank Cho, Matt Smith, Lucas Graciano and Victo Ngai who all impressed me. I was unfamiliar with each, except Android and Cho.

The Book, Comics, Concept Art, Dimensional, Editorial and Institutional sections all rock, too. Jumping to the Unpublished category, there are amazing pieces by Sho Murase, Justin Henrnadez, Jim Mahfood, Shelly Wan (we need more Shelly paintings!), Bill Carman, Kei Acedera, Eric Fortune, Charles Vess, and many, many more superb artists represented.

Spectrum 19 is a hefty 304-page gallery packed with examples from dozens of the best artists in the field. I’m especially enjoying seeing how digital art tools are being used to create increasingly exciting images. Spectrum 19 is available everywhere and easy to find. Go check it out!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. All rights reserved.

Link:
Spectrum Fantastic Art website

Spectrum 18!

One of my favorite art publications, Spectrum 18, came out earlier this month. This is the first volume to break the 300 page count. It’s big, yet still lean, without any unwanted fat. All of the pieces within are strong representations of the artists and field. There are lots of familiar faces and better yet, many are unfamiliar to me. Spectrum continues its mission of collecting the best in contemporary fantastic art for the year. A big thank you goes out to editors Arnie and Cathy Fenner for what is a massive undertaking each year to make Spectrum happen.

I am pleased to see that the two pieces I submitted on behalf of Mark Schultz and Jim Silke were both selected by the judges and included. The Schultz piece is his cover artwork used on our Xenozoic book collection and the Silke art is for his Jungle Girls book cover. I also enjoyed seeing pieces by William Stout, Petar Meseldzija and Bill Carman make it in. Stout’s “Pumpkin Brains” painting from his Zombies calendar was selected for the back cover of the paperback edition.

Each section is a joy to peruse. I find the unpublished section to be especially exceptional. It’s filled with gems. I’m guessing some of the pieces in this area are rejections from clients that may not otherwise have the opportunity to see the light of day. Or they may be personal works, but it doesn’t matter what they were intended for, I’m just glad to see them in a collection. Check out the Kinuko Craft art on page 283, wow! Other personal favorites include Dave McKean (page 261), Shelly Wan (page 297) and Donato Giancola (page 278).

Spectrum is available just about everywhere books are sold.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
Spectrum Fantastic Art website

James Bama Sketchbook Review in April 2011 SouthwestArt Magazine!

The April 2011 issue of SouthwestArt magazine features a book review of our James Bama Sketchbook: A Seventy Year Journey, Traveling From the Far East to the Old West. Unfortunately there are a couple of inaccuracies I would like to correct. First of all, our phone number (408-206-2346) and website (www.fleskpublications.com) are both listed incorrectly and point to another publisher.

The second part of the review that is incorrect is the following statement. “For most of his professional life, James Bama has been an illustrator; he didn’t become a painter until his 60s.” This is completely false. I called Bama to confirm his age that he went into fine art, which is 42. His career in fine art was twice as long as his career in illustration. He’s also been painting since his teens.

I always appreciate when people run book reviews. It is too bad though when mistakes happen, since they can and will become fact to someone who may take this wrong information and use it in a future article someday.

Still, SouthwestArt is a good magazine and worth checking out.

Enjoy,

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Links:
SouthwestArt Magazine
James Bama Sketchbook book details
James Bama:American Realist book details

The New Issue of Tripwire Magazine Is Here! Free Digital Download!

The new April 2011 issue of Tripwire is available for a free download at the magazines website! This issue features a look at the upcoming Thor movie, the history of 2000AD, and more articles covering comics, film, TV and more. It’s a terrific magazine well-worth reading and it won’t cost you anything! We also have a full page Flesk ad on the last page.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Links:
Tripwire Magazine website
Direct link to April 2011 digital version (45MB PDF download)

Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator’s Illustrator! New Book From Auad Publishing!

The new book Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator’s Illustrator is now available from Auad Publishing. This handsome hard cover book with jacket is 182-pages with a gatefold. The 9 x 12” size allows for generous space to show off the over 250 images contained within the book. Don’t be fooled by the modest description on the Auad website stating over 100 illustrations being in the book. There are more than twice that number.

The sophisticated design combines the text, captions and art into a breathtaking portfolio of this influential and important illustrator. The fact that the design is so well hidden, allowing the art to stand out and control the eye in smooth transitions, is a testament to the editorial direction of Manuel Auad and designer Mark Cox. I’ve long been an admirer of this team on Auad’s books and Mark’s design work for other publishers.

The book includes a well-written retrospective of Fawcett’s career by David Apatoff. The introduction is by Walt Reed who offers insight into Fawcett. (Reed had worked with Fawcett at the Famous Artists Correspondence Schools.) In addition, a rare interview with Fawcett and an essay titled “Art and Common Sense” written by Fawcett is included. Another bonus is the dozen high-quality photographs of Fawcett and his studio that Auad was able to acquire from the Society of Illustrators.

Chapters cover his work done for The Saturday Evening Post, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Collier’s Magazine, This Week Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, advertising illustrations and much more.

Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator’s Illustrator can be purchased direct from the Auad Publishing website. The book runs only $34.95.

For more details and book reviews visit the links below.

Enjoy,

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
Auad Publishing
Mark Cox Creative
Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator’s Illustrator book review on Lines and Colors
David Apatoff’s Illustration Art Blog
Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator’s Illustrator book review on Today’s Inspiration

Al Williamson Archives Volume One Book Review in March 2011 Issue of Heavy Metal!

The March 2011 issue of Heavy Metal magazine features a two-page article on Al Williamson, along with a book review on Al Williamson Archives Volume One. S.C. Ringgenberg writes in his Dossier column, “I’ve been collecting and perusing art books for more than four decades and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything like this caliber of reproduction being applied to Williamson’s exquisitely detailed line work.”

Thanks to Steve for the high praise!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
Heavy Metal Magazine
Al Williamson Archives Volume One

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney Book Review!

With the holidays behind us, this is an excellent time to focus on a good book for yourself. I recommend James Gurney’s new book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.

Within this book Gurney explores how our visual perceptions perceive color and light given various situations, and how to master these combinations to elicit the proper mood and atmosphere into a work of art. Along with his previous book, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist, Color and Light is broken down into a coherent structure with succinct dialog and numerous examples to illustrate each topic.

Chapters within examine sources of light, light and form, elements of color, paint and pigments, color relationships, visual perception and much more.

I found myself intrigued by the examples of light and color and how they change and morph depending on the surrounding colors. I learned that many of the examples covered are things I took for granted before. I never fully realizing how correlations between the sky, ground, and surrounding structures, both man made and natural, play important roles in the way colors are emitted. I had ideas of how color worked before, but with this book’s articulate reasons, it proved I had much to learn.

I read one or two topics within the book an evening over the last month to allow my brain to fully absorb each. I find this book fascinating. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an artist, but I am passionate about photography, as well as being an art book publisher. I find art books help me a great deal in improving my photography, as well as producing better art books. Besides these two, I’ve long taken a great interest into the various approaches of creative people. My point being, you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from this book.

Outside of all the beautiful art within Color and Light, you will get a better understanding of how smart Gurney works to achieve a finished painting, making him the exceptional painter that he is.

Color and Light is a 224-page softcover book with over 300 illustrations in full-color running $24.99. You can get signed copies direct from James Gurney’s website here. You can also read Gurney’s daily blog here.

Enjoy,

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Bill Baker Writes the New Icons Jim Lee Art Book From Titan Books!

It is with great pleasure that I share the news of the release of Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm art of Jim Lee from Titan Books. My pal Bill Baker wrote the text and captions for the book. This is a beautiful collection spanning from Lee’s work on Gen 13, Divine Right and Wildcats, then up to his drawing Batman and Superman, and much more. Plus many sketches and pencil work is included. I’ve been collecting Jim Lee’s work since he first started on Alpha Flight. It’s nice to see a massive tome dedicated to a stalwart figure in the field of comics. The book design is outstanding, too.

I’m especially delighted to see the samples both penciled and inked by Jim Lee (as most of his published work is inked by others). There’s a raw quality to these pieces he finishes himself with a great sensibility of spotting blacks.

You’ll want to get the Diamond Exclusive edition at your local comic store with the alternate pencil cover and bonus 16-pages of art. It’s a 296-page hardcover at 9 x 12” for $49.95.

I would like to congratulate Bill Baker on his herculean efforts of writing captions for over 400 images! You can visit Bill’s “Bill Baker Presents” website to read many quality interviews in the Baker’s Dozen area. You may recall form a recent blog of mine that he interviewed Petar Meseldžija on our book The Legend of Steel Bashaw. There’s also interviews on Mark Wheatley, Alex Sheikman, and more.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Illustration Magazine Number Thirty-One!

The new issue of Illustration Magazine, #31, is now available. It features articles and art on J. Frederick Smith, Clark Hullings and John Fleming Gould. These features include commentary by each artist from private journals and rare interviews. I especially enjoyed the piece on J. Frederick Smith. His transition from an illustrator to a photographer provides a unique look into how an artist switches his career based on industry changes.

The magazine is 96-pages, with a cover price of $15.00. You can view sample pages and order it direct from publisher, Dan Zimmer, at the Illustration Magazine website here.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

New H.J. Ward Book From The Illustrated Press!

The Illustrated Press publisher, Dan Zimmer, sent me a copy of his recent publication, H.J. Ward by David Saunders. A clean elegant design showcases a massive selection of over 500 illustrations. As is the case with all of Zimmer’s collections (Norman Saunders by David Saunders, and Reynold Brown: A Life in Pictures by Zimmer and David J. Hornung, plus Illustration Magazine) the book is printed with excellent reproduction on thick paper stock in a handsome hardcover with jacket. The book is 272 pages, 9” x 12” on full-color premium glossy stock for only $39.95.

There’s also a Deluxe Edition in slipcase, limited to 100 copies. This version comes signed by David Saunders and also contains a DVD slideshow presenting additional artwork and photographic content not found in the book. This is only $100.00.

For full details, book previews and ordering details, you can visit the Illustrated Press website here.

Enjoy,

John

John Flesk
Flesk Publications

Sanjulian, Donato Giancola and Spectrum 17! New Books Coming This Fall 2010 From Arnie and Cathy Fenner!

There are three new books coming from Arnie and Cathy Fenner this fall. Each title is published by Underwood Books. Each can be ordered through Bud’s Art Books.

Sword’s Edge: Paintings Inspired by the Works of Robert E. Howard is out now. This 48-page hardcover collects over 35 images created by Sanjulian. The illustrations are accompanied by the Howard text they were inspired by. A biography on Robert E. Howard and Sanjulian is included. The book is edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner, and Manuel Auad. There is plenty of good reading and artwork at a terrific price of only $19.95. The partial book description reads:

Countless artists have painted Robert E. Howard’s characters through the years, but none have done so more brilliantly than legendary Spanish painter Manuel Pérez Clemente Sanjulián. With the impact of a battle axe, Sword’s Edge collects an action-filled brace of paintings that brings Howard’s classic stories to vivid life for a new generation of enthusiasts.

Middle-Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth by Donato Giancola. Anybody else excited about a book finally collecting the paintings of Donato? It’s about time! The book is an 88-page $24.95 hardcover collection with a J.R.R. Tolkien theme. The book is scheduled for October and a description follows:

From the brush of Donato Giancola, one of the world’s most recognized and lauded fantasy artists, comes a book filled with new illustrations that apply his legendary Renaissance craftsmanship to J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantastic Middle-Earth. Dramatic lighting and deft draftsmanship reminiscent of master painters like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer explain Donato’s popularity with millions of fans, as well as the numerous Hugo and Chesley Awards he has received.

Spectrum 17: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art is the yearly worldwide book event celebrating the best fantastic artists working today. Categories feature artwork in advertising, books, comics, institutional, film, video games and an impressive unpublished section. At 264 pages and hundreds of art showcased, both a softbound and hardbound edition will be available in early November. For now you can view sample pages at the Spectrum Fantastic Art website by clicking here. The book description promotes Spectrum as:

Challenging, controversial, educational, and irreverent, the 17th anniversary edition to the award-winning Spectrum series reinforces both the importance and prevalence of fantastic art in today’s culture. With exceptional images by extraordinary creators, this elegant full-color collection showcases an international cadre of creators working in every style and medium, both traditional and digital. The best artists from the United States, Europe, China, Australia, South America, and beyond have gathered into the only annual devoted exclusively to works of fantasy, horror, science fiction, and the surreal, making Spectrum 17 one of the year’s most highly anticipated books.

Enjoy!

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Into the Land of Shadows: A Prince Valiant Collection by Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz!

Gary Gianni has self-published a new collection of his Prince Valiant work under his Hieronymus Press imprint. Into the Land of Shadows: A Prince Valiant Collection features a complete Prince Valiant adventure dating from 5-10-2009 to 7-4-2010. Written by Mark Schultz with superlative art by Gary Gianni, this 64-page 9” x 12” softbound collection is in glorious black and white and shot from the original artwork. Design is by Jim Keegan.

You can get your copy direct through Gary Gianni at his official website.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Frank Brangwyn “The Way of the Cross” Portfolio From Auad Publishing!

I mentioned in one of my previous blogs about the forthcoming portfolio on Frank Brangwyn from Auad Publishing. “Frank Brangwyn, R.A.: The Way of the Cross” is now available. I’ve picked up my copy and am enthusiastic to recommend this fine publication.

I’ve bought portfolios before, but none compare to the craftsmanship and printing found in Auad’s Brangwyn collection. Portfolio’s of this quality are generally reserved for high-end fine artists commanding a lofty sticker price, or are found in early 20th century printing. Few publishers today go through the trouble or invest this much energy into portfolios. Matched with the beauty of Frank Brangwyn’s work, this is a highly cherished item for me.

The following promotion text describes the item and how you can place your order:

Auad Publishing is privileged and honored to reprint these interpretation of The Way of the Cross by special permission from David Brangwyn. It was first published in 1935 by Hodder & Stoughton in a Deluxe limited 250 copies with a commentary by Gilbert Keith Chesterton. This reprint will be a very limited number especially designed portfolio with a 4 page essay by Dr. Libby Horner from England who is considered the world’s leading authority on this artist.

This edition is limited to 700 numbered plus 50 copies hors commerce (I to L). The plates measure 11×14” and printed in letterpress on Teton 80 lb. stock by D.T. Printing in, San Francisco with a sturdy portfolio-box by Regent Publishing Services Ltd.

Portfolio, 20 plates, 11×14″, $64.95 plus S&H: $10.00 via USPS Priority Mail. Overseas cost will vary depending the country and will be shipped enclosed in a padded envelope inside a hard cardboard for extra protection.

When visiting the home page of the Auad Publishing website, you can click on the portfolio image to view sample plates from the collection. I highly recommend this lovely edition!

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Cool Books to Kick-Start the Year–ImageS, The Rocketeer by Dave Stevens, and Jordi Bernet!

For this being January, a month I typically think of as being slow for new art books, I have been pleased to add a nice stack of new titles to my library.

The first book I would like to mention is the new Black and White Images. This is the fifth collection in the ongoing series, which focuses on “The Golden Era of Pen & Ink Illustration” from 1890-1922. Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. labors over each issue of the color ImageS magazine and these Black and White ImageS specials, to find dynamite art by both popular and forgotten illustrators of the past. Most of the artwork is pulled from his vast private collection.

One thing I find interesting is Jim’s persistence in finding oddball and unique pieces by popular artists. For instance, he often seems to find a few samples of an artist’s earliest works. These may not be the best examples of their art, but they are insightful in that they prove that not everyone is a genius when they start, and that their later magnificent works are a product of much practice and labor. I enjoy these glimpses at an individual’s humble beginnings.

Jim performs a generous service in preserving these master illustrators works in high quality accessible editions. Black and White Images #5 keeps in the tradition of his delving into the past to find exceptional artists. To start with, there is a stunning title page piece by Desfontaines from L’Image#11 from 1897. There are also some beautiful examples by John R. Neil, James Montgomery Flagg, and Will Crawford (reproduced from a batch of originals lent to Jim by Fred Taraba). Furthermore, there is a reprinting of the art for The Haunted House from 1899 by Herbert Railton–a gifted architectural illustrator. There is a Gustave Dore reproduction from an original art photogravure portfolio from 1868 (if you have only seen the terribly poor reproductions in modern paperback books on Dore, this will be a pleasant surprise for you). A nice batch of pieces by Daniel Vierge from L’Image #4, are a welcome addition as well. You will also find Everett Shinn, T.S. Sullivant, and Harry Roundtree and many, many more, that await you in this latest ImageS collection.

To learn more about ImageS, you can visit the official website here. You can order your copy direct from Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr., or from Bud’s Art Books.

The next book I want to mention is the new special deluxe Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures by Dave Stevens. This was a dream project for designer, Randy Dahlk (our favorite designer who has handled many of our Flesk titles). Randy has been telling me for years that he wanted to design this book, and when the opportunity arose, IDW editor Scott Dunbier made sure it happened. I couldn’t be happier, not only for Randy to get to design his dream book, but also that IDW put so much energy into it. They did a beautiful job. The exquisite coloring and the oversized deluxe edition with the 100 extra bonus pages in slipcase is a stunning package. I can’t think of any other publisher that would have given this book the all-star treatment that they did. Besides the deluxe edition, there is an affordable trade hardbound edition that contains the complete story. Get them both! Also, you can go to Randy’s “Retro Randy” blog to see design variations for the Rocketeer book cover and read his thought process behind them. You can buy this book from your local comic or book store.

Then there is the new Jordi Bernet book from the Spanish publisher, El Jueves. Bernet: 50 años de viñetas (50 years of drawings) is a huge hardbound collection at nearly 350 pages, measuring 9.5 x 13 in. As the title suggests, it features a wide range of samples of his art over the coarse of his career. Bernet is, without a doubt, one of my favorite black and white contemporary brush artists working in comics. His work is just fabulous. He can jump between humorous cartooning with Clara de Noche, to the grittiest of approaches with Torpedo. His current work on Jonah Hex is my most anticipated comic, with its all too sparse releases featuring his work. I don’t know where you can by the book, but here is the El Jueves website with some details.

Enjoy!

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Charles Vess Drawing Down The Moon – New Art Book!


The new Charles Vess art book, Drawing Down The Moon, is now available from Dark Horse. This beautiful 200-page hardcover book features material from his 30-year career.

Now, here’s the cool part. The entire book is available for viewing online at the Dark Horse website. You can view it by clicking here. If you are unfamiliar with Vess, you can flip through the online pages and see exactly why this is a worthwhile collection to add to your library.

I’ve admired Vess’s work since the mid-eighties and have been eager for a book like this to come out for years. You can learn more about Charles at his Green Man Press website here.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

New Flesk Ad In Illustration #28!



The new issue of Illustration Magazine is available from Dan Zimmer at the Illustrated Press. This issue #28 features an in-depth article on the amazing illustrator McClelland Barclay. Illustration is 96-pages in full color for only $15.00. Check out our full-page ad on page 61. You can order your copy direct from the Illustrated Press or from Bud’s Art Books.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Spectrum 16 — Your Source for the Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art — Now Available!

Spectrum 16 is now available. According to their website, orders for the hardbound edition have exceeded the print run. If you are looking to get this edition of the book, it looks like you better act fast.

With each new annual collection, Spectrum provides an introduction to many superb artists I was previously unaware of. Petar Meseldžijo is a perfect example of this. How could I have not known about his work, even though he has been in Spectrum before? Take a look at Petar’s website here. Kekai Kotaki is another standout for me. There are many cool discoveries to be found.

At the same time, I am pleased to see many of my favorites included. Peter de Séve, Adam Hughes, Donato Giancola, Gregory Manchess, James Gurney, Gary Gianni, and William Stout are all good examples. Also, David Dorman, Jon Foster, Frank Cho, and Arthur Adams have terrific artwork included. Furthermore, Dan Dos Santos, Daren Bader, Brom, Joe Jusko, and Craig Elliott all have nice works featured.

With sections devoted to Advertising, Books, Comics, Dimensional, Editorial, and Institutional, Spectrum displays a wide-array of artist’s works I missed in their original form. It’s just not possible to come across all of this material over the course of a year, and Spectrum gets the greatest works all in one book. The best Fantastic artists culled together in one well-designed 264-page book with great reproduction. There’s also the yearly “Chairman’s Message” by Cathy Fenner and “The Year in Review 2008” by Arnie Fenner.

If you are new to Spectrum, their mission is “To promote the fantastic arts and provide an annual showcase for contemporary artists.” You can purchase a copy from Bud’s Art Books here, and see sample pages on the Spectrum website by clicking here.

Enjoy!

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Lines and Colors Features Al Williamson Spotlight and Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon Book Review!


Charley Parker’s Lines and Colors blog is one of the few sites I visit on a regular basis. This is due to a daily entry that proves insightful and educational. Charley provides a valuable service by sharing images, information, and resources for a wide spectrum of artists and art genres. He covers art in comics, illustration, fantasy, gallery art, animation, painting, sketching, concept art, and much more. It’s a very diverse site worth visiting on an ongoing basis.

I feel fortunate that Charley has taken an interest in our Flesk books. He’s covered many of the artists we publish and a bunch of our books (click here to see his Flesk related articles). Just this week, he has written a nice review of Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic (click here to read), as well as an Al Williamson spotlight in October (click here to read). Thanks Charley!

Be sure to head on over to Lines and Colors for your daily art fix!

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Prehistoric Times #91 Plugs Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Vol. 4!


The new issue of Prehistoric Times (#91) gives a nice plug for our book, Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume 4. My thanks goes out to publisher Mike Fredericks!

Also, there’s an article by James Gurney covering ten tips for drawings realistic dinosaurs. This alone makes this issue a special one. You can find out more about Prehistoric Times at Mike’s website here.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Sessions with Robert McGinnis DVD Coming Summer 2010 From Paul Jilbert!


I just got an email from filmmaker Paul Jilbert about his latest project. He has the uncut Robert McGinnis painting segments coming out on DVD in summer 2010 titled, Sessions with Robert McGinnis. Paul has reshot many of McGinnis’ paintings from recently discovered originals. This will be an important and fun film recording the process and personality of one of my favorite illustrators.

Paul’s previous films include the James Bama documentary that was included with our James Bama: American Realist book, and Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer. His focus is on producing premium documentaries on illustration legends and contemporary masters. Paul inflicts his passion into each of his films, so we can all expect great things from everything he does.

Check out Paul’s website here for clips, ordering information and news on all of his films. You can also pick up the current McGinnis film at Bud’s Art Books here.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

New Portfolio and Book From Auad Publishing!

Manuel Auad of Auad Publishing has just updated his website with news of two new items that he will have available soon. He has also had some revisions made to his website. It’s worth a look, as there is some new art and information worth checking out.

The first new item is the portfolio, Frank Brangwyn, R.A.: The Way of the Cross. It reproduces 20 plates in an oversized box. I’ve seen the plates and they look stunning. For full details and to order, you can visit his website here.

Then, Manuel has a new book coming out in spring 2010 on Robert Fawcett. The title is Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator’s Illustrator and includes an introduction by Walt Reed. There is some promotional text on his website here.

Be sure to click on the book covers on his site to view sample art from the interior of the Brangwyn portfolio and upcoming Fawcett book.

Manuel also has three other terrific books available: Jordi Bernet, Franklin Booth: American Illustrator, and The Art of Alex Nino.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Imaginitive Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist by James Gurney!

I’m super-stoked to have received an advance copy of Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist by James Gurney.

One of my favorite types of books to collect are those dealing with the artistic process. Even though I am not an artist, I find these books to be quite valuable in recording how an artist thinks, approaches his art, and reveals his/her techniques. It serves as being beneficial for contemporary artists and students, and also a recording for future generations. There are a handful of books that I find are indispensable in these regards. A few of my favorites are: Forty Illustrators and How They Work by Ernest Watson (Watson-Guptill, 1946), Illustrating for the Saturday Evening Post by Ashley Halsey, Jr. (Arlington House, 1946), A Complete Guide to Drawing, Illustrating, Cartooning, and Painting by Gene Byrnes (Simon and Shuster, 1948), and the Famous Artist Schools Course books. The later features rare individual volumes by Norman Rockwell, Robert Fawcett, Jon Whitcomb, Al Parker, to name a few, then the actual course volumes that came in three or four ring-bound binder volume sets starting in 1954. This new book by James Gurney will fit nicely right alongside these books on the top master illustrators and artists.

What I enjoy about Gurney’s work is that he knows his fundamentals and knows how to paint a believable realistic figure in fantasy, historical, and real world situations. And, as is testament in Imaginative Realism, he has no trouble breaking down the process in a simple and easy to understand approach.

I’ve read about half of the book so far by bouncing around the pages. I flip open the book to a random page and start reading. It’s easy to jump into at any point and learn something new. The text is friendly, to the point, interesting, and helpful.

There’s a wide array of topics covered, including, setting up the studio, lighting equipment and drawing and painting materials, sketching, historical drawings, and how to draw people, dinosaurs, creatures and aliens, architecture and vehicles. Additional chapters include plein-air studies, composition, procedure, careers, and more. There is a large array of artwork to support the text. These paintings and drawings cover Gurney’s career, and give you a reference of his growth over the last few decades.

One thing I was totally blown away by was his sculptures and building of maquettes to study and plan compositions and lighting for use as reference for a painting.

James is one of the most successful contemporary illustrator artists. His work spans book covers, movie design work, toy design, theme park design, as well as his highly popular Dinotopia books. He has done us all a service by sharing his techniques, experiences and knowledge.

The book is a deal at $24.99 for a full-color 224 page 8.5 x 11” softcover. It is published by Andrews, McMeel Publishing. You can purchase signed copies directly from the author/artist at his Dinotopia website by clicking here.

You can learn more about Jim at his Gurney Journey blog by clicking here. Be sure to check out his Special Delivery and hilarious Unicycle Painter posts.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Spectrum 16 Coming Soon!

Arnie Fenner has just posted a feature and review on our three Flesk summer releases on his Spectrum Fantastic Art website. You can find it, along with other interesting and entertaining news items posted by Arnie by clicking here.

And, the new Spectrum 16 edited by Cathy and Arnie Fenner (Underwood Books) is almost here! It has been announced for a November 1, 2009 release date. This is THE annual collection to get. It showcases the best contemporary fantastic artists. There’s a sneak peak on the Spectrum website here. I’ll make an announcement once it hits the stores. Once available, you can pick up your copy from Bud’s Art Books by clicking here.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon Book Review on Newsarama!

Michael C. Lorah has written a book review on our Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon book on the Newsarama website. He states,

“Williamson’s artwork, highlighted by excellent use of blacks, bold illustrations, and superb ability to create the illusion of movement, has rarely looked better than in this impressive and caringly assembled compilation.”

You can read the entire review by clicking here, then scrolling down just past the halfway point.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Illustration Magazine #27 Now Available from the Illustrated Press!


The new issue of Illustration Magazine, number 27, is now available from Dan Zimmer and the Illustrated Press. Featured articles include a comprehensive overview on Rudolph Belarski, Norman Lindsay, and the second part of the article on The American Academy of Art. Also, check out our Flesk ad on page 37! You can order copies of the magazine at the Illustration Magazine website by clicking here. It’s only $15.00 at 112 pages and perfect-bound. A great deal!

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications