Ginni Moon Wins NSPC&A Award

Back in my art school days my father brought home a book named “Painting People.” It showcased an artist fluent with various media, pastel, oils, watercolor, and explained many of his working methods and techniques. I loved the artist’s representational style and spent hours pouring over the pages of the book trying to absorb as much information as possible. The fact that the artist did work for the illustration market, (The Jethro Tull Aqualung album cover is one of my favorite examples), as well as fine art, wasn’t lost on an illustration student either.

The painter was Burton Silverman, and I have been a huge admirer ever since then.

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Ginni Moon Prepares for Takeoff

Friday night at the Salamagundi Club in New York, my painting, Ginni Moon Prepares for Takeoff, was recognized with the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic Award at the 59th annual NSPCA exhibit. The exhibit features truly phenomenal work from acrylic and casein artists across the United States, so it goes without saying that receiving such a prestigious award is extremely gratifying. What makes the award even more special is knowing that the judge was none other than an artist whose work I have appreciated for so many years, Burton Silverman.

Thanks to judge Silverman for the honor and to the NSPC&A for the opportunity to be a part of this exhibit.

Recreating an Advertising Icon

Product mascots have been a staple of advertising’s bag of tricks since Grog scrawled his new brand’s Red Antelope® on a cave wall. Think of all the mascots we’ve seen over the years that still bring a product’s name to mind. The Jolly Green Giant, Planter’s Peanut Man, Morton Salt girl, or Michelin Man just to name a few. Over the years the use of mascots has waxed and waned in popularity. Lately there seems to be an interest among many advertisers in delving into the archives, and rediscovering their old icons. It can be a great way to connect with consumers by reminding people of a product’s history in the market.

I recently had a chance to illustrate a vintage mascot when I was asked to recreate the Mr. Aristocrat Tomato Man for H.J. Heinz. A 1930’s original, the Tomato Man was used by Heinz to promote their ketchup, and showcased in advertising for years. Apparently the original art had vanished over the years and there were no copies in the Heinz archives that were usable, so my assignment was to recreate the artwork. The piece was done digitally, and though we tweaked the color slightly to give it a bit more life, I stayed as true as possible to the vintage look, feel and design of the 1930’s art.

Tomato man web
I hope Mr Aristocrat makes a big comeback touting the advantages of using Heinz ketchup. He’s a great advertising character and a nice reminder of the long history of a classic American product.

Milton Glaser's Ten Things

I stumbled across, “Ten Things I Have Learned,” on Milton Glaser’s website the other day when doing some online research. It’s been around awhile, part of a speech that the legendary graphic designer gave at an AIGA gathering in London in 2001. But there’s lots of great insight and wisdom here which I think you’ll agree applies to more than just the field of commercial art.

Born With a Tale at National Art Premiere 2013

My painting Born With a Tale has been selected for exhibit at the National Art Premiere 2013 show.

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Born With a Tale acrylic on hardboard 25x19.5”

The painting was accepted into the show by judge Jose Augustin Andreu, entries were open to artists from across the US, Canada and Mexico. The show runs from March 1 - April 26th at the Elmhurst Art Museum and there will be an opening reception March 8 from 7-9pm.

Antique Santa Painting

Antique Santa copy

As we begin our approach toward the holiday season it’s not unusual that I find myself painting a Santa piece or two for various usages. While the vast majority of my work is created digitally I always enjoy painting these images with real brushes and paint. After all what could be more appropriate than rendering such a time honored figure with “classic materials?” That idea was taken a step further in this case by making the painting appear as if it were literally a fragment of some long lost icon.

I’ve noticed lately a return (a rediscovery?), of what is often referred to as traditional media. I don’t know if it is simply that I’ve bumped into a string of pieces randomly or if there is a mini movement toward handcrafted art. Maybe they’re showing up on the radar because my focus has shifted, kind of the way you notice all the blue cars on the road after you just purchased one. The last painting posted here, Born With a Tale, was done with traditional media too.

As wonderful as digital art can be, as advantageous in terms of changeability, and ease of delivery, maybe we are seeing an uptick in traditionally created art because of its warmth, not necessarily in the finished product, but in the process. There is definitely something to be said for the experience of painting with real paint and real brushes instead of their digital dopplegängers. Maybe it’s similar to the way vinyl records are making a comeback with the indie crowd. An obvious response to the ubiquitous if shallow mp3 format. Or maybe it’s just my own personal feeling that painting with real media scratches a creative itch that digital media has a hard time reaching and I’m on the outskirts with this one.

In any case, painting old school is an enjoyable detour from the Photoshop/Wacom norm and I hope to do more of it.