Tag Archives: painting

Child Prodigy Painter Autumn de Forest on ‘The Wendy Williams Show’


Tuesday, June 4 on “The Wendy Williams Show,” catch Park West Gallery’s young prodigy painter Autumn de Forest as she shows off her latest masterpiece!

Eleven-year-old Autumn has been creating quite a name for herself in the art world, having been interviewed by Matt Lauer on “The Today Show,” and featured on “Inside Edition,” ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC news spots. The “pint-sized Picasso” has already commissioned six-figure works of art and garnered national and international acclaim for her colorful tributes to Marilyn Monroe.  Her artistic style has been compared to iconic masters including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso.

“The art of Autumn de Forest already exhibits a maturity and depth that many artists never achieve.  She is an amazing person, an avid reader and a sponge for all that is good around her,” said Albert Scaglione, CEO and Founder of Park West Gallery.

Autumn’s greatest ability is her power to inspire those around her with the wonder of her creativity and the beauty of self-expression. She continues to reach young people and adults alike with her humorous and yet precociously articulate observations and insights into art, life and creativity.

Check your local listings for show details.

Learn more about the artist at http://bio.parkwestgallery.com/artists/Autumn-de-Forest.

In the Artist’s Studio: Marcus Glenn [Video]

Join Park West Gallery as we visit contemporary figurative artist Marcus Glenn in his studio in the historic Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. He was raised by a father who loved jazz and a mother who was herself a painter, both of whom continue to profoundly influence his life and artistic style. Glenn discusses his techniques, inspirations and the studio environment where he creates his unique works of art.

Fine art by Marcus Glenn is available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at www.parkwest-glenn.com.

Watch other exclusive videos from Park West Gallery at http://vimeo.com/parkwestgallery/videos.

Exploring the Art of Charles Lee

“I have had many hardships as an artist, but nothing has been able to stop me. As long as I have life in me, I will paint.” —Charles Lee

Charles Lee. "Autumn Music I" (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.By Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery Director

Imagine a virtuoso musician, who has such command over his instrument that he can play a Bach fugue, flow effortlessly into a galloping jazz improvisation, segue into a blistering rock guitar solo and end up with some hip-hop on a beat-box and turntable. This is the artist, Charles Lee, in a nutshell.

Lee is another artist, whom I like to call the “Aesthetic Olympians” of our time. He and the others are pulling back hard on the pendulum of beauty, skill, visual eloquence, and uplifting and inspiring content, which have been essentially shunned by the elitist art world in favor of philosophical definitions of what is and isn’t art — “newness,” shock and novelty replacing quality.

It’s easy to be seduced by the sheer loveliness of Lee’s imagery, into believing his works are mainly decorative. They are not. They are rooted in a reverence for the art of the masters and an accumulated fluency honed by decades of hard work and discipline. Each of his paintings is a vehicle for the multiple sensations of metaphor and poetry, expressed through the visual impulses of a practiced hand, eye, heart and mind. He’s filling a void in the world for an art that can speak to the many, not only the select few. And yet for those who wish to take time to contemplate the deeper merits of his art, rewards do also await.

I was first struck by the extraordinary number of styles in which he works. But style can be deceptive. Good art cannot survive through style alone and herein lies one of Lee’s great abilities: to maintain a wide range of diverse styles and approaches with consistent artistic caliber. Behind each work is a rigorous artistic statement. And, he is able to maintain a fluency and consistency of myriad visual elements and devices which overlap and appear throughout all of his styles.

Charles Lee "Adjustment II" (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.Consistent Elements in Lee’s Art

Most easily seen at first is Lee’s advanced use of color. He is as equally proficient with earthy, golden-brown tonalities as he is with bright and sunny colorations. He uses black fearlessly (few artists do, some not at all) and his colors, although comforting and controlled, are carefully arranged to ease the viewer gently into his compositions.

He employs interesting textures in most of his paintings. The surface of the canvas allows him another mode of expression, and he is acutely aware of surface even in his delicately painted “studies” of women’s faces and nudes. Many of his canvasses feature thick impasto emulsions applied to the canvas with palette knife (he told me the technique is his own guarded invention). These push the eye to the very front of the picture plane and serve as a means of “framing” the subject and creating a spatial context for the viewer.

Lee is also keenly aware of pictorial (also known as “plastic”) space in his paintings. Whether depicting a realist subject and creating an illusionist representational space, or layering spatial planes as Picasso did in his cubist manipulations, it is clear that he possesses a mastery of defining pictorial space and can marshal any number of approaches to express his intent.

In his purely abstract paintings, which conjure associations with the color field painters and abstract expressionists, one sees areas “tearing” into the space, like caverns and undulations of pulsing color atmospheres, advancing and receding. These are very advanced compositional devices at work in his paintings and they are not accidental. Rather, his fluency with form and composition allows him the luxury of calling up any number of approaches as a means to an end with each chosen subject or style.

His brushwork is deft, confident and advanced. It is particularly noticeable in the realist subjects, including his landscapes, seascapes and images of women in interiors. In these works he marshals a skilled application of color and is able to model his volumes and surfaces through shadow, light and color temperature.

The final measurement of an artist’s ability may be found in his drawing. It is the basis and the backbone upon which all of the other elements of a good painting must rest. Lee’s drawing skills are enviable and can be appreciated in his delicate studies, his complex and dramatic abstractions and observed throughout his entire range of figurative imagery. He is clearly in possession of facile and expressive drawing skills.

Charles Lee "Golden Time" (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.Exploration and Creative Drive

I am a devoted fan of Picasso’s art. I have studied the man and his art for most of my life and I have rarely met an artist who did not mention Picasso’s name when asked about his/her artistic heroes and inspirations. Like Picasso, Lee is a probing, questioning and exploring artist with a powerful creative and artistic drive at the core of his motivation.

It was said that Picasso created “fractal” art — each image giving birth to dozens of other images all springing and expanding from one into another. A similar process is at work in Lee’s art. He clearly has developed defined approaches as he navigates through his various styles, but each approach is also a repository for many of the same painterly and compositional ideas he is spreading through all of his imagery. They overlap each style and re-emerge as precise visual devices, such as sections of piano keys and contours of musical instruments, metallic applications, heavy textural emulsions added by palette knife, strong lighting contrasts and color juxtapositions, among others. These serve to reinforce his distinct personality and allow the viewer confronted with any number of variations of style, to recognize at the same time, the “mark” of Charles Lee.

I once asked him about the many styles in which he paints and about his varied approaches and techniques, which I found so unusual in one artist. He replied, “I am hungry. I am artistically greedy. I want to cover it all — styles, approaches and techniques.”

Images above: Charles Lee, “Autumn Music I” (2012); “Adjustment II” (2012); “Golden Time” (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.
Related Links:

Artist Tim Yanke Returns to OLHSA Head Start for Third Painting Session

tim yanke, oakland livingston human service agency, park west gallery

Contemporary artist Tim Yanke returned to Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) today to continue a series of seasonal paintings with Head Start preschoolers. These children of low‐income families were emerged into a world of discovery and creativity for the third time this year as Yanke worked with them to paint a summer‐themed piece. Art supplies were donated by Park West Gallery.

Throughout 2012, Yanke has graciously donated his time to enriching the lives of OLHSA Head Start preschoolers, aged three to five years, through art. Already this year he has helped the children paint a winter-themed piece in January and a spring themed piece in May. With a fall piece to come later this season, the collection will be complete.

The pieces, finished with Yanke’s vibrant and skilled hand, will be auctioned off at a fundraiser for OLHSA, to be held at Park West Gallery.

See more photos from the event →
For more information about the Park West Foundation, Park West Gallery CARES and Park West Gallery’s other philanthropic initiatives, please visit www.parkwestgallery.org.

Fine art by Tim Yanke is available through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at www.parkwestgallery-yanke.com.

The Art of Michael Milkin [Video]

michael milkin, park west galleryPark West Gallery artist Michael Milkin was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, a city he describes as full of history and culture. Initially, Milkin was a student of architecture, later an art teacher and today, an artist whose collectors span the globe. He says that the opportunity to display his art on cruise ships has allowed him to reach a diverse audience that he wouldn’t have met otherwise.

In his work, Milkin concentrates on still lifes and landscapes, painting in brightly colored acrylics and oils with thick, dramatic brushwork. He is influenced by painters Cézanne, Manet and Vasiliev, and inspired by the country of Israel.

Read more about the artist
Fine art by Michael Milkin is available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at www.parkwestgallery.com.

The Art of Comic-Con 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012The eagerly anticipated 43rd annual Comic-Con International took place this past weekend in sunny San Diego, CA. (We were surprised to learn that the popular event was first held back in 1970, making it just about the same age as Park West Gallery!) Known for its devoted fans, Comic-Con is an annual conference allowing people to connect with artists, actors and creators of content they love through interviews and panels.

Once seen as an obscure event just for die-hard comic and anime fans, Comic-Con has blossomed into a mainstream event with the increasing popularity of sci-fi and fantasy genres. With big budget comic book-based movies, like “Iron Man” and “The Avengers” becoming so mainstream, production studios have begun to use Comic-Con as a marketing opportunity, helping to make this event—dare we say—cool.

Amid movie stars and writers, however, the art that originally drew so many people to Comic-Con is still showcased. Artists’ Alley is the section of the conference that gives attendees the chance to meet creators and purchase art directly from their favorite artists.

It seems like now, more than ever, comics have a huge impact on pop culture as we know it. But comic book art has actually been around for some time. In fact, the first comic book appeared in 1933 and comic strips were around for decades before. Loveable iconic characters like Garfield, Little Lulu, and Blondie all got their start in comics.

"Batman and Robin" (2009), Leslie Lew, Park West Gallery

If, like us, you were unable to attend this year’s Comic-Con but want to experience the art of comic book superheroes, take a look at the Park West Gallery Collection online. Aside from a wide array of animation art, Park West Gallery also offers a number of works by artists like Leslie Lew, whose layered oil paintings of superheroes and pop culture characters are a must-see for any comic enthusiast.

Are you a fan of comic book art? Have you ever attended Comic-Con? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Contemporary Artist Peter Nixon: Inspiration and Style

Park West Gallery artist Peter Nixon works from his studio in London. He’s been inspired by many facets of life – from his early introduction to etching to his encounters with Venice and the movements of a classical dance troupe – and, as he says, “it all goes into the soup.”

Nixon’s newest body of work can be broken into themes, including “Horae,” “Tabla Sensarum,” “Contra Jour in Pearls,” “Moonlit Garden,” “Floating World,” “Vivid Moments,” “Mapping the Heavens,” and “Arpeggio.”

Since he’s not only an artist, but a first-class writer as well, Nixon shared some thoughts exclusively with Park West Gallery on the inspiration, style and themes in his work.

Dancers #10, Peter Nixon, Park West GalleryPeter Nixon, on themes…

“My work did not have any themes in my early student days until our life-drawing group was taken to a dance troupe’s rehearsal. We were required to produce quick-fire drawings of the dancers going through their paces and I realized what my work required was a feeling of energy.

“Figure studies can look as stiff as statues so I needed the suggestion of human beings in motion and a vibrancy to bring the pictures to life. This, coupled with an interest in Cubism, enabled me to formulate an approach to movement in my work that became the ‘sketch style.’ This energy translated itself into themes about human beings at the peak of accomplishment; so the pictures became about enthusiasm, joy, love, music and dancing – fleeting states of mind that produce a feeling of being most vividly alive.

Renaissance, Peter Nixon, Park West GalleryOn his style…

“I continued to refine this style and, over the years, my work changed and developed in slow increments. The tipping point came during a visit to Venice. I saw the sumptuous textures in the Titians, Veroneses and Bellinis and decided I would attempt to produce paintings that were as vibrant and succulent as these.

“I have been painting this more ornate strand of pictures for about 18 years now, but people who see them for the first time are often surprised by their contrast to the sketch pictures. This style did not arrive overnight and if you were to see the paintings in chronological order you would notice a gradual development. Now, all my paintings start in the sketch style but I am free to make these as simple or ornate as the picture suggests. This flexibility leaves the creative field open and is conducive to further developments; happy accidents can lead to new directions.

“The ornate style also allows me to incorporate emblems, images and ‘quotes’ from Master paintings that combine and build into a story. These narratives generally develop during the making of the painting as one image suggests another.

Lute Player I, Peter Nixon, Park West GalleryOn inspiration…

“I remain open to ideas all the time in a kind of concentrated but offhand way. I have learned that being too intense about ideas is not helpful with their flow. I maintain a sort of casual vigilance for things that catch my eye or imagination.

“I take photographs, file images from magazines, books and the internet, and I usually have four or five books on the go in the hope that I will find serendipitous cross-references to generate new ideas when dipping in and out of different worlds and subjects.

“This pursuit of beauty and reinterpreting the wonders of the world is an all-consuming passion and is one of the driving forces behind creating paintings.”
Fine art by Peter Nixon is available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. To learn more, visit www.parkwestgallery.com.


The “Fathers” of Art

Portrait of the Artist's Father, Marcel Duchamp, Park West GalleryThroughout art history, those who dared to challenge traditional techniques of the past or introduce new methods of creativity often earned nicknames as the “Father of” the respective art movements they helped to inspire.

In honor of this upcoming Father’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of some of history’s most distinguished “fathers” of art.

Such titles are somewhat subjective and thus often debated among art scholars and critics. For example, many would argue that “The Father of Cubism” is Georges Braque, while others say it’s Pablo Picasso.

Let us know what you think! Do you agree or disagree with this list?  Can you think of any others? And as always, please share your thoughts below!


  • RENAISSANCE | Giotto
  • BAROQUE | Caravaggio
  • ROCOCO | Jean-Antoine Watteau
  • NEO-CLASSICAL | Jacques-Louis David
  • REALISM | Gustave Courbet
  • IMPRESSIONISM | Camille Pissarro
  • FAUVISM | Henri Matisse
  • ART NOUVEAU | Alphonse Mucha
  • ART DECO | Erté
  • MODERN ART | Paul Cézanne
  • POINTILLISM | Georges Seurat
  • EXPRESSIONISM | Vincent van Gogh
  • ABSTRACTION | Wassily Kandinsky
  • BAUHAUS | Walter Gropius
  • DADA | Marcel Duchamp
  • SURREALISM | Andre Breton
  • POP ART | Richard Hamilton
  • OP ART | Victor Vasarely
  • ACTION PAINTING | Jackson Pollock
  • KINETIC ART | Yaacov Agam
  • ART HISTORY | Giorgio Vasari

*  *  *  *  *

REMINDER! Father’s Day is this SUNDAY, JUNE 17!
Still looking for the perfect gift for dad? The Park West Gallery Summer Sale Collection offers fine art, sports memorabilia, collectibles and more! Shop NOW at http://sales.parkwestgallery.com.