Three Great Artists of the Twentieth Century – James Bama, James Christensen, and Boris Vallejo!

My list of course:-)

Before I tell you about the greats, let me establish a context for this post. You see, there’s art that goes by the name of art and gives art a bad name – now that’s the art I can’t stand. And then there’s art that makes you want to touch the artist’s hands and take away something more than an impression of his
work – that’s the art I love. So here it is – in black and white – as usual.

Art I can’t Stand!

  1. I dislike art that celebrates an absence of skill and that smacks of an organized art-racket.
  2. I don’t like irregular patterns created through a mindless splash of colors.
  3. I don’t like geometrical shapes (circles/squares/rectangles/hexagons, even irregular shapes…) filled with solid colors – ending up in a random title for the canvas.
  4. I don’t like negativity projected through a crazy array of cuttings, pasted together in a haphazard arrangement.
  5. I hate art that makes me feel like an idiot – that makes me say that my neighbor’s five-year-old could’ve done a better job at it.

Art that feigns creativity, gives me creeps!

Art I Love!

  1. I love drawings and paintings that establish a logical path to the artist’s thoughts.
  2. I admire art that makes me wonder whether it was a celestial being who created it.
  3. I appreciate art that tells me that the artist didn’t think that his audience was made of morons…and so he or she worked hard at the creating it.
  4. I love to see colors that complement one-another, and that have a reason to be there in the painting.

Art that celebrates the human ability to improve the perception of God’s creations, makes me smile.

Now you know the art that I hate – I’d mention neither those artists, nor their artwork on this blog.

The art that I love and the artists that I revere, are made of pure titanium. Nothing can corrode them – our praise or criticism means nothing to them. They aren’t even swayed by Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

I open myself to you by listing three of my favorites! These three have struggled to keep the beauty of art alive. These three are known well in their own arenas, but the success that should truly have been theirs went to those in my first list! But it didn’t matter to them – they’ve stuck to their love of skill in art.

Three Greats who didn’t Give in:

  • James Bama
  • James C. Christensen
  • Boris Vallejo

James Bama (American Realist – Western Theme)

I first saw the works of James Bama in an old edition of the National Geographic magazine. He lives in Wyoming. When I went through his bio in NG, the first thought that occurred to me was, “Would he take me under his tutelage?” (Caricatures are a very recent pursuit – I am more of a realist.) The thought was answered by another, “how would you reach him?”

But then his art became my tutor – it helped me understand lights, shades, and textures; the way no book could!

James C. Christensen (Fantasy Artist – Philosophical theme)

I was blissfully unaware that an artist as colorful and as imaginative as James C. Christensen existed, until one day, rummaging through an old-books sale, I came upon his book, “A Journey of the Imagination: The Art of James Christensen“.

The book turned my world upside down. The images made me wonder how he must’ve created them. The concept, the visualization, and then the execution of each painting was done with such finesse – They looked like they were created by fairies!

And yes, I also wondered why that beautiful book filled with unbelievable artistic treasures was available for me to buy at about 3 Dollars – and why people preferred to buy cheap calendars instead of picking this book of gold! Thank god they didn’t – or I wouldn’t have experienced the pain and the ecstasy of knowing Christensen’s work.

Boris Vallejo (Fantasy Artist – Erotica/Fantasy Theme)

About Boris Vallejo’s fantasy art!
When it comes to fantasy (and sometimes work that borders on erotica,) Vallejo is the best. He works with dragons, castles, men, women, lights, and shadows; like nobody else. His work takes you away into the land of fantasies – it dissolves your reality through its fantastical realism, and it weaves a golden web of almost unreal realities around you. I learned to appreciate Vallejo, about a decade ago, when I did some RPG illustrations, and haven’t stopped since.

That’s all, friends! Step into a world that’s different, and experience art that’s supported by a skill honed over a life time. Begin your journey from the appreciation of artistic mediocrity to that of artistic excellence!