I have been on an art tear lately. The Picasso Sculpture exhibit at Moma, the Van Gogh Bedroom exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago and, in my little town, an exhibit at the Rye Arts Center called Winter White: The Absence Of Color. Nothing cures the winter blues like beautiful art!
If you’ve been in my house or read some older Wry Home blog posts, you would know that I have a passion for 1950s posters. I use them all the time in home design (see here) because of the fabulous colors and bold graphic illustrations.
Vintage posters can be a reasonably priced alternative to other forms of artwork and make a big impact in a room.
Many of the artists from the 1950s/1960s became quite well known for their product and travel posters. In 1949, French graphic artist Raymond Savignac’s works were exhibited with those of his contemporary graphic poster artist Bernard Villemot at the Gallery of Beaux Arts in Paris. Villemot designed logos and posters for Orangina, and over time these works would become some of his best known. In 1963, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris held an exhibition of his works and by the end of his life in 1989, he was known as one of the last great poster artists. Many collectors and critics consider him to be the “painter-laureate of modern commercial art.”
Jean Colin studied at the college of decorative arts in Paris and taught there from 1951 on. His work was featured at numerous graphic arts exhibitions, and Colin himself was the founder of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.
Jean Desaleux is another celebrated French illustrator of 1950s and ’60s posters.
There is some stiff competition for a favorite graphic artist from this period!
I have collected a quite a few vintage posters over the years and will have some available to buy on my blog at the end of this month (September, 2015). I am very excited to share them with you!
There will be no Wry Home blog post next week though. We are taking our youngest to college for her freshman year and I will be too sad…
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My first memory of going to Block Island, RI was around five years old. My grandparents had a house in Charlestown, RI and we would frequently take day trips from there in the summer. I remember biking past the Surf Hotel, going to Mansion Beach and eating lots of ice-cream.
Block Island officially got under my skin Labor Day weekend, 1988. My husband and I booked a room at a B&B at the last minute to escape hot Manhattan. The B&B had thick shag carpet, a shared bathroom down the hall and a tiny room fan. We were hooked.
Years later, I met my friend and neighbor Bill Padien, an artist on Block Island. We met after I bought one of his paintings hanging on the wall of Winfield’s restaurant. My husband loves to remind me how expensive that dinner was. One painting that night and over the next fifteen years, three more…
Bill Padien caught the Block Island bug in college and took it with him to Los Angeles, where he got his masters in fine art from the OTIS Art Institute/Parsons School of Design. Upon graduating, Bill landed a job as the Assistant Curator at Gemini G.E.L. in LA. Gemini G.E.L. is an elite artists workshop and publisher of limited edition prints and sculptures on Melrose Avenue.
Bill was quickly promoted to Curator and stayed at Gemini G.E.L. for eight years, working closely with artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Susan Rothenberg, Richard Serra, and Robert Rauschenberg to name a few.
His east coast roots and desire to spend more time on his art brought Bill back to New York in the spring of 1989. He rented a cottage on Block Island that summer before heading to Manhattan.
After completing sixteen paintings that summer, he realized how much the island inspired his art. Bill continued to work for Gemini G.E.L. in NYC for the next few years as an east coast consultant. He also traveled to Block more and more, ultimately moving to the island full time in the summer of 1991.
Painting, bartending and starting a family kept Bill occupied for the next seven years. In 1998, his wife Allison had the brilliant idea to open The Old Post Office Bagel Shop (thank you Allison!), an institution on the island. The line out the door for their famous breakfast pastries, homemade bagels, delicious sandwiches and salads is legendary. I don’t remember a time before the Bagel Shop!
A lot of people who visit Block Island know Bill’s familiar face from the bagel shop, but I still think of him first and foremost as a painter and someone quietly and impressively connected to the art world.
Visit williampadien.com for more information about his background and his art. I am putting aside my shekels for another Padien acquisition soon. Tim, get ready!
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I have known Forrest Rodts since I was 21. He is a great friend and VERY talented. We met through his sister who I worked with at Bain & Company, my first post-college job. At the time we met, I think Forrest worked in investment banking. Luckily for all of us, he followed his passion and started painting full time.
What is your training?
When did you start painting?
I started painting in college. I had always liked to draw, but started with paint freshman year, the fall of 1979. I graduated with a Economics degree and a minor in Studio Art. Pursued a career in Investment Banking, then Acting in New York, then started painting full time.
Why did you start painting / motivation?
I liked to draw and painting was the next possible progression, adding color to the creative process. I also realized I was more suited to painting than banking or acting, I had a knack for it.
Where are some of your favorite place(s) to paint?
Anywhere there is water, but I especially love to paint on Nantucket. I’ve spent most of my summers on the island and it’s the place closest to my heart.
What inspires you?
Light and the way it changes. Especially how it plays off water. Also memories, times from my past.
Do you paint everyday?
No. My weekends are for my family. As much as I love to paint, it is my job and I treat it as such.
Who has influenced your work?
Andrew Wyeth has had the biggest influence on my work. I love the detail and the feel of his work. There is such emotion in his painting and I try to elicit that as well.
Who is your favorite up and coming painter?
There is a young guy who lives in North Carolina who is a high school friend’s son who is really exceptional. He mainly paints fish and birds, but is unbelievably talented. His name is Ryan O’Sullivan.
Fantasy place to paint?
I would love to retire to the islands and finish my career painting the light blue waters and palm trees of the Caribbean. Half the year in New England and half there.
Dream accomplishment / project?
I would love to be widely know for being a great painter, beyond Nantucket and the people I know. Also, to have a painting that everyone recognizes as mine. It would be nice to just paint what I want and not to worry about sales at all too.
Go-to inspirational cocktail?
Either a Gin and Tonic or Mount Gay and Tonic. I’m a summer guy.
Favorite summer activity, besides painting?
I’m a beach person. My favorite thing to do is to be at the beach with friends and family.
Are you working on anything now?
I am always working on something. There is always something on the easel or an idea in my mind for the next work. Currently I am finishing work for a show on Nantucket on July 10th at Quidley and Company Gallery.
and his Facebook page:
and his Instagram account:
Some of Forrest’s paintings are available in print form (see on his Facebook page under “prints make great gifts”) and he will also do a commission painting if you are interested. Father’s Day is coming up! A painting or print of one of his great pieces would be a wonderful gift.
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