The three artists featured in the September 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase, Joyce C Mayer, Richard Brown, and Erwin Phillip Lewandowski share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog.
Unseen Observer by Joyce C Mayer
18 x 18 inches
Colored pencils on Bristol vellum
(Photo from Daniel Mayer (owner), @Callie_bear(photographer). Used with permission)
This was my son in a training session. It involved a "camouflage" event in which men were scattered throughout the property with their own camouflage setup. The photographer wandered around trying to locate the men, which if she did, they failed the test. She did not see my son (he passed) but was startled by a noise he inadvertently made, and snapped this picture.
The challenge for me, was to maintain the hidden subject. How does one "cover" the very focus of the picture. It seemed to make sense to balance the subject with the "covering" to maintain the camouflage. The end result is the viewer, intently looking to find..."what am I looking at?" They know they are searching for something, just not quite sure what. Even when pointed out, they still are incredulous as, some cannot still see it, while others have an "aha" moment. Its really almost like a Rorschach test or a "Where's Waldo?" piece. The result is some may look forever and still not see, others will find it themselves, and still others will only see when pointed out.
It has been most gratifying to me as the artist to hear people say, "I don't know what this is" or "What am I supposed to be seeing?" It is only then that I know I succeeded in my goal... to hide the subject... as he was hidden in camouflage. When that happens, it is a Yay for me!
About Joyce C Mayer:
Joyce C Mayer discovered colored pencil about eight years ago in a local colored pencil workshop. Since then, she has tossed most of her other media, (Pen and ink, acrylic, oil etc.) to focus on the potential of colored pencil. She has been published nationally and internationally, and exhibits almost continuously in the Mid-Atlantic region.
See more at: www.instagram.com/jayceemayer/
Eden by Richard Brown
18 x 18 inches
Colored pencil on Stonehenge paper
(Photo by Mike Lanzetta. Used with permission.)
The dense foliage of the rainforest almost blocks the sun. But some of the early morning light does manage to stream through the mist and forest canopy. The only sound disturbing the silence is dripping of condensation from the mass of leaves onto the forest floor. The air is thick and warm. Nature is lush and verdant in every direction. And I feel a sense of serenity. This is a spiritual place with nature rising to the heavens.
All of these thoughts formed in my mind the instant that I saw a beautiful image that Mike Lanzetta had captured of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica. I was immediately entranced by this photograph. They say that every artist is a storyteller, and Eden is my interpretation of nature reigning supreme.
Colored pencil drawing is a very slow and tedious process. I decided that it might be wise to experiment with a different drawing technique for a project of this size and complexity. (I know this is selfish, but I thought I would like to maintain my sanity, and maybe finish this project before my passing). With that in mind, I elected to use Prismacolor markers to block in the dark values. My thinking was that this technique would save time, and help me to navigate my position vis-a-vis the reference photograph. And then I proceeded to add layers with my usual finicky Prismacolor pencil process.
I actually started this project more than three years ago and then put it away, because it was simply overwhelming. I got lost in the jungle. But I never give up and I always finish what I have started. You are in fact witnessing the rebirth of this image.
About Richard Brown:
Richard Brown is an engineer. His artistic goal is to create a photorealistic image using pencils and an unhealthy reservoir of patience. Any subject is fair game for this treatment providing there is challenge and growth involved in the process. Richard is a repeat winner (2004 & 2005) of the American Artist Drawing Competition.
See more at: facebook.com/Brownblackandwhite-135323603204634
Tahquamenon Falls, by Erwin Phillip Lewandowski
12 x 15 inches
Colored pencil on Strathmore Bristol paper
(Artist's own photo)
Tahquamenon Falls is located in northeastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is recognized as one of the largest and most majestic waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. The earthy minerals and tannins found throughout the Tahquamenon River contributes to a most unusual display of colors along the water surface. As the river comes cascading downward, the falling water gives the viewer the impression of a mixture of frothy white colors, similar to bubbling root beer.
My decision to draw the falls was based on several factors, including the size of the waterfalls, history of the falls, current movements in the river, and the rich assortment of colors along the water surface. Creating the drawing required hours of defining and shaping hundreds of complex movements. The final stage of the drawing involved laying several applications of metallic colored pencils to add more definition to the flowing river currents.
About Erwin Phillip Lewandowski:
Professional artist Erwin P. Lewandowski, CPSA and CPX, maintains a studio along the shoreline of Lake Huron in northeast Michigan. He has received numerous awards for his waterscape artwork, featured in dozens of art publications, hosted annual workshops, and is currently represented by six agent galleries in the United States.
See more at: www.erwinplewandowski.com
September 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine.
Download the digital version of the magazine for just $3.89, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.