This post continues my celebration of people that have modeled for me throughout my art career. Click on the images to see them larger.
When I needed reference for specific illustrations, I would ask someone to pose for me. Generally, the search would be for a person who I felt reflected the spirit of the art to be produced , but who I also had easy access to. Hence, many times family, friends, or someone who lived close by usually ended up being the one.
In the following images we see Roxana Villa (my wife), and her daughter, Eve as well as Gwen Cunningham and others who helped with many reference shots for some wonderful projects.
Blue Mage was created for the special edition of, The Art of Greg Spalenka book.
Roxana posed for the “Lotus Faeries” poster (below). Here are two sketches of her.
“Lotus Faeries” poster. Roxana is morphed throughout, and stretched into faerie mode.
Roxana as Susannah for the CU opera poster of this production. “Susannah,” is an adaptation of the biblical story of Susannah and the elders set in the 1950s in rural Tennessee.
Posing for, “I am the Sun” painting.
“I am the Sun,” 47″x54″ acrylic, oil, varnish, gold leaf, silver leaf, on canvas/gator board.
Eve Villa Neuhart, SX70 Polaroid, early 2000’s.
You can see Eve’s influence in this poster. I made her look a little older from the earlier reference. The pictures are always a starting point for the art and generally change as the image evolves.
As Tanisa in, “The Eyes of the Unicorn” children’s book.
Tanisa slumbers while a magical visitor arrives… “The Eyes of the Unicorn” children’s book, written by Teresa Bateman, published by Holiday House.
Love this photo. This was taken as an inspiration or the Chester College poster.
The final Chester College art has a different feel over the photo reference, it is less earthy, but this is where the illustration evolved to. I see now that it would have been stronger to pull out the stops on the headdress and make it more outrageous.
Another poster for Laguna College of Art and Design. Eve was pushed into a more fantastical image here but you can still feel her presence.
Eve’s friends were also employed as we see here with Hanna Edelson for another Chester College poster, (below).
The final Chester College poster. Anthony Padilla hired me to produce these images for the school. Jeff Burne was the designer on both Chester College and the Laguna College of Art and Design posters. We have worked closely for decades on a myriad of projects with much success.
Gwen Cunningham synchronistically came on the scene when I was looking at models for Roxana Illuminated Perfume. Roxana creates pure botanical perfumes with essential oils, infusions, etc. without any synthetic chemicals. Gwen fit this elegant, wholesome quality perfectly.
Gwen inspired the image created for Roxana Illuminated Perfume’s new edition of Blossom, and then I produce a short video too.
I experimented with cyanotype photographic processes with Gwen as the focus. Expect more of this exploration from me in the near future.
Lastly, there are moments when several friends/models come together and create a synergy. This image for Roxana Illuminated Perfume, includes Eve, Gwen, Kyle and Walker.
*Stay tuned for more posts that honor the people that have modeled for me, inspired me and helped me bring more beauty into the world.