Earlier this month I got a call from Matthew Cooley at Rolling Stone to ask if I could paint Tom Petty for the Record review opener.
Sketch. Nowadays I do paintings as sketches whenever the subject is simple enough to lend itself to this process. My thumbnails are usually on post-its.
Dale Stephanos emailed me this shot of the painting in the magazine. Its still a thrill to see my work in there. (I subscribe to RS but was out of town and hadn't seen it yet). Later i had the ultimate thrill of seeing it being scrutinized by a fellow passenger on a plane.
For those who are interested, this was painted in the same manner as the first demo I did at ICON, oil over a loose charcoal drawing on bond paper.
In progress shot. I really didnt want to go much further than this but the face still needed work. The trick, of course, is knowing when to stop. How much detail to satisfy that this is a specific model Rickenbacker without having it pull attention away from the face?
The first time I ever went to RS, the art assistant told me my work wasn't of the kind they used. I've been to the offices of Rolling Stone many times since then and stood in front of the work of so many great illustrators - I understand what she meant. Still- I wanted to be one of them.
Many years later, I'm still trying to get better. Getting in Rolling Stone was a long time goal. I eventually achieved it a while back - but it's still a huge thrill to get that call. Thanks Matthew and Joe at Rolling Stone for trusting me with this special piece of real estate.
I have been working since May on work for my new show UTOPIA, which opens tomorrow in Oakland. I wanted to have a show of landscape paintings that worked as a cohesive entity, as opposed to a group of random pictures. Time has been in short supply this summer and I needed to work on the show close to home. Luckily, I happen to live a 30 minute drive from what to me is the most beautiful and serene place on earth.
The Meeting Place
Limantour Beach, a part of the Point Reyes National Seashore, is protected from development by law, and protected from the crowds by a winding and obscure access road. It is a unique ecosystem and a challenging place to paint with winds, tides, light and fog in constant flux.
I tried to go there every day for 30 days. ( I must confess that I missed a few days due to other deadlines). Worikng around my illustration assignments, I went usually very early in the morning or late in the aftternoon when the wind dies enough to keep sand out of the painting. I did over 40 pieces, 16 were keepers and are in the show.
All but two of these pieces were painted in the last week of May through June 25, 2014. All were painted on location. Each painting is an artifact that represents a struggle between my ambition for the piece, the limitations of my own skill, and the meteorological conditions on any given day.
All That Remains
Primeval wind- detail
East of the West
The more one looks at a specific place, the more one can see the beauty and complexity in the simplest things. One could spend one's entire life working on this spit of tidal land, trying to capture a fraction of the beauty and understated grandeur of Utopia.
I hope if you are in the area that you can come to the reception tomorrow night!
Robert Hunt: UTOPIA
Reception 6/28 6-10 PM
Arte Verissima Gallery
4432 Piedmont Ave,
Oakland, CA 94611
Every year the Society of Illustrators hosts the Microvisions show and auction. This year I was among the ten artists asked to create 5x7 original paintings which are auctioned to raise funds for the Scholarship fund. To date the Microvisions auctions have raised over $25,000 for scholarships.Its a small way to help defray the cost of education for a few worthy students and get an anazing deal on original illustration art. Please check it out and consider bidding- the auction is open for one more day.
Artists featured in this year's exhibit include Richard Anderson, Steve Belledin, Nicolas Delort, Eric Fortune, Robert Hunt, Greg Manchess, Iain McCaig, Tran Nguyen, and Karla Ortiz.
I heard Bob Newman speak at the Society of Illustrators last year as he accepted a special award for his great art direction at a number of major publications. Though I never met him, I felt that he was a special kind of person and a of course I already knew he was a real friend of our industry. I also knew he was recovering from a terrible accident and had accumulated massive medical expenses. It could happen to any of us. When I heard that there was a benefit auction to try to raise some funds to offset some of these expenses, I asked to donate a painting in the hope that in some small way it might help him out. There are over sixty illustrators participating in the auction, and a LOT of great work that can be purchased. Please consider going to this site and bidding on some of this work, to help out a friend of all of us.
There is a party tonight at the society of illustrators - special Giclee prints of the work donated by Philip Burke, Tim O'Brien, Steve Brodner, Drew Friedman ,Ross MacDonald and myself will be available as door prizes. If you are in NYC , please consider attending!
My donation- Keith Richards, oil on paper 10 x 10 inches