Friday, November 5, 2010

I'd rather be fishin'

Well, almost.

There is a part of me that really wishes there was a bigger market for outdoor sporting illustration. Often at points I've commented that I'm really a landscape painter, trying to find commercial applications for it. In the Golden Age of illustration, this wasn't as hard as it is today. Somewhere between a hunting ad and a western story—this type of work often had beautiful landscape, rugged figures, and half of the time some sort of wildlife. Good painting material, as far as I'm concerned. A Golden Age illustrator also drawn to this kind of material, was Oliver Kemp (1887-1934)
This Brandywine alum had a strong personal interest in hunting, camping, fishing, and general outdoor survival. Kemp rose to the rank of major in WWI, and once survived a shipwreck for five days without food or water. He wrote about his interests and painted for a variety of clients, including Scribner's, The Saturday Evening Post, and Outing Magazine. I was not familiar with his work, but while digging through a century old edition of Scribner's, I came across these four stunning color plates, for an article entitled "Days a Fishing" (the article also had a couple of line pieces by Franklin Booth!) The four plates illustrate ideal environments for four separate species of fish— trout, bass, musky, and salmon. Makes me long for the season. Luckily the painting season goes all year long.

I'm off to Illuxcon this week. I don't do too many convention appearances anymore, But this one is not just a convention, it's a workshop and a conference for illustrators—The best in the fantasy market, all the guests at the other shows, all here together. Looking forward to it. My presentation on The Influence of Golden Age Illustration on Fantasy Art Today, is certainly related to what I do here on VIEW, and the books I produce with Dover Publications.