Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Art Center School circa 1960-1963

I recently posted a shout-out to one of my closest friends from the Art Center, Fred Pfeiffer, illustrator,whose career ended much too soon by his own hand.  At this age we are starting to loose our pals at an increasingly rapid rate.  Nostalgia took over while digging up as much as I could find from that period to provide some  back story to a dedicated site of his work by two really avid fans Courtney Rodgers and Scotty Phillips. 
I thought it might be of interest to some still around as well as to those younger to what it was like at the former building on West Third Street in Los Angeles.

A later photo of the buildings on West Third

Lorser Feitelson
Lorser taught painting  history and technique starting generally with a short lecture and then an open session for your own project.  He encouraged younger painters to copy master paintings for technical understanding

Harry Carmean - drawing and anatomy

An accomplished draftsman, Carmean emphasized careful analysis of the human form.  The texts were Bridgeman and Peck.  Live models were naturally posed for varying lengths of time.  Conte crayon and newsprint pads were generally exclusive materials for these classes.

Morgan Henninger - Advanced Illustration class
 Assignments were given out a week in advance and the crits lasted most of the session...
Do not ever be late...(Deadline of Death)
Kaminski and Ted Youngkin at coffee before morning classes
 Typical studio class

 Paul Sousa with I believe one of the Hubner twins
taken from an Art Center Catalog

preparing a board
 studio session during break

 Roommate John Demming and my truck at our shared studio on North Cahuenga
Check out the price of gas...1962

During our last year at the center we found a muddy lot on Franklin and thought up the idea of a rope pull between the Advertising Design Majors and the Illustration Majors.  The prints below were scanned in from photostats and have lost a great deal of detail.  Below are the art directors and I believe it was pretty much an exhaustive draw as we were all laughing so hard..

 The end of the day when the Blue visited the Brown

 Sandy and Timmy

Future Mad Men around 1963-64
If anyone out there has anything to contribute to this section I would love to hear from you...GL

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thomas P. Quinn - Brushwork, and then some..great example of confident painting style

This gouache illustration for Field & Stream by Thomas Patrick Quinn Jr. dates from 1964...This is really as good as it can get for confident brushwork - lush and creamy style..Tom was a classmate at the Art Center School and brief roommate when we were all at the old Third Street studios.  Regrettably this style of illustration was slipping into oblivion with few exceptions ( John Berkey the most accomplished among them..) Magazine illustration was about to die almost completely in a few years and advertising was rapidly moving into photography snapping the ambition of fairly well trained graduating illustrators.

             Click to enlarge...!


   When the mid sixties hit (Mad Men plus) a lot of really good people dumped out..Cooper Studios
who had most of the top illustrators and most of the top business for all of the country went down.
For the next decade everyone scrambled to pick up what they could...paperbacks, spot drawings,
packaging..whatever.  Reps specialized and some did not always cut you the best deal...keeping major shares for themselves as you rarely saw the invoices.  I was working at J.W.Thompson as a sketch artist on the Ford account doing gouache 24 sheet (bill board) comps for the new Mustang and filling in on other major accounts.  What you see on 'Mad Men' was pretty much it at the time with the exception that I did not see a lot of in house drinking but everything else was common... the AD's and writers only hired good looking women who came from the Seven Sisters (Smith, Wellesley etc) as their secretaries. All others to the typing pool and media.  Assistant art directors were hired at about $60 a week and worked the bull pen for about 3 or 4 months and then be assigned to an AD.. no raise for a year and then if you were lucky got about a grand more per year.  I had a place on Prince Street in the village at the time and occasionally a married AD would ask for the keys to my place during lunch...That was never going to happen I am happy to say..there wasn't much they could do about it as the illustrators were needed for presentations.

Below is a small sketch by John Berkey who regrettably is no longer with us.