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.

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