PICTURES OF FAIRIES; The Fairy Pictures Educational Art Gallery: Featuring New Fairy Pictures of Celtic, Shakespearean, and Victorian Fairies - New Fairy Pictures created in a style inspired by Classic Illustrators by Contemporary American Artist and Photographer Howard David Johnson... Welcome lovers of fairy pictures and fairy art for all ages...  Seen all the great old Fairy pictures in books and on calendars and cards and STILL can't get enough? This gallery is for you! ... Newly Updated for 2014! 


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Fairy Pictures: The Golden Age of Fairy Painting began in the wake of publications such as the tales edited by the Brothers Grimm and revivals of Shakespeare. It has become a tradition...




   Victorian artists initially took their cue from Shakespeare but soon devised their own scenarios. 

  By the mid 1800's a tradition developed among British and Scottish Painters that continues today the world over in every known media.

  This exhibition of contemporary fairy Paintings, drawings and pictures embraces this tradition. 

   Faeries: also Fairy or Faery, have long been the common terms for a legendary race of clever super- natural beings who meddle in human affairs, but they are known by many names. 

   Commonly associated with the Celts, Fairies are not the product of one culture or time; they have a pedigree.

  Ancient Greek Heroes had fairy lemans, called nymphs, and the faraway Asians, Eskimos and American Indians had similar fairy legends as well. 

   The mythic Gandharvas of Sanskrit poetry were also fairies. 

"The Protector of the Forest" MMX





New! The Ace of Autumn and " The Ace of Spring" MMXIV All in Mixed Media including 3D modeling



peter pan tinker bell magic    fairy vilage hallow  house town   tinker bell pixi dust 3d art

"Peter Pan" MMXIV "Faeries" MMXIV" and "Horror of Tinkerbell" MMXIV 




A Faerie Knight and The Fairy Hierophant


"Pixie Pals" 2002- 2006 (mixed media)     "The Red Fairy" 2006 (mixed media)


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What are Fairies, Elves, and Pixies?

   The nearest analogy to the shape of fairy belief in Scotland and Ireland - the Pixies of southern England is that of the popular oral traditions of the early Arabs. 

    The best books on Celtic Fairy lore are still "The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies" by the Rev. Mr. Kirk and Keightley's "Fairy Mythology".

    Amazingly enough, the belief in a species of Lady Fairies, deathly to their human lovers was just as common in far way Samoa as it was on the banks of Loch Awe.

   The Fairy women who come to the births of children and foretell their fortunes with their spindles legends were found in ancient Egypt. The fabled trickery and changeling legends are also quite common the world over. 

   Since ancient times, the Irish have referred to fairies as the Shee, ( or Sidhee in Gaelic. ) Other names for fairy and fairy like creatures include the pixie, pixy, elf,  fay, sprite, brownie, Robin Goodfellow, dwarf, gnome, troll, kobold, peri, hobgoblin, leprechaun, and also included are the nymph, dryad, oceanid, hamadryad, naiad, neried, oread, undine, faun, satyr & mermaid.

 A female spirit who wailed to foretell death was called a Banshee.

Many fairy tales popular today had their origins in the folk tales of prehistoric times...


 A fairy circle unleashed great magical powers. The Greek Sirens of Homer are a form of these Fairies, as the Nereids, Oreads, and Naiads are fairies of wells, mountains, and the sea. 

The evolution of the fairy tale continues to this day.  

"The Little People" or Leprechauns were the another race of elves ( fairies ) from the folklore of the Irish. ( or Luchrupan ). They were master craftsmen and hoarded hidden treasure. Like the fairies, contact with them could either be a blessing or a curse. Over the course of a thousand years, the gods of the Ancient Celts, AKA elves and fairies evolved into what we now call lepruchauns or... the little people.  

   Country People still commonly believed in them until the coming of the television in the 1950's...  By the mid 20th Century belief in fairies was thought to have faded into history.  In spite of persecution and the ridicule of modern science these beliefs and practices continue to this day. 

This Celtic, Shakespearean, and Victorian Fairy Pictures art gallery welcomes you to this celebration of all things Faerie created in a variety of different forms of mixed media ranging from very old fashioned to very, very modern. Modern artist's tools such as photography, airbrushes, and computers make it possible to create pictures of fairies unlike anything we've ever seen before.

Here, in "Elven Fairy Magic", we see elements of of both nature and surrealism abound, especially in the women's faces in the evaporating mist flowing upward and merging with the forest. (lower feft)

I call this a 'Prismacolor Painting', because this kind of picture is really not at all what people think of when they hear the word 'drawing'.

     This art medium, these relatively new soft oil based colored pencils are not the first Dry Painting Medium: the term 'Pastel Paintings' originated in the 17th century. They also are a wet medium, mixing well with solvents and applied with an artist's brush and getting very masterfully realistic and some times even oil painting- like results. See 'art instruction' below for more... or for more on mixed media, & style and technique, scroll past the main fairy pictures exhibit for articles and essays on these subjects...


Digital Fairy art and Original oil paintings and drawings are for sale, click on "buy original art" below for info...

Mixed Media including digital Prismacolor colored pencils on paper  Oil Painting on Canvas   

Howard David Johnson works in a wide variety of combined media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * and last but not least: Digital Artistry & Mixed Media * 




"Faerie Guardians" 2006 (above left) is an oil painting on 20x16 canvas. It started out as a mixed media piece just like "Tiny Dancer" 2010 (above right) Any of Johnson's Mixed media AKA Art Numerica creations can be rendered in oil on canvas or Prismacolors on Paper as a one-of-a-kind original upon request...

Publishing Licenses & Existing Original oil paintings and drawings are for sale, e-mail for more details...




For more Fairy pictures and more fairy gallery links as well as articles on the artist, keep scrolling down...

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"Sometimes my photographic models influence me to get away from traditional illustration to do fairy portraits like Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina - Above are some Fine Art Fairy Portraits featuring Art Deco and Art Nu veau themes of two of my favorite fairy painting models - Grace And Ann shown here." For more Fairy paintings and pictures visit or just click on "Faerie Wood" below..." ~ HDJ







Rags to Riches: Poor Cinderella MMX makes a perfect compliment to David's "Queen Cinderella" done in MMVII and is part of a new series of fairy tale illustrations including classic and contemporary fairy tales; "Stories that never grow old..."




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"The Little Thieves" MMX Mixed Media and "Faerie Tales" MMVIII Mixed Media

For more Fairy pictures and more fairy gallery links as well as articles on the artist, keep scrolling down...


Would you like to know more? Then read on dear friend...





Many pieces are currently available, mostly 11x14-13x16 inch Prismacolor Paintings (like Helen of Troy) and pencil portraits (like Arriba #2) followed in number by Acrylic, Prismacolor and pastel mixed media all on #400 Strathmore Bristol Board ranging from $700.00-$1400. 00 USD and Oil Paintings on canvas ranging from $1999.00 - 10,000.00 USD.  Pieces that have never been rendered in oil can be commissioned in 16x20 inch size on canvas for 50% down and delivered in under 90 days with signed certificates of authenticity aka legal documents pledging never to render it in that size and media again to ensure premium collectability and investment potential.

David can also do a completely new picture designed in digital media (for more on this visit his digital media page) and when we approve the photo-montage, he uses it as reference to render it in oil on canvas. No surprises.  Existing Artwork is shipped very well protected and go out to you immediately via Fed Ex or USPS Express mail upon receipt of payment at our expense. All new creations cost a bit more depending on what is involved. All new creations and rendering photo montages into art on paper are a LOT of fun with e-mail attachments and digital cameras.  



Almost all of Johnson's Mixed Media creations (above left) displayed in this site are available to be rendered in oil on canvas like the 20x16 oil on canvas Faerie Guardians 2006 (above right). Each design will only be rendered in oil once at this size and can be delivered in as little as 90 days. Sadly, much of the subtlety, vibrance, lustre and impact of an original oil painting is lost when it is scanned and imported to digital media or even printed by a master printer. Nothing can compare to an original oil painting viewed in person in my opinion but the other painting media definitely look good in print and have their charms and distinct advantages as well.

e-mail for more details at

Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.






    These beautifully printed 11" x 8.5" 64 page hardcover and trade paperback versions feature 48 full page interior plates in full color starting at only $14.99 USD. Less than the price of a single poster! Featuring Realistic Mythological and Fairy Art created in a style inspired by Classic Illustrators by American Artist Howard David Johnson. 



Click on the covers to order the books from



Gorgeous Quality Fairy Picture Reproductions for

Publishing Licenses!

Wholesale  Collectible Fairy Picture Reprints, Posters, & Licenses

for Commercial use in 

 Books Cards Posters Magazines CDs DVDs Videos & more are available at reasonable rates.







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All  these fairy pictures, & text are legally copyrighted & were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright in 2004-14 by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for legal use is available for many applications by simply contacting the author...

Thank you for visiting! Keep scrolling down for more Art Galleries, more fairy pictures,  fantasy art, Gorgeous poster size reprints, and essays by the artist on Art & Technology...


This Art Gallery has been honored by more than 25,000,000 unique visitors

from the Four Corners of the Earth:

My Friends from around the world thus far :

 England,   Canada,   Scotland,   Wales,   Ireland,   Germany,   France,   Monaco,   Andorra,   Italy,   The Vatican City State,  Greece,  Macedonia,  Cyprus,  Turkey,  Belgium,  Denmark,  The Faroe Islands,   Greenland,  Yugoslavia, Macedonia,  Croatia,  The Czech Republic,  Bosnia,  Herzegovina,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Luxembourg,  Latvia,  Estonia, Hungary,  Bulgaria,  Lithuania,  Poland,  Austria,  Romania,  Spain,  The Russian Federation,   Ukraine,   Kazakhstan, Moldova,  Malta,  Iceland,  Finland,  Norway,  Netherlands,  Switzerland,  Liechtenstein,  Sweden,  Portugal,  Albania, Armenia, Georgia,  Azerbaijan,  Belarus,  Kazakhstan,  Gibraltar,  Israel,  Palestinian Territories,   Egypt,   Libya,  Mali, Algeria,  Niger,  Saudi Arabia,  Oman,  The United Arab Emirates,  Kuwait,  Bahrain,  Qatar,  Yemen,  Iraq,  Iran,  Jordan, Syria,   Lebanon,   Morocco,   Ethiopia,   Eritrea,   Liberia,   The Republic of Congo,   Rwanda,   Kenya,  Angola,  Ghana, The Ivory Coast,   Zambia,   Zimbabwe,   Sudan,  Nigeria,  Namibia,  Uganda,   Kenya,  Eritrea,  Tanzania,  Botswana, Malawi,  Senegal,  Djibouti,  Cameroon,  Chad,  Gambia,  Mozambique,  Swaziland,  Lesotho,  South Africa,  Viet Nam, Japan,  South Korea,  China,  Hong Kong,  Macau,  Mongolia,  Mauritius,  Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia,  Laos,   Myanmar,  Macau,  Malaysia,  Taiwan,  Nuie,  New Zealand,  Fiji,  Cook Islands,  New Caledonia,  Vanuatu,  American Samoa,  Australia,  Micronesia,  Polynesia,  Papua New Guinea,  The Heard and McDonald Islands,  The Philippines,  Guam,    Malaysia,


   Palau,   Cocos Island,  The Kingdom of Tonga,   Brunei Darussalem,  India,   Pakistan,   Afghanistan, Bhutan,  Bangladesh,  Sri Lanka,  Chagos Islands,  The Republic of Maldives,  Turkmenistan,  Kyrgyzstan,  Uzbekistan, Nepal,  Indonesia,  Chile,  Argentina,  Uruguay,  Paraguay,  Brazil,  Peru,   Aruba,  Venezuela,  Bolivia, Suriname,  Guyana,  Aruba,  The Dominican Republic,  Guatemala,  Costa Rica,  Colombia,  Trinidad and Tobago,   Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,  The Virgin Islands,  The Netherlands Antilles,  Panama,  Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Grenada, Ecuador,  Belize,   Nicaragua,   El Salvador,   Bermuda,  Cuba,  Jamaica,  Dominica,  Haiti,  Puerto Rico,  Cayman Islands,   Anguilla,    The Bahamas,   Honduras,   Mexico, and my home, The Great Free State of Texas...

If your home is not listed here please e-mail and tell us where you're from...

We LOVE hearing from you! Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome...


For more Fairy pictures and more fairy gallery links as well as articles on the artist, keep scrolling down...


Enter a world of Beauty and Imagination...

The Realistic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

Francais    English     Deutsch   Italiano    De Portugese    Espanol     Dutch    Japanese    Chinese

Click on the Icons to visit the Educational Galleries of Realistic Art: Including Mythology of Greece, Rome, Asia, The Celts, The Norsemen, and more...Fairy and Dragon legends, The King Arthur Legends, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Paintings of Ancient Egypt and Babylon, Ancient Mystic Religious texts, War and Civilization from the Ancient Spartans to World War Two, The World's Great Religions, and Free Art Lessons.

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 Art of the Bible Mermaid Art  The Art of War  Business Center Legendary Women Paintings in Oils


Who is Artist and Photographer Howard David Johnson?

In David's invitation to the Florence Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition, (a partner in the United Nations' Dialog among Nations), UN Secretary General Kofi Anon wrote: "Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At their best, artists speak not only to people; they speak for them. Art is a weapon against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness... Art opens new doors for learning, understanding, and peace among nations."


    Howard David Johnson is a contemporary visual artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history. H D Johnson, or David as he is called, works in a wide variety of media ranging from traditional oils,  pastels and others to today's cutting edge digital media. After a lifetime of drawing and painting, Johnson's Traditional Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996 - Three years before he got his first computer ) His mixed and digital media works have appeared in  numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His illustrations have appeared in every major bookstore and game-shop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world. Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the National Geographic Society, the University of Texas, the University of Cambridge in England, Paramount Studios, PBS TV, Adobe Photoshop Auto FX, Doubleday, the History Book of the Month Club,  and J Walter Thompson Advertising.  Realistic Oil Paintings, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, and Digital art can also be commissioned for select projects. As an illustrator David has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development of filter imaging software for Adobe Photoshop. Licensing fees start at only $100.00.

For essays by the artist on History of Realistic Art & Art & Technology through the centuries scroll down...



"Those who are enamoured of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and gateway, and without it nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."

Howard David Johnson is a visual artist and photographer with a background in
the natural sciences and history. He works in a wide variety of media ranging from traditional
oils,  pastels and others to cutting edge digital media. He loves mixing media. This site features
examples of his Pictures, including illustration, photography, experimentalism, & fine art.
The various galleries linked to by the icons above show many examples of his Fantastical Realistic Art, & are grouped by theme rather than media. There are also several special pages with discussion of media & galleries devoted to History, Classical Mythology, Women of Mythology, & Celtic & Asian Myth & Legend.

A portrait of the artist in his painting studio as he is today. This September 2009 photo was taken by his youngest son Erich.

     Since boyhood he has passionately copied the old masters. To create his fairy pictures, he usually starts with a thematic concept  followed by a rough realistic pencil sketch, then followed by his original photography, often traveling to find suitable scenes and locations and then working in his Photography studio with live models from his sketches. He then assembles a variety of elements which are realistic and original. As a boy he dedicated his life to art in 1960. From 1965- 1999 he used xeroxes and tracings to make his preliminary collages. This is patterned after  the manner used by Maxfield Parrish and other 19th century notables. Beginning with a tracing, he now draws or paints from these new complex original Computer Photo Montages. Many of these are on display on this web and slated for future completion in a variety of realistic traditional art media. As this happens, the finished work is substituted in the exhibit. For decades David has sought out the most beautiful models and brought them in for sessions in his analog photography studio. Using a strategy employed by J.W. Waterhouse, (the old master David imitates most )- his wistful and graceful models cannot be underestimated in their contribution to the stunning beauty and the potential for lasting appeal of his work.

    His favourite medium for realistic art is colored pencil because of the high speed and low expense, and people began expressing difficulty in telling his colored pencil drawing from photographs in the early 1980's.  In the last 35 plus years he has also mastered Oils, Pastels, Acrylics, Watercolors, Inks, Scratchboard, Gouache, Photography, and the highly controversial digital media. As a commercial illustrator Johnson has not only used the computer to create art but has been involved in the development of computer imaging software for Adobe Photoshop. Working in a realistic style inspired by classic illustrators HDJ is deeply rooted and grounded in the Greco-Roman artistic tradition, Feeling that with realistic art, the human form is the ultimate arena for artistic expression. His lifelong dream came true when his Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London England in 1996. His mixed media has also been displayed in numerous other ones since such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having achieved international acclaim as a traditional visual artist he discovered digital media ( Art Numérica ) in 1999. Because of his passion for realistic art and photography he elected to embrace it and joyfully be a part of this historic era in the visual arts as a 21st century realistic visual artist.

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     Since 1972 when he began his career as a scientific illustrator for the University of Texas he has earned his living illustrating all kinds of books, magazines, CD covers, and all sorts of games, greeting cards, calendars, portraits, murals and the like with his contemporary realistic art... HDJ's Realistic Art has appeared in every major bookstore chain and fantasy gaming shop in The United States and has been used in educational texts and magazines all over the world. This site features realistic paintings & pictures for the twenty-first Century including some oil paintings, as well as lots of other exciting media such as colored pencil drawings, pastel paintings, acrylic paintings, gouache paintings, watercolor paintings, and pencil drawings, and also featuring studio,  field, & aerial photography,  digital painting and photo-montage and all these media mixed in an assortment of experimental combinations...Working in a wide variety of media to create his realistic art he offers his customers a host of payment and product options. He delivers the rights to these custom made copyright free illustrations and old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire. He loves to paint custom oil paintings and accepts commissions with down payments starting at one thousand dollars. Other media, like colored pencil or digital are of course less expensive.

 On his existing works his license offers start at only 100 dollars.



Bonus Section:

Personal Opinion Essays on Realistic Art yesterday and today by the artist.


"The Oracle" (2009 version Mixed Media) above left and "The Lady of Shalott" (2010 Mixed Media) above right and center.


In addition to his mastery of traditional media, Howard David Johnson now combines drawing, painting, photography, and digital media with more than thirty years of experience in these fields to create his 21st century fairy paintings and pictures. Did you know the Greek word "Photography" means "Painting with Light"? Today with the advent of computers it truly lives up to it's name. Due to developments in Art and Technology, a broader definition of painting is needed than that which is found in common usage. Announcing Art Numérica -an exciting merger of traditional visual art and cutting edge technology... a new art form for the twenty- first century... Art Numérica is not limited to realistic or fairy art but also offers limitless horizons for everything from cartoons to abstractions. It is the most dramatic development in the visual arts since the Renaissance. As Al Jolson said in the world's first talking picture" You ain't seen nothin' yet!"


(A Brief essay dealing with attitudes toward Traditional Realistic Paintings, Pastels, Colored Pencils and Art Numérique )

        "Painting, in art, the action of laying colour on a surface, or the representation of objects by this means. Considered one of the fine arts"

~Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

  "Painting. noun. 1.) The act or employment of laying on colors or paints. 2.) The art of forming figures or objects in colors on canvas or any other surface, or the art of representing to the eye by means of figures and colors any object; the work of an illustrator or painter. 3.) A picture; a likeness or resemblance in shape or colors. 4.) Colors laid on. 5.) Delineation that raises a vivid image in the mind; as in word painting.

~ Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

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Pastel, Acrylics, and Colored Pencils combined

     Snobbism in the arts is nothing new. Some people will tell you that oils are the only valid medium for realistic paintings. That Colored Pencil, Digital, and other Realistic Painting and Drawing Media are not valid  for "real" art. Young artists, Don't let them bother you. Their forerunners used to condemn Pastels before they gained acceptance and called them "crayons" when Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752) invented them.  Mercilessly disrespectful  art critics of the time could not stop the Experimentalists no matter how viciously they attacked and derided them. "Crayon-painting" as it was called in England was practiced early on by persecuted pioneers in Switzerland and many other nations. What a debt we owe to these master artists who refused to knuckle under to the pressure of those short-sighted critics during those historic and experimental times. It took until 1870 with the founding of the "Societe` Des Pastellistes" in France that respect came  at last to these heroic & immortal visual artists.

        In England the liberation of the Pastellists from slight regard and undeserved disrespect came with the first exhibition of "The Pastel Society" at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1880. Pastel Painters like Mary Cassat and others from America and other nations forever silenced  the snobs with their masterworks and gained recognition at long last for Thiele's invention as a valid art medium. I am persuaded that history will repeat itself.  Like Pastels, I believe these wonderful new colored pencils and even Digital Realistic Art Media will one day receive the recognition they deserve as powerful mediums of artistic expression just as pastel paintings did. What is your definition of art? Have you thought about it?

Mine is: "anything that makes you feel or think."

     Consider dancing... it can be a little skip in the step or rise to the level of the incomparable Russian Ballet. Did you know that just the materials alone for a single oil painting cost up to a thousand dollars these days? Even paying the artist less than minimum wage no one but the super rich can afford them anymore. Something's got to give. Realistic paintings in oil have been highly prized for centuries and the appeal and following of realistic art is undiminished to this day. Oil paintings featuring Abstract Art and Realistic Art are generally the most treasured form of all the visual art media and with good reason. But snobbish art critics  favoring abstract art have declared  that realistic paintings, or illustrations are not art for a century. With so many representationalist  paintings by so many immortal master artists hanging in the Louvre, the Hermitage, and the British Museum and others I think the disrespect for realistic illustrators that dominated the 20th century is academically ridiculous as well as vain and intolerant, insisting theirs is the only valid opinion. What is your definition of Art? I believe almost any form of human expression can be raised to the level of "high art" especially  visual art and Realistic illustration...

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The detail reveals Realistic art and abstract art combined

       By my own definition of art, which is:" anything that makes you feel or think" most abstract paintings are not "real art" to me personally, because abstract paintings usually neither make me feel or think,  usually focusing obsessively on technique and avoiding any coherent content. I usually draw a complete blank mentally and emotionally when I look at them. In 1979 the Houston Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed a triptych of 3 giant   paintings they paid fifty thousand dollars for-  three blank white canvasses entitled "untitled". Then there was "The incredible new artistic Genius" with an I.Q. of 62 ...Congo the chimpanzee with his gala New York art elaborate prank played on the Snobbish American Art critics about a generation ago by research scientists in the field of primatology. Imagine how upset they were when he created one of his "ingenious masterpieces" right before their eyes.

( My Source for this is the Time Life Science Library volume entitled "The Primates". )

      Art education has been almost completely removed from American Schools as a result of generations of this kind of  fabulous nonsense contributing to America's cultural illiteracy crisis. Now, the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and other notables are being removed from school libraries.  After generations of this, most American college graduates today cannot name even one living visual artist, abstract or realistic.

There is no way that mandating more math, requiring more reading, or scheduling more science will replace what we have lost as a culture.    

What is your definition of Art?



Note: Abstract Paintings by Congo the Chimpanzee outsold Warhol and Renoir by over 25,000 dollars in June 2005 at a London art auction. Born in 1954, Congo created more than 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of two and four. He died in 1964 of tuberculosis. There is no precedent for this kind of sale.


Essay Two : The Rebirth of Realism

More thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today by the artist

Art History has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérica, or digital art media in the 21st century. Artists never stop exploring with mediums. Artists have been developing techniques, experimenting with different tools since at least twenty- five thousand years ago, when the first artist picked up a charred stick and scratched a picture out on the wall of his cave. You'd think everything would have been tried by now, but it hasn't. Exploring new mediums this very day is just as exciting, just as full of freshness and newness as it ever was.

The creation of Realistic art has been the goal of most artists since the dawn of  civilization. Realistic art was the pride of ancient Greece. The world's greatest museums are full of realistic art. Realistic art WAS art until the advent of the abstract expressionist movement in the twentieth century. The coming of the camera in the nineteenth century changed realistic art forever. Suddenly, realistic art was not the only way to create realism in portraits and historical records. The work of the realistic artist was suddenly made into an expensive luxury. The political power of the realistic artist was broken and they were no longer an indispensable member of society. Hostility to the creators of realistic art goes back to ancient times and the jealousy of advisers to the Pharaohs and others who were not able to spend as much time with their rulers as their portraitists. Although with the aid of photographs, realistic art achieved levels of excellence undreamed of, the realistic art movement of the late nineteenth century was short.
     None of these people earning their living creating realistic art could compete with the speed and low cost of photographic portraiture.  Determined to survive, great realistic artists like Pablo Picasso ingeniously turned inward and began to explore things that could not be photographed in a new school of art, abstract expressionism. The day of the fine art superstars had arrived. It was now largely just a hobby to abstract and realistic artists alike. Illustration, because of advances in printing technology enabled an elite few to earn a living with their realistic art. These illustrators working in realistic art media  were condemned and ridiculed in much the same way Europe's great symphonic composers were condemned for working in motion pictures after fleeing the Nazis during World War Two. The rift between realistic and abstract art grew wider and wider. The universities and key media usually sided with the abstract camp and derided anyone working in any realistic art media declaring boldly that realistic art was not "real" art. Immortal giants of realistic art such as Maxfield Parrish were mistreated their entire lives. They were accused of selling out for creating beautiful pieces of realistic fine art to earn a living. The attitude that the true artist must suffer and starve and die in poverty became a rule. There were the Abstract art superstars, the professional realistic illustrators, and the hobbyists who, although cut off from gainful employment and social influence still recognized their artistic gifts as a calling rather than a profession.

           Early abstract art  masters proved themselves as realistic artists before delving into realms of the intangible. They had to do this at that time to prove themselves because of the challenges they faced from the establishment for going against the status quo. In the latter part of the 20th century, realistic artists like HDJ were challenged to do abstract art to prove themselves as shown in the example above (Deirdre of the sorrows). Later realistic art training was abandoned in most schools and things like splattering paint in fits of rage  were deemed more than enough. By the end of the 20th century something as destructive and ridiculous as nailing a pack of cigarettes to a shoe was considered fine art but not realistic paintings. Fashions in art have often been as silly as fashions in ladies hats.  As the century drew to a close, many people had had enough. The realistic revolt was at hand. The rebirth of realism was fueled by the advent of the digital era. Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, an artist or illustrator could earn a decent living again with his realistic art. This is historic. Realistic art is not going to go away, especially now that photography has truly merged with traditional realistic visual art. Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "painting with light". Now with the advent of digital media the capability of realistic art has become almost limitless, truly, "painting with light". The merger of all the world's art forms to realize the potential of motion pictures has come now to still realistic art media. This website for example, combines music, prose, poetry, photography and traditional realistic art media to create an experience beyond merely looking at realistic paintings.

         The twenty- first century is already seeing a new renaissance in the arts because of the world wide web. There has never been anything like it. Abstract art, computer art, photographic art, and realistic art are continuing to be separate schools of art but are also blending to create exciting new horizons. Although Digital art does offer completely new horizons to the artist in the 21st century it does not mean the end of our time honored art traditions. Instead, it offers additional ways to keep these traditions and schools of thought  fresh and alive. ~ HDJ


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Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( 1840- 1893) - Swan Lake.