Posts tagged surreal
Burleigh has been passionate about art and has been drawing since the age of seven. He says that he received his artistic gene from his mother, who was a great artist. Burleigh’s interests led him to sign up for art classes in high school and he later had the opportunity to study art in college as well.
More recently, Burleigh has successfully transferred his traditional art skills into another realm by becoming a self taught digital artist using his favorite software tool, Bryce. He is also learning how to incorporate other software such as Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Illustrator, and Carrara into his work flow.
Five years ago, my son got me started with digital art. The medium I enjoy the most for now is digital, although it can be frustrating to learn at times.
When an artist says that they have all but switched to digital, it makes me curious to see their other drawings. I hope that Michael will send a couple to share.
Burleigh’s abstract style is largely inspired by his favorite artist, Salvador Dali, but also by his eye for architecture and automotive design.
I would describe Michael Burleigh as a surrealist artist leaning toward the futurism style of abstract art, and his more abstract work largely reminds me of famous Italian painter, Giacomo Balla, although Burleigh’s color palette is something completely his own. Burleigh’s surrealist art and subjects are clearly influenced by his favorite surrealist painter.
Of his work so far, Burleigh is the most proud of his surrealistic piece titled “Chess dreams”.
“Chess dreams” has a lot of artistic merit, especially in the wonderful way that he breaks up the horizon. Burleigh should feel very accomplished with this piece in his goal of being a great surrealist.
Besides some great surreal art, Burleigh has such a large number of amazing abstract pieces in his gallery that I had a hard time limiting myself to showing just a few.
MWP asked Burleigh about his abstract work, because we knew it had to be about more than just the extraordinary aesthetic balance of form and color.
My motivation in my artwork is a reflection of my emotions. I have a saying about my art, “curves of happiness and points of anger”.
With his astute focus on form, it’s no surprise that Burleigh says that he’s interested in starting to create sculpture, which he sees as the ultimate form of art.
I love the fact that [sculpture] is an art form you can not only see but you can feel and study all sides of such an art piece. It is an art form even the blind can appreciate. Unfortunately it is probably also one of the most expensive forms of art to do.
MWP would like to thank Michael for contributing his story and artwork and allowing us to interview him. We hope that our recognition will help inspire him to create more art even though we robbed him of some of his valuable time to do so.
Please let me know which of Michael’s pieces is your favorite, and I’m sure that Michael would appreciate it if you would click on the “I heart this” button to show your love.
Maclellan, who moved to the U.S. at nine years of age, after spending much of his formative years in London, has enjoyed drawing since a young age. Although he was set along a different path for awhile when an art teacher criticized his drawing skills and ability to become an artist, Maclellan eventually found art again when he took some art classes in college on a dare. With his newly discovered passion for art and creativity, Maclellan earned a degree in art education and has since completed a master’s degree in educational technology.
Maclellan says his art, which largely captures the struggles that he sees his inner-city students face every day, is influenced by classic surrealist artists such as Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, as well as more contemporary artists such as Todd Schorr, Eric Joyner, Vladimir Kush, and Mark Ryden. As with many artists of his style, MacLellan is also influenced by many writers.
The most influential author to my work is China Mieville. His imagery begs to be created in a visual format.
Maclellan has been creating digital art since 2004, where he utilizes traditional art skills combined with software tools such as Adobe Photoshop and various 3D illustration programs to express himself. His digital art has been included in numerous juried shows, published in CGW magazine, and featured in a recently released horror video game called “Red Rum: Time Lies”. Maclellan was selected to have two of his pieces displayed in the digital art gallery at the 2009 Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. At the expo, Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computer, enjoyed the ”Call Me” piece and now owns a print.
Niels Maclellan would be best described as a magic realist digital painter that often leans toward dark dreamlike and surreal imagery. The social commentary and obsessively high detailed style of Maclellan’s work reminds me most of the style of the famous American painter, Peter Blume, but the lively color palette is perhaps influenced by some of his more favorite contemporary surrealist artists. The image titled “Call Me” is a masterful piece of art that clearly illustrates the social isolation that one can feel in an overcrowded world.
Some of Maclellan’s artwork, such as his piece titled “Rise up”, has a more whimsical nature, and the wise and inspirational viewpoint almost reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Maclellan’s art is wonderfully lit, textured, and the angle is always inspiring. The multiple levels of detail in the background draw you into the pieces almost as much as the subject, and no part of the canvas is spared a well balanced small jab at your consciousness. Because of the high level of detail of all of his images, and the well placed vantage point in each, MWP asked Maclellan how he begins to visualize such a huge project.
Usually I start with a general concept, or idea. This could be a compositional idea, a strange juxtaposition of objects or just notes on something I see that I feel the need to comment on.
I always have a sketchbook, so I’ll ether make notes or draw a sketch of the idea. Usually when I start on an image it ends up being a composite of several of the ideas in the book. Once I start the image, it always seems to take on a life of its own, and I’ll let the image dictate what the end results will be, sometimes even surprising me.
Besides just being aesthetically pleasing to the eye, Maclellan’s artwork primarily focuses on worthwhile messages to inspire personal and social change, while all of them comment on something commonplace in today’s society.
As a teacher, I see cultural evolution first hand. Over the last ten years, I’ve seen how technology has changed youth culture and how teenagers today are becoming more tuned into technology and less tuned into each other, or the world around them. Most of my images tend to carry this theme of isolation, or a sense of escape. I can’t help but make images symbolizing the challenges these students face every day.
As an artist, Maclellan is clear about what motivates every individual piece, each of which he says takes him anywhere from a week to a month to complete. He says that there’s often a huge gap between his own motivations and the interpretations of those viewing his art, and Maclellan says that’s one of the reasons that he loves art so much. Maclellan’s art likely reminds each individual of struggles in their own personal lives and hopefully inspires something positive.
It’s always interesting to hear how other people interpret the ideas I try to put forward. On occasion, their insights are even better than my own.
As an art teacher, I’m seeing less and less students coming into my classroom with any sort of art background, not even from elementary school. The students have a hard time expressing themselves, coming up with ideas, or even basic problem solving, let alone finding deeper meaning in images. Something I try to remedy each day.
You can check out more of the art of Niels Maclellan and read more about him and his art at his official Web site. Prints are available of select pieces from online art print retailer RedBubble, and most artwork is available directly from the artist, professionally printed to order on large format printers, if you contact him through his Web site. Maclellan’s imaginative, thought provoking, and inspirational artwork would be great to have in any classroom or office.
MWP would like to thank Niels for contributing his story and artwork and allowing us to interview him, and we wish him all the best in his important role in the future of art.
Please let me know which of Niels’ pieces is your favorite, and be sure to click on the “I heart this” button to show your love.