Loles Romero

Loles Romero has her share of dark fantasy and SF pieces like so many artists doing concept work and illustration for film and gaming clients, but this Ibiza, Spain artist has a way with the ‘noir-ish’, and I hope she’ll have opportunities to do more. These two examples were done as illustrations for stories by Hector Espadas. Look for her work at Art Station.

Kelli Vance: Context is Everything.

Kelli Vance 1

Houston, Texas artist Kelli Vance studied at Texas universities and apparently chose to stick close to home, teaching at various schools since, including her own alma maters, the University of Houston and the Glassell School of Art at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

Kelli Vance 2

Her brand of austere realism might recall any number of painters, though the specifics of Vance’s scenes and subjects make me scratch my head to think of accurate comparisons, scrolling through a mental list of various bad-girl/boy artists who like to play with conventions by juxtaposing provocative images in deceptively complacent looking settings. Some of these are pretty brave works depicting unsettling scenes, but with a kind of dark poetry about them that forces you to look…and just keep looking. And if that makes you uneasy, then I’m betting the artist would be pleased.

It’s interesting to consider how context is everything, though. Mystery/crime fiction enthusiasts are accustomed to — even expect — all kinds of murder and mayhem on treasured vintage pulp magazine and postwar paperback covers, treating them as kitschy novelties, often as not. But when those same things are depicted (nowhere near as gruesomely) in an entirely different context — in paintings hanging on a wall in a gallery or museum, for instance — they suddenly become that much more provocative and disturbing. Not drawing conclusions, mind you. I just find myself intrigued.

See more works in a following post…

Kelli Vance 3Kelli Vance 4Kelli Vance 5

Julie Nicolle’s “FanArt”.

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Only in her mid-30’s, French painter Julie Nicolle spent her post-university years working in the Paris business world, finally turning her back on commerce while still a twenty-something about to become a thirty-something. She set up her atelier in Orleans and began painting energetic, often distressed large format portraits, some of which she labels ‘FanArt’. See more work at the artist’s site, www.julienicolle.com.

Julie Nicolle 5Julie Nicolle 1Julie Nicolle 3Julie Nicolle 2Julie Nicolle 6

More From Eileen Walton

Shadows Dont Bleed - E Walton 1967

More work from talented British artist and illustrator Eileen Walton, sister of fellow artist Barbara Walton, both women enjoying prolific periods from the late 1950’s through the late 1970’s. As the examples show here, and in the preceding posts, it’s interesting to see how their work evolved and became increasingly ‘graphic’ vs. the more traditional illustrative styles of the earlier work. Be sure to browse backwards through the preceding posts to view their stunning work.

Miss Turquoise - E WaltonA Real Killing - E Walton 1976Accessory To Murder - E Walton 1968Conquest In Ireland - E Walton 1969

Eileen Walton

Death And The Dark Daughter - E Walton 1966

How intriguing that two sisters broke into the same business, around the same time, pursued such similar paths and saw their work evolve in similar ways. British artist and illustrator Barbara Walton’s sister Eileen Walton began working in advertising art and magazine editorial illustration in the mid-50’s. There are some examples of her early work to be seen online, but mostly un-postable teeny-tiny thumbnail files (one image is right below). Not sure, but I get the feeling that Eileen may be the elder sister, and started her career before Barbara.

E Walton 1956

The Foolish Gentlewoman - E Walton 1960

Eileen Walton’s 1960’s era work is fairly traditional, but as you’ll see in the next post, became increasingly graphic as time went on. Sadly, as with her sister Barbara, I can’t tell you if she left the commercial illustration field and if so, when. Did she retire and pursue more personal fine arts endeavors? Is she or her sister Barbara still with us? If you know of reliable sites, books or sources on either of these two talented women, I’m all ears (particularly you UK readers and followers!).

More of Eileen Walton’s work follows in the next post…

Death Came With Flowers - E Walton 1966Funeral For A Physicist - E Walton 1966

More From Barbara Walton

Shadow of Katie - B Walton 1977

More intriguing covers from UK illustrator Barbara Walton, a prolific cover artist of late 1950’s through late 1970’s British paperback and hardcover books, who’s not nearly as well known to contemporary art/illustration fans here in the U.S. as she ought to be. (I didn’t know abut her!) Scroll back to the preceding posts for more Barbara Walton info and covers, and go ahead to the next posts to see work from Barbara’s sister, Eileen Walton.

Murder With A Kiss - B Walton 1963Prey For The Dreamer - B WaltonThe Evergreen Death - B Walton 1968The Zebra Striped Hears - B WaltonWhere Is Janice Gentry - B WaltonShot At Dawn - B Walton 1964

Barbara Walton

Tell It To The Birds - B Walton 1963

So, just who is Barbara Walton?

If you read the preceding post, you know that I really can’t tell you. All I can say is that this British artist/illustrator did some striking paperback cover art and hardcover dustjacket design and illustration from the late 1950’s through the late 1970’s, her most active period being the mid-1960’s. It’s particularly intriguing to see how Walton’s style evolved from relatively traditional full-bleed illustration to a more ‘designerly’ vignetted style, later work almost more graphic design than pure illustration.

The Schults Money - B Walton 1960

I read that Barbara Walton was almost an unofficial ‘house artist’ for Robert Hale Ltd., though she also did work for other UK publishers. See the next post for additional examples of Barbara Walton’s work, and then keep going to view covers from her sister, Eileen Walton.

Label It Murder - B Walton 1963False Witness - B Walton 1964Count-Down - B Walton 1962

Not That Olga, This Olga.

Olga Orlova 1

Maybe in Russia the name Olga Orlova is as common as Jane Doe in the U.S (which, I guess, really isn’t common at all). Go digging and you’ll find a pop singer, an actress, an impressionist painter and even a historical princess, among others, sharing that name. But these images are from the prolific St. Petersburg illustrator and concept artist Olga Orlova, lurking among her many – and gorgeous — dark fantasy and dystopian SF renderings. Linger a moment on the intriguing picture above, because the victim, the gun that did him in and the subtle gesture of the woman’s white gloved hand perched above the phone aren’t all that apparent with just a cursory glance. The real question, I suppose, is: What does the dog think about all of this?

Olga Orlova 2

Pascale-Mira Taurua

Pascale-Miria Taurua 2

Pascale-Mira Taurua didn’t set out to be an artist. Originally a model, she was crowned Miss France in 1978, though relinquishing the title six months later. But painting beckoned, and after studying at the Conservatoire des Arts in Tahiti during the 1980’s, her first gallery show occurred in the early 2000’s, and since, she’s been hard at work in her studio in the small French village of Pau in the shadow of a King Henry IV castle.

Pascale-Miria Taurua 1

She works primarily in traditional oil on canvas, though sometimes (as seen in examples of her work) more adventurous pieces might be in mixed media acrylics with collage. Clearly much of her work is inspired by the same modeling and fashion worlds she once was a part of, with some paintings even reworking well-known fashion photos. Yes, there’s glamor here. But there’s something more, a cynicism perhaps, or something maybe just a bit darker?

Pascale-Mira Taura 4Pascale-Mira Taura 3Pascale-Mira Taura 5Pascale-Mira Taura 6

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