Flora and fauna take on eccentric guises in Bill Mayer's ironic and playful portraits

Flora and fauna take on eccentric guises in Bill Mayer’s ironic and playful portraits

Art Illustrations

#animals #art history #gouache #painting #portraits #still life

“The alarm”. All images © Bill Mayer, shared with permission

King frogs, disguised lemurs, and human-faced flowers are just a few of the quirky characters in famed illustrator Bill Mayer’s (previously) gouache paintings. The traditional aesthetic of European still life, aristocratic portraiture, and romantic landscape paintings set the stage for strange and chimerical subjects that engage in dreamlike encounters or stare haughtily at the viewer. Gouache, which is water soluble and more opaque than watercolor, allows the artist to imitate the incredible detail of oil paint but with more flexibility.

Mayer continues to work on commissioned projects for recognizable publications such as The New York Times magazine, Smithsonian, Mother Jonesand Scientific Americanm He often shares his varied assignments on his blog, including a collaboration earlier this year with the producers of Last week tonight with John Oliver to submit a painting to the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. “Duck Judges” – although disqualified from winning the stamp design for technical reasons – has raised $25,000 in funds to support the conservation efforts of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Mayer is currently working on some group shows, and you can follow updates on her website, where you can also find prints available for sale in her shop. (via This Ain’t Happiness)

“The Dolphin of Rana”

“Mr Mustache”

“The Offering”

“Duck Judges”

“The magistrate”

“The visitor”

“Mother Opossum”

“Kinky Ducks No. 02”

#animals #art history #gouache #painting #portraits #still life

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