Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 Artists Series Featuring San Diego Artist Harrison Howard

I would like to introduce you to the artist Harrison Howard.
His works of fine art are so exquisite;executed with such detail and precision. I know you will love his paintings every bit as much as I do! Please enjoy this interview with Mr Howard.

The Astronomer

In the Studio

 Harrison, when were you first drawn to the world of art and painting. What inspired you at that time?
My father made his living as an artist and my mother painted off and on for pleasure.  They encouraged that interest, and I can’t remember a point in time when I did not think in terms of spending my life painting.
The Flower Lady
  Did you take art classes in  school or are you a self taught artist?
I spent a total of seven years in art programs at the college level although I only hold an undergraduate BS in industrial design.
The Green Folly
I have seen some of your Father’s Works (murals) in La Jolla at The La Valencia Hotel. (my late husband actually proposed to me in the wonderful Whaling Bar there)
What kind of influence did he have on your decision to begin painting and drawing? 
I am a very different kind of artist than my father, but he taught me a large part of the methods I use in watercolor, and more significantly I think his and my mother’s interest in art and the decorative arts fueled many of my own life long interests.

I love all of your Chinoiserie paintings, your Flower Ladies, and the Sea Shells especially appeal to me from my own years in San Diego near the beach. What led you in these directions?  
There was a book in my father’s studio that contained Jean Pillement’s chinoiserie designs that caught my lasting attention when I was about twelve and I was hooked from that moment forward. The French 19th century illustrator, Grandville, was another artist that interested me very early on, especially for his work “Les Fleurs Animees”. The subjects I’ve focused on are partly an extension of my interest in certain artists that have focused on imagined imagery and my preoccupation with different aspects of decorative art and illustration. I started a shell collection as a child.

Shells with Sea Grass on Gouache on early 19th century. hand penned document

 Do you have a mentor or who are some artists that you admire
 or emulate? 
There are countless artists that I admire, and I’m indebted to many of them both living and dead for their continuing inspiration. When I was young I thought that if I could only learn to paint like so and so that my ambitions as an artist would be resolved. There were quite a few different artists along the way. Finally I realized that I was pursuing a formula for failure, and that I’d need to find a way to interpret the world around me through my own way of looking at it. Some artists emulate others but almost invariably disappear in their shadows, and I think artists serve their own best interests if they persevere until they are able to produce work that reflects their own take on the world. To me that is the essence of originality.

Rendezvous at Night
That is a very poignant statement and one that could inspire many beginning artists to search for  their own style early on in their careers.
Where do you find inspiration? Does an idea percolate in your mind, come from nature, places you have been, or photography?
Inspiration comes to me from all of the things you mention and many others. I have hundreds of sketches that I will probably not live long enough to paint, but as I grow older the chain of ideas that passes through my mind increases, and a benefit of being a visual artist as opposed to an athlete or singer is the potential to actually reach higher levels with the progression of age, unless you’re afflicted with a major health issue.
The Architects
Harrison, where are your works being shown or how can people contact you for information on your works of art. Your website  has many of your gorgeous works. Any special upcoming projects you can tell us about? 
On the Internet I depend mainly on my own website to generate business although I am represented through a number of businesses that in some cases post my work online. The prices are the same everywhere, so in the interest of not competing with myself I don’t list the places that represent me on my website, but I may change that approach. I have a lot of new work that has not yet been translated into prints or posted on my website, but both time and cost have delayed me from keeping my website up to date, and at this point it needs a good deal of revision. I’m doing paintings currently for an upcoming fall exhibit in La Jolla and to add to the inventory at a business in Palm Beach and other businesses that sell my work.
Yellow Tree Snails with Red Coral on early 19th c. hand penned document
 Finally what words of wisdom would you impart to the aspiring artist of any age?
I’d feel a bit ridiculous trying to tell younger artists a formula for success, because things will always play out differently for every individual, but two tenets that I cling to for my own use after learning them rather late in life  are:
1)      Business and marketing are completely separate from artistic integrity and talent, but those areas require a lot of attention for most artists that want a stable existence. Even the best art schools tend to do poorly in preparing art students to cope, and some basic business, computer, and accounting courses might be a good idea, even at a city college.
2)      The sooner you realize the need to avoid emulating anyone else’s work and to ask yourself over and over again how you really see the things around you in your own unique way, the more likely you will evolve into an original artist. The world may not come to your doorstep or thank you for it, but you will find gratification in realizing that you have a valid way of seeing the world that is as individual as your own DNA.
The Seahorse
Thank you so much Harrison.  It has been a pleasure to have this conversation for The 2012 Artists Series .
Dear readers I sincerely hope you have enjoyed seeing these amazing works of art! I feel like they can virtually fit in any style of decor in any room! Visit Harrison's Website  and be sure to leave a comment below! 
Art by Karena 

Images Courtesy of Harrison Howard


Splendid Sass said...

I love his work! Such a talented artist. The chinoiserie is amazing!
Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pieces, and I will have to visit his website!
Happy Monday.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning, Karena!

I am starting once again to make my pleasure rounds in Blogland, a place where I have discovered other artists and MYSELF. FUN, FUN, FUN!

This artist is seasoned and wonderful. I admire anyone who has spent this much time seasoning their craft and I am excited about spending my time doing as such. THANK YOU for your support and this is a wonderful post! Anita

Paisley Curtain said...

Thanks for introducing Harrison Howard to us the ignorants :) what an exquisite work.

best wishes

annechovie said...

What a nice surprise to see Harrison on here, Karen. He is an artist of exceptional talent and is one of the kindest, most sincere individuals as well. Thank you for the great interview - hope you have a wonderful week. xo

Vickie H. said...

What a wonderful interview! I love his work and treasure the two prints of his that I currently own! He is delightful to work with and I look forward to the day when I can add more of his art to my collection! Thank you Karena!

Heather Moore Grahling | Vivid Hue Home said...

Great work! thanks for the introduction! I found you via Habitually Chic and I love your blog. I'm your newest follower!

Kathysue said...

Karen, Harrison is one of my favorites and I hope to own a piece of his work someday. I remember the first time I saw his work on Cote de Texas and became so enamored with his works of art. I did a post on him early on in my blogging and he actually emailed me and thanked me. I was so honor and taken aback to say the least. A fine man and a fabulous artist. Loved this interview,
Happy Monday,Katysue

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

OOOOh! His work is a fabulous trip into a fantasy world. I love it.

Unknown said...

Very cool artist ( aren't they all??) Karena. His work has a bit of whimsy about it, but technical at the same time. Hope all is well.
xo Nancy

kathi said...

I've seen his work before and have saved several images in my inspiration folders. His style is very appealing to me, so charming and expressive. Thanks for bringing his story to your blog.

French said...

I'm off to see his Chinoiserie and think I have seen his work before. Thank you for another great Artist's so fun to hear more about their training and inspiration~

The Devine Life said...

His work is amazing! He's also a really great guy- thanks for the wonderful interview.

designchic said...

What gorgeous art - such a talent!! Can hardly wait to visit his site ~

carolyn bradford said...

There is nothing better to me than catching up on the blog posts that I truly love! So glad I got to finally see some wonderful ones…your's being incredible today! Thanks for sharing this! I hope to have 2 new artists to share with everyone in about a month! Such wonderful work…he is extremely talented! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Harrison Howard said...

Thank you Karena for so kindly including me on your blog and all the people that left their thoughtful comments. I also enjoy Karena's interviews with artists and I hope she will continue to do them for a long time to come.

Pura Vida said...

I love his whimsy..thanks for bringing him to my attention!

Anonymous said...

How fun are these? His work put a big smile on my face! Love his use of color too. xo

Danie at Pasadya said...

Oh my gosh. Karena, I'm so glad I found your blog! This is such and amazing interview, and I can't express how much it resonates with me. I love how Harrison describes originality. My style is so simplistic to the point that I'm afraid that people will just write me off. It always feels so much better to paint or draw in my style as opposed to styles I was forced to paint in school.

I can't wait to look around your site!

Heather Moore Grahling | Vivid Hue Home said...

Hi Karena! Thanks for stopping by my blog again today! I really appreciate the love!

Julie L. Light said...

My favorites are The Flower Lady and The Parasol. Very vibrant!
Have a fabulous day!

NanaDiana said...

Karena- What a fun sense of art form. I love the feeling of whimsy in his pieces. He sounds like a wonderful man in addition to being a great artist- xo Diana

Silvia C said...

Karena, I normally don't read interviews but this one fascinated me. Amazing skills. I love his comment about finding his own way of interpreting life around him as he saw it instead of copying everyone else. That takes courage. I've been dealing with that with my blog for months (hence my erratic posting) as I still don't seem to have the courage to change. I admire this amazing artist for being himself and expressing his mind through his work. Bravo, Karena, for this article. Very inspiring!

Lilacandgrey said...

LOVE the sea horse!

traci zeller designs said...

What a great interview. I love his chinoiserie pieces! My mom is a hobby artist, and I will have to introduce her to Harrison's work; I know she'll be a fan!

Renée Finberg said...

i am loving his work!!!
if i could really paint his subjects are what i would enjoy painting!!

xx how's the hip?

Woodside Park said...

Hi, Karena -
Such creativity and imagination!! I love his illustrations and colorings, particularly all the yellows in the Oriental images. Many thanks for featuring Harrison Howard. Enjoyed this post greatly.
Cheers from DC,

Dovecote Decor said...

Hi Karen: Thank you for featuring Harrison Howard's work and reminding us of his happy and whimsical take on chinoiserie. I spoke to Harrison on the phone after he won Ed Hollander's last book in an early giveaway on my blog. You can let him know that we are closing in on another contest. Ed's office is on vacay right now, so I'm having trouble getting jpegs, but he says after labor day! Sorry I haven't gotten back to you. Its one of those summers--water in the basement/AC died etc... I was glad to get a visual on him. I always wonder what all these people in my phone and virtual work look like! I'm buying his prints for all the summer brides!

Leslie said...

Hi Karena!

Thanks for this introduction! Great interview and what beautiful work he does.. love the chinoiserie.

Have a wonderful weekend!

home before dark said...

I think this was your very best interview. Your heart came through...and so did Harrison's.

Jen Beaudet said...

Such beautifully detailed work! I love the shells on the old paper! They're all wonderful! Thank you for sharing his work with us!

Burlap Luxe said...

Oh Karena thank you so much for taking the time to visit and always leaving me heartfelt comments.

Love Harrison's art I love the whimsey add to them.
Beautiful weekend and coming week to you my artistic friend.


peggy braswell said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Fabulous chinoiserie + all his work.

Splendid Market said...

These pieces are exquisite. I love the whimsy blended with the refined art form. Very refreshing.

niartist said...

Absolutely beautiful. BEAUTIFUL! I am a huge fan of Harrison's work, and hope that one day I'll get to use it in my home! Just gotta find the right spot! :)

Thanks for sharing his work and this wonderful interview!

Renae Moore said...

Such a talent Harrison is. His work is crisp and bright and whimsical.

Barbara@HausDesign said...

What lovely, whimsical work!

Katherines Corner said...

What a fun way to make happy memories. Thank you for sharing. Hugs

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...


Oh dearest, thank you for visiting me yesterday! I found myself tied up yesterday with incoming orders and the day just flew by and I was unable to visit. How are you?

I can't believe summer is fleeing so quickly but good things are happening. I will keep in touch! Anita

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Hope that you are feeling well, Karena. Great to hear from you!

Nella Miller said...

Dear Karena, thank you for posting about this wonderful artist .....his sense of whimsy appeals to me, but especially his thoughts on finding your own way along the path to originality. Very brilliant man in many ways! We will be in La Jolla this fall, and I shall try to find him...N.xo

Taylor Greenwalt said...

I love his shell pictures. They are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful pieces! Thank you for sharing Mr. Howard's artwork and web site! He is so talented! These pieces do fit in to any decor!

Jessie said...

I am glad I stopped by your blog today. I really love his work. It's original, whimsical and imaginative at the same time, reminds me of Alice In The Wonderland but in a more sophisticated version. His art is definitely something I would love to collect in the future. Thanks for the introduction.

Thanks for stopping by my blog with your lovely comments today. I appreciate it. :)

Come by and enter my newest giveaway for a chance to win a copy of "Good Bone, Great Pieces".


Completely Coastal said...

He's work is stunning! I, of course, love, love his seashell paintings!!

The Preppy Student said...

WOW! he is very talented. love the yellow tree snails! Have a happy Thursday and be sure to check out my giveaway ending tonight! .

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

Hi Karena,
What excellent advice Harrison has for young artists. He writes as beautifully as he paints, too! And speaking of finding one's own unique!
I'm going to head over to his site. His pieces must take quite a while to complete, given their detail. So impressive!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

Hi Karena,
What excellent advice Harrison has for young artists. He writes as beautifully as he paints, too! And speaking of finding one's own unique!
I'm going to head over to his site. His pieces must take quite a while to complete, given their detail. So impressive!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

what beautiful work... I love his whimsical yet fine art style! What a great interview!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Karena, what a great interview! I love Harrison's work, he is so talented, and truly, his pieces are happy, colorful and instantly recognizable. LOVE each and every one. Thanks so much for this great post. It makes me want to try to carve out some time to spend painting or doing etchings again. Xo Lidy

M.A. the 2nd ~ Frances Russell said...

Dear Karena
I absolutely love Harrison's work and you have showcased it brilliantly! I would love to acquire a piece of his work! I hope you are well and best wishes always

Beadboard UpCountry said...

AS always I learn something here, how are you doing Karena??????? These are beautiful what diversity!
I actually liked all of them. I am not an oriental fan but like the last one with it's color and non formality..........Maryanne xo

Cobalt Violet said...

So fun! LOVE the Parasol piece especially! And the Seahorse. So creative and beautifully done.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh, I LOVE the whimsy!

TheBeautyFile said...

Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope it was lovely!!!

Always wonderful to see your comments on my blog!


pve design said...

I have had many the pleasant exchange of e-mails with Harrison who is delightful. One thing I do love about the internet is the ability to connect with other artists.
Harrison is not only incredibly gifted, he is a perfect gentleman and mentor to many.

*Chic Provence* said...

I LOVE Harrison Howard's work!! and this post is sucha delight! thanks Karena


a said...

Beautiful paintings <3

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Gorgeous works of the touches of whimsey!...

Alan said...

awesome work here. I love it Pearson Airport Transportation

Kwana said...

How did I miss this? I've been away way too long. I was lucky enough to win a print from Harrison and I love it so much. He is one of the kindest and most talented people I have ever gotten to virtually know. His print now hangs over my bed and I'm so in love with it. Makes me smile every day.

Anonymous said...

Great delіνery. Solіd arguments. Keep up the аmazing spirit.
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Pearson Express Limo said...

Outstanding post

Pearson Express Limo said...

Excellent artwork. I really like the blog.

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