Thursday, March 26, 2015

Michael Blessing Quick Draws to First Place Bid

Artist Michael Blessing’s painting, Raising The Bar, received the high bid at the C.M. Russell Museum's  "Quick-Draw" competition in Great Falls, Montana last weekend.
         The artist was shocked and honored by the $17,500 bid. In the “Quick-Draw” competition, artists are given just a few hours to complete their work while interacting with the crowd before it is auctioned off. This is the second consecutive year that Blessing has won the competition.  In other news from last weekend, Blessing's painting Postcard From Miles City received a bid of $8000, well over the estimated “high” projection, and was third highest in the Russell Museum’s First Strike auction.
         Painting is documenting history for Blessing. The colorful graphic nature of neon signs has attracted him since childhood. 

The Greenwich Workshop just published Michael Blessing’s Whiskey Before Breakfast, another painting that reveals a great deal about the artist’s concept of the Neon West. It is as much a state of mind as it is a visual record of the West. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

William S. Phillips' First Forever Stamp

In August 2015, the United States Postal Service will release aviation artist William S. Phillips’ 33rd stamp but this stamp is also a “first.” It will be Phillips’ first Forever stamp, and it will honor the U.S. Coast Guard. 
The Postal Service relied on the Greenwich Workshop artist to do the research and get the details right, not an easy job at any size and particularly in this case, when the original painting was only about 5x7 inches.
The USPS explains that “this stamp honors the United States Coast Guard for its role in protecting the security of the nation and advancing its vital maritime interests.”
The painting “depicts two icons of the Coast Guard: the cutter Eagle, a three-masted sailing ship known as ‘America’s Tall Ship,’ and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard rescue aircraft of the Coast Guard.”
Phillips, a Vietnam veteran, is also a former police officer and firefighter. In 1988, Phillips was chosen to be a U.S. Navy combat artist. For his outstanding work, the artist was awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Award and the Air Force Sergeants Association’s Americanism Medal.
In 1994, the US Postal Service commissioned Phillips to paint the Classic American Aircraft Series.
In 2004, he was chosen by the National Park Service to be the first Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon where his assignment included paintings to interpret the park’s purpose as a place of pleasure and its importance as a national treasure. 
Artist William S. Phillips, in the course of his nearly 30-year relationship with the famed WWII Doolittle Raiders, has recreated, in over a dozen paintings, moments before and during their historic mission, thereby bringing to life scenes that would otherwise be lost to history. In October, 2013, the artist was inducted into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor, along with Doolittle Raider co-pilot Robert Emmens.