I've just remembered how madly in love I am with Dutch painter, Chris Berens.
Riders Of The Storm (2008)
Years ago, a gallery owner explained to me that it's the emotional appeal that will draw someone to a piece of art in the first place, but the technical mastery behind the work that sells it.
Berens' works - and heartbreakingly gorgeous characters - are so full of emotion and beauty that I feel that little pang in my chest (the one that has nothing to do with heartburn) when I see them.
Take a look at The Kiss (below). Doesn't it just make you want to climb in and wrap you arms around that darling little polar bear? Also, for an extra *sigh*, take a look in the top right hand corner where the porpoise is completing 'the kiss'.
The Kiss (2008)
And as if that kind of talent isn't enough, Berens has developed a unique technique that defies belief.
In De Raadskelder (2006)
For starters - he uses inkjet paper. Yup....well, sort of.
Lady Of The Dawn (2007)
Next, it's not oil paint that he paints with...
Little Captain Sparrow (2008)
Ink?! That the wishy washy stuff that runs all over the place and looks watercolourly? Apparently not when Berens uses it.
The Whaler, The Ermine And The Bait (2008)
His technique also involves plenty of painstaking cutting, pasting and layering. And not an ounce of computer.
I know I won't do it justice, so for a full explanation of how he achieves this look watch the video of the interview he gave to Kirsten Anderson of Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle.
Graceful Reign (2008)
I'm still gobsmacked.
Check out his site for more of his artwork. And take a look Erratic Phenomena for a superb blog post about his work.
PS. On the back of his works (and on his website) there are little surprises - you can find out how to find them in the Erratic Phenomena post. ;)