Jolly Old St. Nick:
What can be more welcoming than Jolly Old St. Nick during the holidays? Well, Santa Claus has come to town, and the warmth and joy of the Christmas season is alive in Scott Gustafson’s “St. Nick.” This intimate portrait makes us feel as if we’re one of the lucky few who actually encounter Santa as he makes annual run!
Statement from Fantasy Artist Scott Gustafson:
“I want to make my characters’ emotions clear to children, but I also want to create something that might make adults say, ‘You know, I loved those stories when I was a kid, but now I see even more in them’.”
About Scott Gustafson
Among Scott Gustafson’s first artistic inspirations were the cartoons of Walt Disney and the Warner Brothers. By the time he finished growing up in Marengo, Illinois, Gustafson was convinced that he wanted to be an animator. It wasn’t until he was halfway through high school that he discovered the book The Boy’s King Arthur tucked away in a corner of the library. Its illustrations by N.C. Wyeth galvanized him, making him realize that this was the sort of detail, color and vibrancy he had been looking for all his artistic life.
While Gustafson pursued animation throughout his years at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and Columbia College, also in Illinois, he still sought illustrations by Wyeth, Arthur Rackham, Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and others. It was not until he discovered the realities of the animation industry that he started to consider fine art illustration as a career option. “The opportunities of animation, in terms of subject matter and creative control, weren’t nearly as interesting or rewarding as those of illustration,” he says.
His classic, opulent approach elicited immediate response, and soon his work was appearing in magazines as diverse as The Saturday Evening Post and Playboy. His work came to the attention of book publishers and he began to illustrate anew such classic children’s books as The Night Before Christmas, The Nutcracker and Peter Pan. At that time, he also wrote and illustrated new volumes, including Alphabet Soup and The Animal Orchestra.
As Gustafson’s readership grew, so did interest in his work as a subject for collector’s plates. He has created more than a dozen paintings, based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes, for this purpose. Today Scott continues to explore the delights his art can bring to young and old alike—including in the medium of porcelain.
© Rollie LaMarche – Come visit my site to learn more about art, artists and picture framing.