Nathan began painting in his last semester of college. However, it was only until a few years later, when his friends started getting married and he started needing wedding presents, that his artistic endeavors really took hold. One painting led to another and soon his marrying friends all came to expect one of Nathan's paintings. Having painted everything from animals to musicians for other people, he recently decided to direct his artistic focus to what he truly loves- the ocean and surfing. He painted his first wave in 2011...
Currently residing in San Diego, California, Nathan Ledyard creates art depicting waves and ocean scenes using a unique combination of woodcarving and painting techniques that push beyond the boundaries of two-dimensional art. Often depicting a surfer's point of view, Nathan's work captures the feeling of being in the water and a part of the sea.
Nathan began painting in his last semester of college. However, it was only until a few years later, when his friends started getting married and he started needing wedding presents, that his artistic endeavors really took hold. One painting led to another and soon his marrying friends all came to expect one of Nathan's paintings. Having painted everything from animals to musicians for other people, he recently decided to direct his artistic focus to what he truly loves- the ocean and surfing. He painted his first wave in 2011 and has since that time he has relied on the energy and inspiration gained from the sea to create his art.
Nathan has developed his artistic style through problem solving and experimentation. Searching for a way to paint thin enough to incorporate the natural wood patterns without sacrificing depth and texture, he discovered that he was able to achieve both by carving into the wood and adding thin washes of color on top.
This breakthrough led to the discovery of other techniques that focus on three dimensions to create natural shadows and highlights. The resulting works of art are realistic yet surreal, invoking both memories and dreams of the ocean and surfing.
“When I think of surfing, I think about being on my board out in the line-up, feeling the rhythm of the ocean, being totally in the moment and in awe of the beauty of the breaking waves. My goal is to capture that experience and share the feeling I get from surfing and being in the ocean. For those who have shared similar experiences, it takes them back to that place in time, while for others I hope to show them something new through my eyes.”
Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.
Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.