Flora and Fauna Assume Eccentric Guises in Bill Mayer’s Wryly Playful Portraits

Art Illustration

#animals #art history #gouache #painting #portraits #still life

“The Wakening”. All images © Bill Mayer, shared with permission

Royal frogs, masquerading lemurs, and florals with human faces are just some of the eccentric characters in acclaimed illustrator Bill Mayer’s (previously) gouache paintings. The traditional aesthetic of European still-life, aristocratic portraiture, and romantic landscape paintings set the scene for uncanny, chimerical subjects who engage in dreamlike encounters or gaze haughtily at the viewer. Gouache, which is water-soluble and more vividly opaque than watercolor, allows the artist to mimic the incredible detail of oil paint but with more flexibility.

Mayer continues to work on commissioned projects for recognizable publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Mother Jonesand Scientific American. He often shares his varied assignments on his blog, including a collaboration earlier this year with the producers of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to submit a painting to the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. “Duck Judges”—although disqualified from winning the stamp design for technical reasons—raised $25,000 in funds to support the conservation efforts of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Mayer is currently working toward some group shows, and you can keep up with updates on his website, where you can also find prints available for sale in his shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

“Le Dauphin de Frog”

“Mr. Moostache”

“The Offering”

“Duck Judges”

“The Magistrate”

“The Visitor”

“Mother Opossum”

“Kinky Ducks No. 02”

#animals #art history #gouache #painting #portraits #still life

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