my name is: Renée Graef
i make: Illustrations for children’s books
Renée Graef makes imaginary worlds come alive. Her vivid illustrations bring us closer to beloved characters from history and fiction including Laura Ingalls Wilder, Paul Bunyan, and American Girl’s Kirsten doll. She’s also designed gaggles of irresistible animals, from puffins to badgers to elephants. This summer she’s been at work on the paintings for Thérèse Makes a Tapestry, a children’s book that takes you back in time to the golden age of tapestry weaving in France.
“To inspire is to fill someone with spirit, the spirit to create,” she told us. “When I’m inspired, it moves me to look at things differently, to make something beautiful.” She invited #GettyInspired to her studio space to see her illustrations-in-progress for the soon-to-be-released book Thérèse Makes a Tapestry by Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs, and then visited the Getty to show us some of her favorite paintings.
my name is: F. Scott Hess
i make: Paintings
F. Scott Hess is a Los Angeles painter who works with traditional materials—oil paint and egg tempera—and takes inspiration from the techniques of European painters of centuries past. He paints the human figure with a style that’s been called “an unusual blend of old master technique with a generous dollop of surrealism.”
F. Scott told us he’s particularly drawn to Rembrandt:
“When I’m in a museums all over the world [and] I see a Rembrandt, I tend to end up talking to those paintings, and I don’t do that with a lot of paintings. I’d like to say that I’m talking to the people in his paintings, but really I’m talking to Rembrandt. And I’m actually saying, you know, ‘Oh man, I can’t believe this is that good.’ I’m mumbling under my breath, and people around me probably think I’m crazy.”
#GettyInspired visited F. Scott at his studio and then took a walk with him to see Rembrandt paintings at the Museum.
my name is: Kent Twitchell
i make: Murals and drawings
Kent Twitchell’s larger-than-life figures are the kings and queens of L.A.’s freeways. He’s created some of the most compelling murals in Los Angeles, from the musicians of the Los Angeles Conservancy to the so-called “Freeway Lady,” a tribute to his grandmother.
Kent told us that he stays inspired by feeding his unconscious mind with beauty:
“It’s like with music; it puts you in a context of high appreciation for the aesthetics of life. It just makes what I’m doing makes more sense. [It’s] the same thing visually when I go to the Getty, because I surround myself with the greatest art that’s ever been done.
The art of Greece and Rome, and Europe, is very very inspirational to me….You don’t really have to put things consciously, you can just be in a context, in an environment of beauty, and that goes into your computer, and that is what you draw on when you do your own work.”
#GettyInspired visited the Getty with Kent and joined him in Sherman Oaks, where he and his team are putting the finishing touches on the Freeway Lady’s new home.