Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Remembering Virginia Irvin and Her Art

Today marks the sixth anniversary of Virginia Irvin’s passing. Molly’s mother, Virginia, was a very talented artist.  She excelled at line drawing in particular.

Molly has featured her artwork on this blog from time to time -- figure drawing and watercolors work that Virginia regarded as her fine art (see the archives for March 10, 2011 and Oct. 9, 2013).

Virginia at the Seattle Times

However, for many years (before Molly was born) Virginia worked in the realm then known as commercial art.  She was at one time or another an illustrator for the Seattle Times, Oregon Journal and San Francisco Examiner. She also freelanced in SF doing illustration, design and advertising art.  For my money she never truly got her due.

Today in honor of her memory I’m focusing on this work.

Virginia had an exquisite line. She often did on-the-spot visual reportage at concerts and events.

This one was for the Portland  Oregon Journal

As was this.

Her knowledge of the fundamentals of drawing and anatomy really come through in the above two illustrations in  her treatment of the horse.

Here are some nice whimsical pieces:

Many of the drawings shown her are sketches or roughs; preliminaries for finished pieces.

 These drawings were done of velum tracing paper.  Probably for an ad, menu or brochure.

Possibly for something like this.

Or this.

It seems Virginia was very productive while living and freelancing in San Francisco.

Here's a sketch similar to the one that ultimately wound up on a Macy's shopping bag:

As I said Virginia worked for the San Francisco Examiner. Here's a cover for the Examiner's Sunday supplement, The Arts (drawn after Molly was born).

Here are a couple of nice spots for a jewelry ad:

I picked this material almost at random from a pile sketches and clippings.
I think this sampling clearly demonstrates Virginia's mastery of figurative drawing and her strong graphic sense.

I'll conclude with a couple of nice sketches. 

One from San Francisco, the other from Marin County.
The two places where she spent the last years of her life.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Molly - I'm researching the history of a Potrero Hill house that I believe might be the one where your family lived through the 1960s and 1970s.. I would love to talk with you about it. Please contact me at stacy[at]kozakavich[dot]net if you would be willing to meet with me.