A cheerful and romantic seasonal Holiday themed gouache illustration by the prolific and well regarded Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame inductee artist Joe Bowler for an interior story titled “The Christmas House.” This appeared in the December, 1958 edition of The Ladies Home Journal. A fabulous time capsule with a colorful mid-century modern design aesthetic that captures our imagination and hearts. The gouache on masonite panel painting is notated on the verso with the specific issuance in The Ladies Home Journal, and has been very handsomely framed behind glass in a hand crafted silver wood gallery frame that compliments the imagery to perfection.
Joe Bowler has described himself as a “narrative painter of human form” and it is his understanding of the structure and language of the human body in concert with a natural setting that sets his work apart from other artists. Bowler began his career as a professional artist at the age of 18. His mentors at Charles E. Cooper Studios included Coby Whitmore, Bernard D’Andrea and Joe DeMers and his first story illustration was published in Cosmopolitan in 1949. The great museums of New York afforded the young artist opportunities to see original paintings by the great masters of art history. Joe was particularly drawn to those who worked in the late nineteenth century. The draftsmanship, compositions and colors of Sargent, Sorolla and Zorn became his major influences and he began to work in oil, “the painters’ medium”. It is noteworthy that in 1972, when Joe Bowler left the field of illustration in New York and moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, he effectively retired from the demands of art directors to pursue a passion for portraiture. It was a natural evolution because much of his work had been magazine cover illustrations for McCalls, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s Home Companion and Good Housekeeping as well as on Time covers from 1948 into the 1970s. Elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1992, Joe remains modest about his achievements. “All my life,” he said recently, “I’ve been trying to get it right. With each painting the journey becomes more exciting, the destination still a bit out of reach.” Collectors, however, find it difficult to imagine what could be out of the reach of Joe Bowler’s considerable talent. His is a classical taste carefully expressed through a highly sophisticated grasp of light, color and composition.