My favorite artist is a man named Luis Sottil. He is the creator of a style of painting called "Naturalismo" which is his belief that mother nature is a gift to human kind where all 5 senses interact simultaneously in perfect harmony. He makes his paints from all natural ingredients including minerals, vegetable dyes, mother of pearl and other natural substances. He paints limited edition pictures of nature made with products from nature. His works include animals, fish and plants. He believes animals communicate with their eyes so he paints their eyes larger than the would be in real life to invite you into his paintings.
If you go to a gallery to see Luis's work, you will see that the lights that are shining upon his pictures all have dimmer switches. With the natural materials he uses and the layered style in which he paints, the pictures actually change and look different depending on the level of light that is shining on it. His work mesmorizes me every time I see it.
Unfortunately all this beauty comes with a very high price tag as well. I have seen small versions of his paintings starting at around $2, 000 and larger ones for as much as $25, 000, way out of my price range. I knew I would never be able to have one of the originals so I was very excited a few years ago when he released a limited edition, signed and numbered lithograph poster. It was made even better when I found out that the proceeds from it's sale went to his foundations Earth Angels Project which is an effort to fight global deforestation.
The print is a reproduction of his painting called "Gentle Giants". It pictures 3 beautiful giraffes surrounded by striking red flowers. It measures 15 3/4" wide by 24" tall for just the poster with out the frame. It is printed in high resolution on Egyptian cotton paper. My print is number 140 in an edition size of 650 and has been hand signed by Luis, with gold paint that is actually made from gold. The last time I saw the poster for sale it was selling unframed for $30.00. I purchased mine already framed from a gallery on Ebay and the total was $200.00 for the poster, frame and matting. The colors in the posters are almost as beautiful and vibrant as his paintings are but does not have as much dimension to it. That said, it still it captures all the beauty of the original work.
While it is not exactly like owning an original, it is as close as I will ever be able to get. If you would like to see Luis's work you can visit his web site at http://www.luissottil.com/. He does not have this poster for sale on his site right now but he does have the artist proof version in an edition size of 65 there for sale at a price of $249.00 unframed.
Update On Apr 12, 2010: I found some videos about the Luis Sottil foundation and programs that they help that I will try to add here. He is a kind and gentle man that is not only a great artist but also gives back to people though his actions and his artwork.
Canine Companions for Independence
Luis Sottil foundation for children