Houston, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/08/2011 -- Artist, jazz club owner, and celebrity confidant Sam Shaker’s first book, Art I Love, is a rarity in its category - an art book that tells a readable, engaging story.
Part autobiography, part instructional guide, and part historical account, Art I Love (2012, Hola Publishing International, an Imprint of Halo Publishing International, ( http://www.halopublishing.com ) chronicles Shaker’s development from Parisian street artist to recognition as Europe’s premier creator of commissioned celebrity portraits. His subjects have included the late Amy Winehouse (who called Shaker her "second dad"), actor Kevin Spacey, singer/songwriter Adele, and model Kate Moss.
Shaker describes Art I Love as, "approachable for newbies, academic enough for students, and serious enough for history buffs interested in the cultures of Paris and Spain and how these cultures were influenced by artists of various periods."
Art I Love is the product of decades of diligent work and the culmination of an improbable journey to professional recognition. A self-described "huge Picasso fan," Shaker studied art and graphic design at the Leonard da Vinci Academy, and was awarded a diploma in Fine Arts. Soon after, he left his native Cairo for Paris to pursue a career as an artist. After years of sporadic success - and nearly starving to death – he left art behind, albeit temporarily, to launch and operate Jazz After Dark, which would eventually become a successful music club in London’s Soho district.
It was at Jazz After Dark that an encounter with Kate Moss spurred Shaker to create again. She commissioned him to paint her portrait, the London media took notice, and Shaker had quickly established his reputation as a specialist in celebrity portraits. Many of these works are reproduced in Art I Love.
Shaker met Amy Winehouse long before the singer achieved international superstardom. "She came to my club, and the admission charge was £3. She said she didn't have £3, so I told her she could pay me next time," he recalls. The unlikely friendship blossomed in the years that followed. "She was creative, kind, talented and a very genuine person. She loved art, music, and writing. She never forgot her friends and people like me who gave her a helping hand in her career. She was very loyal to me and never commissioned any other artist to paint her portrait."
Art I Love also offers a wealth of practical instruction for art students. Techniques, based on Shaker’s own learning experiences, are provided in regard to planning a painting, selecting appropriate materials, working from live subjects versus working from photos, and addressing the nuances in skin tones, shading, facial proportions and similar challenges encountered by the developing artist.
About Sam Shaker
Sam Shaker was born in Cairo, Egypt and studied art at the Leonard da Vinci Academy. The father of three grown children, he owns and operates Jazz After Dark, a popular London music club and art gallery.
A prolific portrait painter, Shaker’s recent subjects have included Prince William and Kate Middleton, The Beatles, Kate Moss, Kevin Spacey, Pete Doherty, Adele, Mark Ronson and many others.
About Hola Publishing International
Since 2002, Halo Publishing International (HPI) has produced more than 200 titles in adult fiction and non-fiction, children’s, inspirational, sports and recreation, and other categories. Hola Publishing International is Halo’s imprint company.
Visit http://www.halopublishing.com for details.