Anyone who has been puzzling for a while is likely to be familiar with several well known puzzle artists. These folk are household names among puzzlers, and have been prolific producers over the years. Experienced puzzlers can tell you, from a single glance, which of these artists created a particular scene, as each of them has developed a unique puzzle niche.
Are you looking at a nostalgic twilight scene, perhaps set in a rural area of the American midwest or southwest? That’s probably from artist Terry Redlin, whose work has been featured on dozens (hundreds?) of jigsaws. Or maybe you’ve spotted a much more colorful puzzle, with a bit of whimsy? Welcome to the world of Aimee Stewart, whose boldly colored digital artwork graces a multitude of puzzles from a variety of manufacturers. Another well known name in puzzling is Charley Harper, whose art features nature scenes, with a perspective that can best be described as seeing things through a slightly uncommon lens.
But today I’m not writing about them. Nor am I going to discuss Thomas Kinkade, Charles Wysocki, or Eric Dowdle. Nope. Today I’m going to show off puzzles I’ve done from artists whose designs intrigued me; whose work made me think, and challenged my puzzling norm.
My taste in puzzles is ever-changing, but most recently I’ve been drawn to those with an artistic feel. Most of the puzzles I worked last year were based on photographs of actual places or people, with maybe a couple of fantasy art scenes in the mix. This year, however, my brain has nudged me towards a more artistic style; lighter on realism and with a more ambitious use of color.
Take, for example, “The Quilter,” from artist Marcella Mohammad and released by SunsOut. When I saw this one, the play of the patterns and colors, as they weaved their way up and around, kept both my eyes and mind engaged. Mohammad’s style is called “plasticism.” I don’t know enough about art to explain it, but I know it made a fun puzzle. There were plenty of pattern and color clues, so the solve went quickly and was fun to do. Here’s what it looked like on my table:
Staying with the “colorful” theme, another I really had fun with was “Cheers!,” created by artist Anna Stasia and released by Playful Pastimes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find background information on the artist. Still looked good on the table, though.
Finishing up for now, here’s a beautiful piece from Korean artist Minjae Lee, who describes his work in part as, “a clever juxtaposition of beauty, innocence, and fragility with brash, loud, and aggressive.” Yep, I can see that. The puzzle, from Art Puzzle, is titled “Blues.”
With all of the various styles of puzzles available, no puzzler should ever have trouble finding something that suits their eye. Sometimes it’s a tried-and-true design from a favorite artist that sparks interest. Other times it’s the work of a lesser known (but no less talented) person that draws the eye, brings out the cash, and keeps us going back for more. No matter your taste, puzzling talent, or available time, there’s something for us all.
Phil (aka Puzzle Buster)