Yesterday I was contacted by a new visitor to the blog who asked if I had any art or information on Keith Ward. As it happens, Ward was one of the very first artists whose work I scanned back when I began Today's Inspiration.
Keith Ward had a remarkable range of styles, from realistic to cartoony. I love how he managed to blend those qualities in his work when clients called for it. The result, like the refrigerator ad above, are so wonderfully appealing... its no surprise that Ward was in such high demand with advertising clients.
Initially, I noticed Ward's signature on a long series of ads for U.S. Steel. The look of these ads really is the epitome of that 1940's "Fun with Dick and Jane" style. And no wonder -- Keith Ward is the illustrator of the 1940 edition of the "Dick and Jane" book.
During the 50's it seems the Keith Ward was called upon more for his cartoon styles than his realistic ones. He did advertising art for Armstrong Tires,
Fram Oil Filters,
...and perhaps most famously for Borden, where his long series of ads featuring Elsie the Cow and her family are long-remembered and well loved.
Most surprising to me was finding this article Keith ward illustrated for Outdoor Life.
Here his style looks almost like Jack Davis... and perhaps reveals an element of the artist's true nature already hinted at by his other more commercial work.
Ward once said, "I have fun. There is that inner spark of excitement with each painting. I cannot imagine myself as being bored!"
Later in his life, Keith Ward did easel paintings of landscapes and portraits described as being "impressionistic". His later work is represented by The Stewart Galleries.
* All of today's images and several more can be found in my Keith Ward Flickr set.