Sunday, July 26, 2009

Breaking Free

With each trip we take as part of the MFA program, we are required to create an image based on the place we last visited. Our March trip to San Francisco was especially important to me. It inspired me to start this blog, to create and experiment, to develop a new portrait style, and most of all freed me to return to watercolor and graphite.

The first lecture in SF was given by Kazu Sano, an extremely talented and prolific illustrator. When I saw the portrait that is pinned to the wall above the cage in my image, I was inspired and challenged to push my portraiture. He also talked about creating an image a day, which spurred me on to do the same.

The left half of the image is entirely digital. While the likeness of me is accurate, it is stiff and without expression. The chain morphing into butterflies is an obvious metaphor for this newfound, or rather re-found communication. I look forward to what is ahead.

Friday, July 24, 2009

No, I'm not...

Just like last last year, the incoming students were asking if I was related to Jean Tuttle. I made a t-shirt to help clarify things. Jean got a big kick out of it. So, before anyone else asks... no, I am not...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Night of the Hunter

So this week we spent time in the digital world with our instructors Jean Tuttle and Nancy Stahl. Our assignment was to create an image of a person from Connecticut using 3 programs: Illustrator, Photoshop and Painter. I had not used Painter before so I tried to do most of the work in that program rather than just lean on what was familiar to me. I decided to do Robert Mitchum (he grew up in Bridgeport), specifically his film The Night of the Hunter.

I was delighted with the watercolor effects I could get for the background and the ability to keep it all on separate layers, like Photoshop, so I could tweak, change or eliminate what I didn't like without having to start over. Also, having worked with Payne last week, I was free to create a caricature of Mitchum rather than produce an exact, photographic likeness. I'm not totally satisfied with the image of the woman on the bottom, but I had to stop the endless noodling. I may still play with it to get it right.

Looking forward to coming home and beginning the process of creating the body of work for my thesis. It's going to be a busy year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Maple Man

What a great week it has been here in Hartford. First of all, getting back together with so many creative folks is electrifying. Second, to be under the tutelage of two illustration greats like C.F. Payne and Gary Kelley has been such a privilege. And third, I feel like I've really hit my stride. So much has seemed to come together in these past four days. It has also encouraged me to put this style to work for the Lady Who Swallowed a Fly book that I comped up last year. And best of all, I'm having a ball. What's better than that?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting ready for Hartford

For those of you who have been complaining about staring at a salt and pepper shaker for the last two months, here's a pencil drawing of yours truly that I've used as an element in one of the pieces I'm bringing with me to Hartford next week. I'll be in classes for two weeks for my Masters and will be half way to my degree! As my sister so affectionately noted, "who's the old guy?" I'll post the full image when I return... If I'm not too ancient to remember.

Enjoying the new studio. What a difference to have some sunlight!