Illustration

Illustration MECA field trip

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in Art Classes, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, travels | 2 comments

A week ago I traveled west with senior Illustration MECA majors, co-chaperoning another field trip led by our intrepid Department Chair Mary Anne Lloyd. This time we ventured in a wagon train of cars, landing at the venerable Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. While awaiting everyone’s arrival, we ate our bag lunches in the classroom, appropriately surrounded by the drawings of young artists. Our tour guide, Patrick O’Donnell, led us through early works by Rockwell, with the eye of a professional illustrator. We saw Rockwell’s detailed studies in charcoal...

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Complications From A Fall

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

Kate Hawley’s script Complications From A Fall, triggered some heartache for me. Having walked that final episode of eldercare with my mother years ago, it touched a few nerves. I went looking for the walker that is still in the basement, don’t ask me why. That thing was a metaphor for my mother’s decline. I made it an element in all of my ideas for the poster for Portland Stage’s recent production. In one scene, Elizabeth, the aging mother, sets fire to some old letters. It seemed very direct to visualize the walker falling in flames. Maybe too direct. So I tried...

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Pub Day for Ana and the Sea Star!

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Ana and the Sea Star, Children's Book Illustration, Illustration, school visits, Tilbury House | 6 comments

Finally, today is THE DAY!!! My twelfth book is real. Ana and the Sea Star by R. Lynne Roelfs is published! It is a small miracle when ideas manifest into a real book. When I first read the manuscript in July of 2016, it felt authentic, the story of finding a starfish. My photo below is evidence of that time a sea star washed into a Peaks Island tide pool a summer ago, and was gently placed back in the ocean. First I sketched out a rough storyboard, deciding what to show, the flow of the visuals, and varying points of view. I contacted some island neighbors to model for me. The lovely Schuit...

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Lady Day in moonlight

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

These are just a few of the records I grew up with. My parents were into jazz. I heard Billie Holiday long before I knew her name. Sarah, Billie, and Ella were my mother’s favorites; Duke, Satchmo, and Coltrane were my dad’s. These were the faces on the records, but in fact I went all through elementary grades and high school without having a single person of color in my classes, or in my small world in rural New Hampshire. That changed in art school and beyond, but those soulful voices remain somehow elemental for me. The script for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by...

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Welcome Illustration MECA juniors!

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Art Classes, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, zines | 5 comments

My heart sang to spot this chalk drawing by Illustration MECA grad, Liz Long, greeting all of us returning to the hive at Maine College of Art in late August. The fall semester is in full swing, entering the second month. My class of junior majors brought in the summer sketchbooks I gave them last April. I had given them some prompts, such as making a list of their 7 favorite things to draw, and drawing them by observation, from memory, and in color. We began our introductions by viewing their sketchbooks. Here’s a snapshot of the wonders therein. Meghan McDunnah drew full-lipped...

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More more ii

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 in comics, drawing, Illustration, Illustration Institute, Maine College of Art, Peaks Island | 0 comments

The seeds of the recent residencies at the Illustration Institute’s Marilyn Faison Artist Residency were possibly planted in the spring of 2016, when Maine College of Art Illustration faculty Scott Nash invited Emily Flake and Bob Mankoff to a screening of Very Semi Serious, a fantastic documentary in which they both appear, about New Yorker cartoonists. They were like sit-down comedians on the Portland Museum of Art stage afterwards. Fast forward to this August, when Emily Flake filled the Fifth Maine to capacity, as the setting sun made the audience beautiful. Emily shared a...

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