maine streets: past, present, and future

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in fashion illustration, Maine College of Art, Sketchbook Project | 2 comments

I’m a fan of Find, Portland’s shop for vintage clothing. I included the store in my Sketchbook Project 2013’s Shop Walk.

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The owner, Laura Ker, also maintains a site for her style spotting, Maine Streets. Not surprising that she’s a former art student, with a keen eye for the everyday style of folks trotting around Portland, Maine. I assigned my junior illustration majors at Maine College of Art the task of choosing a person found on Maine Streets, and illustrating that person as is, and also in the distant past (at least one hundred years ago or more) and in the distant future, requiring some research, observation, and imagination.

We warmed up our observations of historical detail by visiting Portland Museum of Art’s current exhibit, Winslow Homer’s Civil War. This collection of Homer’s illustrations for Harper’s Weekly was at times informative and disturbing. We each sketched something that caught our eye. Here’s one of mine:

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I also drew Emma while she sketched.

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This is Emma McCabe’s sketch, in which Union soldiers “forage” from a farm.

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Chelsea Anthony drew from Homer’s iconic image of a Union sharpshooter.

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Alex Lavergne drew this:

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The military look surfaced in response to the assignment. Here is Alex’s model:

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Again as a Revolutionary soldier:

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And again as a future rebel of an unnamed republic.

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Paul Gray chose this model:

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who became a soldier here:

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And Paul’s fashion forward, with optical camouflage.

9Gray-P2CThis is Emma McCabe’s model, in present, past, and future style.

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She envisioned a primitive apocalyptic fallout with epic facial hairstyles.

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Cecil Cates set up a humorous sequence:

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Katie Ackley had detailed fun with her model:

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Sarah Oppelt’s model conjured an unusual translation.

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Sarah studied the structure of Victorian undergarments, and imagined a high-tech version for the future, in which our connections to technology form our profile, and nothing else!

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Molly Blythe Olson’s model is a dapper fellow in the here and now.

21Blythe-Olson-P2Here is Desiree Wiegand’s model:

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This is by Anabelle Souza:

26Souza-P2This one’s by Adra McBride:

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Here is Kristi McDonald’s model:

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Liam Murphy’s:

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Taylor Grant’s model has personality to spare:

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Chris Jone’s saw a cowboy in this bloke:

28Jones-P2This is Johanna Stacey’s model:

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Chelsea Anthony drew musicians as a Ragtime band.

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Alexandra Knight found inspiration in this model

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as an Aztec warrior!

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Overall, this was a great challenge in portraiture, character/clothing design, apparel history, and finding a research thread prompted by a single look, face, attitude. Thanks to my students for their efforts, and to Laura Ker for her fine resource photographs, not to mention all the folks who posed for her!

2 Comments

  1. Wonderful assignment. It really demands imagination to travel into the past and future!

  2. Thanks, Sarah! Yes, imagination drove the mothership on this project.

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