Tuesday, March 27, 2012

on the Illustration 2 trail

My amazing troupe of sophomore illustration students at Maine College of Art are stretching their skills in many ways. Recently, they invented 3 dimensional characters drawn from fables and folklore. Here is a sculpy Baba Yaga in progress, made by Shannon Owen.

Now, she's dressed and ready for a good story by the fire.

Isaac Atkins decided his character needed a glossy coat.

Hana Firestone made resourceful use of paper and plastic for her Fox and the Crow.

Beware, Eric Wilbur's Hydra fiercely guards Casco Bay.

Molly Steinmetz's Leshy found his way to the woods in the Joanne Waxman Library, ready to tickle to death the unsuspecting reader.

The class also spent some time drawing in the library, working from the wonderful resources in the collection while also making linear collages.

One signature of any illustration class at MECA is getting out and about for inspiration. We also drew at the Faces show at the Portland Museum of Art. This is Chelsea Canny's sketch, can you recognize the photograph?

This tied in with an assignment: to do a life-size self portrait. Chris Snowman drew his on a tablet and blew it up.

Isaac did his on very large paper with charcoal, graphite, and some pastel.

Morgan Cremin's got torn in transit, but she liked the result. Here's a close-up of the face.

Lucas Greco cut a stencil and used a spray paint called Venom.

For our latest project, Secret Lives of the Cryptids, we headed to the infamous International Cryptozoology Museum, conveniently located within walking distance from the college.

It's a rare collection of taxidermy, samples, art, toys, products, and the peculiar culture surrounding the unknown beasts we have yet to capture. Always sketching on the trail of observation, the class found a friend. The robot below is by former student and MECA alum, Joe Rosshirt.

I have to sketch, too! I drew Big Foot, the silent and wooly sentry for the museum.

There are skulls,  models, toys. This ape had that debonair stroll.

Morgan drew this. Could it be... a jackalope?

No wonder speculation abounds. Is this an alien mermaid or a shriveled sting ray?

Molly has a sense of humor about it all.

Another former student, Sarah McCann, created a soft sculpture giant squid that hangs proudly in the museum, along with her finger puppet creations, like this chupacabra I bought.

Indeed, MECA illustration talent gets around. I recently had coffee with another alum, Thomas Dowling who showed me this sculpy head he'd been working on.

Just days later, he turned out to be just what Portland Stage was looking for when they needed an important prop. Tom sculpted a hound with a chain saw. Take that!

I'll be applauding from my seat this Sunday when we see Heroes: for the play, for Tom's talent, and for all the greatness that MECA illustration students perform all the time.



Cathryn Falwell said...

Your students are SO lucky to have a talented, thoughtful, supportive instructor like you!

aavery said...

I miss Illustration :( I have some recent artwork around if you care to share what alums are doing ;)