Archive for September, 2007

David Macaulay at the Florence Griswold Museum

Posted in Exhibits with tags , , , , on September 28, 2007 by sweed

I recently went to the Florence Griswold Museum here in Connecticut. Currently, they have an exhibit of Norman Rockwell and an assortment of contemporary American illustrators, and an exhibit of illustrator David Macaulay. The overarching theme of the two exhibits seemed to be health and the human body.
Norman Rockwell, of course, is an American legend, and most of the pictures at the show were instantly recognizable. The most notable was, perhaps, Doctor and Boy looking at Thermometer, characteristic of Rockwell for its gentle prodding at a flawed but mostly innocent American everyman – in this case, a would-be truant schoolboy. Rockwell has been derided and criticized for his rose-colored view of American life, but luckily his work is popular independent of this criticism. I think that in the time period in which Rockwell lived, given all that was happening in the world, taking a gloomy, sardonic view of the world was understandable, but terribly easy. Rockwell’s pictures, in contrast, keep their chins up, with a nostalgia for an America that perhaps never was, but for which we can nonetheless still hope. If Post-modern artists painted, hung, and critiqued their work under the dark cloud of World War II, Rockwell did so at its silver lining. Anyways, the exhibit was about health advertisements, not war. Consider that a side-rant.

In the contemporary exhibit, I got to see a really cool painting by Peter DeSeve. I can’t find the actual painting on the internet to link to it, but if you haven’t seen DeSeve’s website you should check it out.

And lastly I saw David Macaulay’s exhibit. I was excited about seeing it because he was one of my teachers back at RISD, but I didn’t realize until getting there that the work being displayed was for The Way We Work, an upcoming book which gives an illustrated journey through the human body – explaining the body’s basic components from cells, to organs, to organ systems. It was really cool to look from the Norman Rockwell exhibit into the next room and instantly recognize the work. David does all his thinking on tracing paper (or at least of his work that I’ve seen,) working up from past drawings, adding in torn bits from other drawings, and laying diagrams over existing pages. For the semester that I took his class (called “Explain It”), we worked and thought using this process as a tool, which was sort of new to me at the time but seemed natural. Looking into his part of the exhibit, the room looked like a giant version of one of our critiques, with tracing paper pinned up everywhere with delicate, detailed drawings that suggested the interior of the body as a vast architecture of interrelating systems. Some of the drawings were even descendants of ideas he’d shown us in class when talking about his project. All in all, the exhibit was a testament to a prodigious amount of work, and it’s worth going and taking a look at it.

Enjoying: The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Anticipating: a lot of work tomorrow
Studying: still Franklin Booth

when whippoorwills call and evening is nigh

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New Inkings

Posted in Sketches on September 25, 2007 by sweed

I inked these two just recently, so I thought I’d post them. I’ll be painting over these in acrylics. I’m almost finished painting one of their brothers, but I unfortunately forgot to scan it before I started doing so. If I really feel like having an ink version of it, I have the drawing saved on my computer, so I may go back to it yet just for the sake of completeness. Lately I’ve been looking at the work of Franklin Booth and marveling over his excellent penwork, so you might see me liberally borrowing some of his techniques in the weeks to come, just to try some new things.

Interrupting the rites of Silvanus Overwhelmed

Enjoying: Foyle’s War
Anticipating: The Spirit!
Studying: Franklin Booth

bright blue his jacket was and his boots were yellow

Cogito ergo blogito

Posted in Updates on September 21, 2007 by sweed

Hey all! My name’s Stephen Weed, and I’m a freelance illustrator. I’ll be using this blog to upload sketches, ideas, and new work in the near future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ll be working on finishing up my new website, www.sweedart.com.

Thanks for dropping by!

Enjoying: The Engineer
Anticipating: D&D 4e
Studying: XHTML

the fire of September that made us mellow