Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Series Spectacular!

The series projects were unveiled over the past two days during two critiques. Even though we've had glimpses of each one in-progress, the finished groups are pretty amazing for the most part. Unlike the past times when I posted examples from each series, I am posting each entire group of images. I do apologize for some minor cropping and color changes, but for the most part it's a pretty good representation of the works. If you want to see a closer view of the work, just click on the drawing.

Veronica Greenwell's series explored the connections and relationships between art and science. Using the brain as motif, Veronica utilized string, wire, encyclopedia and thesaurus pages to create intimate and complex representations of left brain/right brain influences on our needs for linear reasoning and creative expression.

Todd Brewer's group explored the landscape from his back porch. He originally planned to create drawings of different times of day or seasons of the same place, but later changed to the same time of day but interpreted through a variety of media. Each drawing is roughly 18"x24", and utilizes oil pastel, Prisma Color Art Stiks, soft pastel, and graphite.

Stephanie Smith's three drawings are created on layered vellum with imagery drawn on all sides. She wanted to bring to her images the effects of being deaf in her right ear, hence the more faded part of the image represented on her right side. She was attracted to a run down, dilapidated building that served as the space for both the calmness and the chaos of hearing from only one side.

Shawn McPheron's 4' x 12' panoramic view of the Ohio River is a very ambitious set of panels executed with oil pastels. This site is one of his favorite places to draw and he would often haul one panel at a time there to catch a detail that slipped by his on previous trips. It is a remarkable piece in that the space is so vast and so well observed.

Phil Lawrence's three drawings in charcoal and graphite examined the juxtaposition of environment and emotion and the idea that we are, or are not, products of our environments. The influence of place and how we acquiesce or contest its impact on the individual. Each panel is roughly 22" x 30".

Philip Carlton's four graphite drawings, each 23" x30", are deftly drawn episodes of the mundane experiences that can often be defining experiences in our lives. He used a teddy bear as the star of each episode, adjusting its scale to fit the space and activity. The sense of humanity in each image is very compelling, as they are rife with the wit, compassion, melancholy, and introspection.

Miri Phelps created this three-panel installation as a sequential examination of time, moments in and a continuum of, by utilizing photographic sources of water being poured over the heads of her friends. Executed with charcoal and acrylic paint, each panel measures 26" x 20".

Lori Richie, often attracted to creating images of nature, instead explored nature's effect on her physically as manifested in her severe allergies. Each image is drawn on paper with soft pastels, then framed, and then the drawing is continued on the plexiglass glazing with markers, setting up an interesting contrast in color and line quality. The top image has light reflecting off the plexi (sorry about that). Each panel is 24" x 36"

Joy Wilson utilized graphite in these three panels that explored gender issues and perceptions. Using the same female model for each image, she morphed from the more "girly" to the androgynous, finally to the masculine.

Dani Maudlin's five panels used the skeleton and its posings as a metaphor for the various physical and emotional pains she has endured over the past few months. Each panel is 29" x 41", and started with a black and white monotype on which she pulled the skeleton out of the visually textured surface using oil pastels.

Alex Strach began this series by asking "old" people on the street if she could take their pictures, and then she asked them about their aging process. Some of those responses are included in the negative areas of the images. She combined charcoal and graphite in each 22" x 30" panel.

Aberlyn Sweetland May created these four compelling images by drawing, painting, tearing, collaging, sanding, scoring, and screaming at these 21" x 30" photographs that originally served her as sources for her paintings. The process that unfolded over the past six weeks is an exciting one to see in her work, and once she let go of the photo-reality to create one less pretty, the new reality became very beautiful.

It has been a very fast and compressed six weeks summer session, and one unlike any session I've ever experienced. We had four very engaging visiting artists in who discussed their work and taught us something new about the drawing process. One of those visiting artists, Emily Sheehan, will be joining the faculty starting the fall semester. She will be bringing new ideas and approaches to our drawing curriculum, and we're very excited to have her.

Also unlike any previous summer session, we didn't have even one day of landscape drawing and only one week of the figure. Changes happened almost daily with our schedule. However, everyone endured and made the best of the situation, for which I'm both thankful and grateful.

Our critiques and discussions about the work that was developing during the session took many different directions, especially toward the end as the intent and purpose of the series projects were more fully embraced. The discussions that last few days were often enlightening, entertaining, challenging, and rewarding. Nicely done, all.

Have a great summer.


  1. I think everyone did an awesome job. I look forward to seeing everyones future works. What I liked about having this cousre over the summer was the time constraints with getting a full series in 6 weeks compared to 4 months. You guys should be pleased with the fact got got some good images in less time. And you Prof Jones have an excellent summer your self it was fun.

  2. I totally agree with Dani. I've been in Brian's summer drawing class for the past three years and I think that this is definitely the strongest batch of work a summer drawing session has produced. Props!

  3. I'm extremely impressed! I'm glad I got to see most of it in person.

  4. I agree that these series are amazing and even though the time constraints from summer session was intense I am glad that I was able to get creative juices working and also able to look at my surroundings a little differently. I wish you all luck with everything else and hope to see you in some classes later on.

    p.s. Aberlyn can you please get me that list of books relating the science behind the creative process? I think those will be helpful for my current summer course.

  5. Wow, what beautiful work! You each developed such thoughtful and involved drawing processes. And, for those who took on figurative subject matter, I feel obliged to mention, the faces appear logically proportioned, well structured, and dimensional. Well done:)
    What an impressive and invested class you are, this is quite a sublime showing. I’m so excited to be a part of IUS Fine Art. I look forward to seeing all of you, and your work, this fall.
    BTW- This is Emily Sheehan writing….Yep, I’m still lurking around your blogosphere.

  6. Thanks for checking in on us Emily. There's a lot of excitement about you coming into the program. See you soon.

  7. @Veronica: Here are some of the book titles, finally! - "Creativity: Flow & the Psyche of Discovery & Invention" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, "Chase, Chance, & Creativity" by James H. Austin, M.D. and "Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes. Have a great summer!

  8. I just found out your are taking over drawing in the Fall, Emily. I can't wait to pick your brain and get started. Congratulations and thanks for stopping by the blog.

    It was a good semester. Brian did a great job especially considering this was a Summer session.