The Big Smack Himself.

My photo
Peoria, IL, United States
I created this blog to help my students find new inspirational artists and works, all while strengthening their interest and pride in their work and themselves as artists. :D i'm also an aspiring artist myself.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Edition

stalling, 2010
jerry b. phillips

Wiping and Printing the "stalling" mezzotint...

you can actually see me go through the process!

listen carefully, you may actually hear me singing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Color - Highlights

Highlights from Drawing 102-01
Fall 2009
Watercolor Assignments

color study, 2009
Amy Petrek
flat color study

backpack, 2009
Stephanie Dacuma
still life study

heel, 2009
Emily S. Muir
part of final assignment

folded paper, 2009
Laura J. Wirtz
folded paper study

fan and bricks, 2009
Emily S. Muir
department still life study

light switch, 2009
Joshua van Arsdale
still life study

crane, 2009
Shannon Gordy
folded paper study

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black and White - Highlights

Highlights from Drawing 102-01
Fall 2009
Black and White

flower, 2009
Nick Younglove
final assignment

plant, 2009
Laura J. Wirtz
organic still life assignment

starbursts, 2009
Joshua van Arsdale
monumental assignment

bicycle, 2009
Hope Batterson
bicycle still life assignment

hair clip, 2009
Stephanie Dacuma
monumental assignment

bicycle, 2009
Amy Petrek
bicycle still life assignment

Text Color
plant, 2009
Shannon Gordy
organic still life assignment

bicycle, 2009
Aaron Schleickhorn
bicycle still life assignment

Brad Vetter - Designer/Letter Press/Art

The Beast of Burden

the artist
photo credit: Adrienne Miller

Artist: Brad Vetter
Location: Nashville, TN
Online Portfolio: Beast of Burden

This is Brad Vetter, working designer, letter press printer, and artist. Living and working in Nashville, Brad has made a very successful name for himself as one of the printers for Hatch Show Prints.

His work, although feeds into the fields of poster design and graphic design, maintains a strong foundation in art. For those of you interesting in including text into your work, take a look at his work. He balances the use of words in to well thought out compositional pieces.

Graphic Designers, I'm showing you Brad's work because I want to stress what Gary has you do. I know for a fact that Gary has you sketch out your ideas before you even touch the computer. The great designs you created are not created because of the computer, but from you. Brad is an excellent example of how good design is still made by hand.

I love how Brad approaches color within his pieces. They enhance and don't distract. It's pretty amazing how he is able to use minimal color to make a poster just beam. It's also pretty amazing that he can overlap a small amount of color and create depth.

I've met Brad once, in Murray, Kentucky. I was in town for my friend's BFA show, and I met him and Adrienne for dinner at Jasmine's. This restaurant is one of many things I miss of that small town in Western Kentucky. I ate Singapore Noodles with chicken and a spicy crab sushi roll.

My initial impression of Brad was "this guy has awesome facial hair." I aspired to have facial hair like this guy, but alas, genetics has not granted me the ability. The artist is a really great guy (Adrienne - I totally approve of this guy).

work produced at Hatch Show Print

old crow medicine show, 2007
show poster
letter press

show poster
letter press

jason mraz, 2008
show poster
letter press

work produced for design

the show
wine labels in environment

charles and charles, 2008
rose wine label
hatch show print

the ponys, 2007
show poster

anthropologie catalog, 2009
letter press

Brad's personal work

let's talk about books, 2009
ink on book cover

modular things #1, 2009
relief and xerox transfer

the places i have been
letter press and xerox transfer

Sunday, January 17, 2010

When everything seems to fall apart...

and you don't seem to be able to makes sense of things...

Keep Moving Forward

and you'll pull through.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Video Find - Regina Spektor - EET

Hope Batterson found and brought Regina's "EET" song and video to my attention.

I must say I'm quite fond of this song. and I really enjoyed visuals. There is something about using a typewriter as a musical instrument that is beautiful.

Also check out Hope's Website and her personal blog!

Amy Casey - Painting

the artist

Artist: Amy Casey
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Medium: Painting, Printmaking

A trip to Chicago with Heather Brammeier, painting professor at Bradley University, saw a couple of graduate students and Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree gallery hopping one day. Heather took us to some of her favorite galleries, and one in particular represents Ms. Amy Casey.

The ZG Gallery had an exhibition of Amy's work hanging that day. There is something about Amy's work that just intrigues me. Could it be the muted palette of colors she utilizes or maybe the unconventional use of the buildings. Whatever the reason, I was happy to find out that Heather was also attracted to Amy's work.

ZG Gallery printed a small book of her imagery and I jumped at the chance to purchase it. With my purchase, the gallery stuck a simple sticker with her signature in my copy and I felt like I had just received an autograph from a rock star.

From her artist statement, Amy describes her work as an extension of a series of dreams she had. Not wanting to depict her dream exactly, she evokes the feeling felt within them.

Here's what she had to say:

"For about the last eight years, I've been experiencing a sporadically recurring dream about the end of the world. Animals stampeding and buildings falling into dust around me. I wake in panic and with a heavy sense of inevitability...

...I think that like my dream, my paintings reflect my view of the nervous state of affairs the world seems to be in."

-Amy Casey

Read he entire statement here: writings on the wall

Check out the rest of her work! I'm sure you'll find them just as intriguing as I do.

Now onto some of my favorites:

an abundance of caution, 2008
22" x 30"

big cities, small towns, 2009
41" x 54"

keeping it together, 2009
36" x 50"

safety in numbers, 2007
22.5" x 19.5"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rory Coyne - Painting

self portrait, 2007
oil on canvas
15" x 24"

Artist: Rory Coyne
Location: Chicago
Technique: Oil Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
Subject: Figurative work
Deviantart Gallery: DeRoodeKoning

Rory Coyne is a an artist living and working in Chicago. So kiddies, he's somewhat of a local artist. Maybe we should plan a trip to Chicago and catch an exhibition of his work in the near future.

I discovered his work at, and immediately was impressed with his technical skill with oils and drawing, but more importantly is rendering of the figure. You all know that the next drawing class listed in the curriculum is LIFE DRAWING. What better way to familiarize yourself with how the human figure is used in Contemporary Art World then by looking as work that focuses on the subject.

Coyne's work is very much contemporary but also draws on the work of others, such as Jenny Seville, Ron Muenck, and Rembrandt ( I'm sure there are many others). All are listed as favorite artists by Coyne, and only supports my constant push for you all to look at other artists.

It's important to connect to what's being made in the art world. It's important to find a group of artists you feel influenced by. It will only make your work stronger as you head deeper into your degree program.

I've been follow his work on deviant art for awhile. It seems he really appreciated feedback and tries to reply to most (if not all) comments left on his pieces. He's a great example of strong figurative imagery with an interesting twist.

Now some images:

who to listen to, 2009
photograph of artist

another ::conversation::, 2007
oil on canvas
6' x 5'

one of those days...murr, 2009
oil on canvas
42"w x 48"h

pig tale, 2008
oil on canvas
1' x 1'

tri and tri, 2007
etching with aquatint

Don't be freaked out about having to draw nude figures. It's important to learn the human body while working from a live model. Photographs don't provide a 3-dimensional source of information.

Go into the figure drawing class and just draw...Remember, Go Big or Go Home. Step Hard or Step off.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sondre Lerche - Music

Sondre Lerche
September 16, 2009
Shcubas in Chicago, IL

If you've seen Dan In Real Life, you've heard this song and this amazing musician.

I had the opportunity to catch two performances of his in Chicago, thanks to my friend, Becky!

Those of you who have been in my class, you've heard his music. I played all of his albums multiple times.

enjoy this performance.

Here are some photos from the two shows I attended in Chicago back in September 2009.

Venue: Schubas
City: Chicago
Date: September 2009

crooning the crowd

audio failure doesn't stop the show

pretty awesome

highly recommend seeing a live show

his "baby" or as i refer to it "ol'bluey"

Emma Mueller - Watercolor

self, 2005
(if you don't want your picture here,Emma, please let me know
I thought it would be nice for my students to see what the artist looks like)

I ran across Emma's work while checking on messages in my deviantart account. Her three watercolor studies are perfect examples of how manipulate the media. As this past semester was the first time I taught watercolor, I'm beginning to look for other works I can use as good examples of how watercolor can be used. (at least in my opinion)

From my brief interaction with Emma, she seems to be a really nice and humble artist, and I believe you all would love her studies. They are beautiful, and offer excellent use of pigment/water ratio, and control of the brush. They also hint at the ink wash drawings and painting for the Japanese and Chinese masters, so of course I was immediately pulled into these works.

I asked her if there were any tips she would like to share with you all about water color and here's what she said:

"In all truth these are just doodles and I haven't worked with watercolors in years. What I've realized picking it up again is that paper is everything. These were just done on a bristol pad, so the medium did not act with the versatility and freedom that it should. So using a paper specifically for watercolors, or at less nothing hot press, is the best. Also, if you're going for detail it's best to use a very small brush loaded with color and water. Watercolors used dry (unless that's the effect you're going for) are never as satisfying. I hope that helped, at least a little bit. I'm no expert!"

- Emma Mueller, via deviantart message, 01-07-10

bird I, 2010
watercolor on bristol

bird II, 2010
watercolor on bristol

bird III, 2010
watercolor on bristol

Emma's Deviantart Gallery : Sequana

please visit her gallery, she has many more pieces you may find interesting! :D