Saturday, June 14, 2014

Museums, Illustration, and the Summer

Despite the complete lack of attention to the blog, I haven't been completely unproductive. Things have been crazy preparing for college, and camp over the summer. Like last year, I don't expect to make any posts while at my job as a camp counselor. However, I have had the opportunity to do two exciting things recently.

The first is that my high school Spanish teacher, who is putting together a pdf vocabulary handbook for one of his lower grade classes next year, asked if I would be willing to do a handful of illustrations for some of the vocabulary terms. I'm really thrilled by this, because it gives me the chance to practice and expand upon my art, while at the same time allowing me to give back to a teacher who has really been a blessing to me through high school.

The second opportunity came just today. For the end of the school year, my family made a trip to the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, MA. It was a fantastic opportunity to see a huge number of original paintings by Rockwell in real life, and get a lot of insight into his working methods, ideals, and art in general. While Norman Rockwell's illustrations don't necessarily capture my imagination and inspire me as some artists' works do, I nonetheless have a great appreciation for him, and this trip only served to heighten that respect and appreciation for his skill and talent.

Along with Rockwell's paintings, the museum had the works of two other illustrators on display. The first was a painter by the name of Edward Hopper. I had never heard of Hopper before, although I quite enjoyed his work. He did a large amount of illustration, mostly in watercolor, which had a very clean and sharp feel to it.

The other illustrator featured was an artist by the name of Murray Tinkleman, whose subjects ranged from vintage cars, to native americans, to Lovecraft covers. While I greatly enjoyed viewing Tinkleman's pieces on display, the real treat came with the opportunity to see and hear Tinkleman in person, as he gave a lecture that afternoon overviewing illustration in the 1950s. It was a great experience, as Tinkleman not only looked at illustrators from the fifties, but also gave some thoughts on illustration today, and art in general. All in all, it was an amazing trip, and I'm very pleased to have made it.

As I said, I expect to be inactive over the summer, and with college classes starting up immediately after camp, I'm not sure what my schedule will look like. Hopefully, though, I'll have some new work to post and time to post it before too long.


  1. Whoa. That must have been such a cool experience.

  2. Oh man, Seth! I am so envious! That must have been an amazing trip. Great that you got to soak up so much inspiration. Rockwell was a genius of the painted image - I got the chance to see many originals and prints of his here in Nashville last year. It was a moving experience. Many of his image bring me to tears. Hopper is a huge influence as well. His clean shapes and value are great. Rockwell is a great one to study for how to tell stories with images. If you let him, his work can influence you even if your subject matter is different...

    My blog has been dormant too (I am ashamed. But I shall reform!) due to client projects and all around busy stuff. But hey, best of luck on your new project! Doing work for books will give you a great sense of working on a printed product and getting work done to client specs! It'll be a lot of fun for you.

    Have a great summer Seth, and I look forward to seeing more of your artwork!


    1. I agree, Will--his work was amazing. Sometime you should make the trip up to the Northeast and check out the museum for yourself. They have a single room that holds The Four Freedoms paintings that I thought was particularly neat, as well as a gallery of every Saturday Evening Post cover he ever did.

      Thanks for the best wishes, and I hope to see more of your artwork, as well!

  3. Where are you headed for college? =)