eyes shut, wonder bread, pen on the end of a stick

Poor Terry Brown was on for early (7am) and it took a good 2 hours to get the digital projector to function properly--so the schedule slid around a bit to accomodate this change in schedule. Terry was very interesting--but oriented his discussion of illustration history around topics versus around trends/styles/timing/inspirations. We clipped through Winslow Homer all the way up to the work for Filmore West in less than an hour or so...around topics. I was glad I had the early grounding from Murray or my head would have been spinning. We watched 3 videos during the noon session (one created for one of the ICON conferences from SOI, another a promotional piece to develop funding for a possible full film on the history of illustration and the final a little clip of a video on NC Wyeth with reminiscences from his elderly children interspersed with family photos, paintings and stories. What a sad ending for Wyeth (he was very depressed and was in a car that stalled on a railroad track with his young grandchild (some say child via his daughter in law), Newell--and they both were killed. I missed the p.m. to get in front of the Whitney homework for 12 of us with only 2 scanners in the computer lab.

We all showed our slide shows to Whitney and the class. Very telling. The better the illustrator, the shorter and more to the point the slideshow. The longer the show, the more tentative, less developed illustrator. Makes sense. Just a surprise that was the way it all worked out. The show and tell took the better part of 3 hours to get through. After the slides, we were given the first assignment:

--take 4-5 pieces of wonderbread and make letterforms out of them (see entry above).
then xerox them.

--study the words: bread, eye, edge,stick. Close your eyes and draw the outside silhouette of the letterforms and the counters--or draw the letters (outside and then counters). Draw the words a few times. Xerox the words...creatively--blowing things up, finding interesting lines.

--tape a sharpie to the end of a long, wooden dowel. Pin paper to the wall. Holding the dowel at the end, write lines of copy on the paper. Xerox creatively--moving the paper on the xerox machine--creating new forms, stretching the image, folding the image etc.

Tonight we are to create scans (300dpi) 8.5"x11" of these letter studies and produce a burned CD for Whitney for tomorrow. We will be working on another in class assignment tomorrow.It was not quick going with the sleepy scanners we have...but its done. This work isnt completed.I will loop you in as we progress. Tomorrow pictures of the show.

I thought this was pretty fun. I was def. in the minority. Folks were actually mad about this work. Wasn't painting. Was something new...and Whitney through her words and books she shared with us is into the building and illustrating with letterforms. I am totally there. I am looking forward to tomorrow...I cannot vouch for my classmates.

She is very organized and succinct...and handed us a bibiliography sheet along with links she finds valuable. Some good ones:

Ed Ruscha: They call her Styrene, Phaidon Press, NY, 200.

Rothenstein, Julian & Gooding, Mel, More Alphabets and other Signs, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA 2003

Whitney was very interesting on her involvement in ICON, the trials of figuring out, planning and organizing this big event...and how sometimes,all the planning in the world sometimes does not guarantee success. The plan is for people to engage in the sessions, mix with others and have a chance to learn more about illustration and the services surrounding the practice.

Its late. Wonderbread on the brain. Hotter than you know what here. More later.