MassArt Illustration

April 26, 2016
by alice.stanne

Illustration Students Featured in Drawing Magazine

by Visiting Lecturer, John Roman

Several Illustration Department students are having their work featured in the Spring issue of Drawing magazine. The article,“Principles of Panoramic Drawing,” written by faculty member John Roman is based on one of his perspective drawing assignments. The students featured in the article include, Alexa Gustafson (class of 2017), Caitlin Mavilla (2016), Amanda Watkins (2015), Eileen McIntire (2016), Dylan McCusker (2016), and Kathleen Ohara (2017). The Spring issue will be in bookstores May 10th. The student’s work has also been posted on the Artist’s Network blog.

Drawing magazine publishes 40,000 copies which are distributed nationally. Each issue is also offered in a Digital Version which is in addition to the 40K printed copies. Drawing also has subscribers internationally and is available on newsstands throughout the country.


Abigail McCoy

A perfectly-executed panoramic drawing from observation completed on-site inside Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. With spontaneity of line and a self-assured handling of the marker medium, artist Abigail McCoy (MassArt: Class of 2015) powerfully crafted this wide-angle depiction and successfully conveys the broad expanse of the Gardner Museum’s interior courtyard.

See more student work after the break.
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January 30, 2015
by alice.stanne

Black Walnut Ink; My Attraction with Extraction

Written by Visiting Lecturer Ric Allendorf

IMG_8479“Inking is meditation in liquid form.”   – J.H. Everett

Snow is piling-up crisp and white, like paper. Another semester returns and I’m swept in the anticipation of teaching two more sections of Media Techniques; a course that creates the perfect environment for students to connect with new materials and movement, deconstruct their discomforts and habits, then liberate a steadier and more distinct voice of expression.

Muscles move the medium; medium moves the message.

To prepare for classes, I often begin with a forensic-level of curiosity about the materials. The more that is known about ingredients and properties of a given medium, the more we can encourage known behaviors – or introduce a catalyst to resist, distort, or deviate from the expected flow.

These discoveries find their way back to the class either in the form of a demo, an exercise prompt, or as actual supplies that I’m anxious to share. In recent years, students and some faculty have been on the receiving end of my obsession with homemade black walnut ink.

Continue reading to learn more about black walnut ink.

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August 29, 2014
by alice.stanne

A Painting A Day

Written by Visiting Lecturer Lisa Daria Kennedy

1121_darialisa_06190121121Daily Painting #1121, After but Before, June 19, 2012, Acrylic, 6″ x 6 “

 I’ve been making one small painting every single day for the last 1900 days.

After five years, I’ve no intention of stopping. Having cancer as a young adult, I discovered living is not just surviving. At age 29, I was a lead artist in the giftware industry when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After six rounds of chemotherapy, one month of radiation, and now, years of monitoring to make sure I’m still cancer free, my perspective has changed. Young and faced with an existential crisis, I questioned, who am I? What does it all mean? Psychologically, existentially, transcendentally – what can a life amount to? I was acutely aware of all the time I’d wasted and the things I put off – like painting. But, like a lot of artists, I had trouble working up momentum. After all I had been through, the idea of starting an artistic project and failing was terrifying. I had a moment of clarity and pared the creative process down to this one idea – show up for the job. I treat creativity like a disembodied spirit and that I simply must be present daily to receive it.1 I started showing up for my new job in 2009 and without excuse I wake up every day at five and I paint.

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February 27, 2014
by alice.stanne

Color and Health

Written by Visiting Lecturer Nancy McCarthy

“Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.” — Florence Nightingale, “Notes on Nursing”, 1898

Color is the visible portion of the electro magnetic spectrum; it is vibration. Certain vibrations are known to affect living cells. Is it possible that certain colors or combinations of colors can affect our wellbeing and physical health? An orange sapling in a cobalt blue sky; slate gray clouds hovering over an inky sea; hedges of blinding yellow forsythia, the purple and blue shadows of trees on snow. All are good to look at; all have a positive effect on my mood.

Continue reading after the jump to learn more about color…

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December 10, 2013
by alice.stanne

John Singer Sargent: Bostonian

Written by Professor Irena Roman

We typically think of John Singer Sargent as a citizen of the world, and the current show at the Museum of Fine Arts of his brilliant watercolors, many depicting exotic locales, attest to that. He was born in Florence, Italy, in 1856 to an expatriate Philadelphia surgeon father (who was also a skilled medical illustrator), and a Boston heiress mother who had a knack for watercolors and a passion for Europe. Growing up, he lived all over Europe; France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Sargent spoke four languages and studied art in Florence, Dresden, Berlin and Paris. He considered himself an American but it wasn’t until he was 17 that he actually stepped foot in the United States! But when he did visit America, he considered Boston (and especially the Back Bay) his home. Many of the places he worked and frequented still stand and are just a stones-throw from MassArt. Let’s take a virtual walking tour.

Begin the virtual walking tour after the break.
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November 4, 2013
by alice.stanne

The Illustrated Fore-edge

Written by Professor Suzanne Barnes

Birds, Martin Frost, 2010

The text block edge that lies opposite to the book’s spine, visible when the book is closed, is called the fore-edge. Illustrated fore-edges have been traced back as far as the 10c, when symbols, crests, and coats of arms designated ownership. By the 18c, fore-edge treatment had become more illustrative, often showing scenes or subjects taken from the book’s content. Sometimes these images are visible when the book is closed, and sometimes they ‘disappear’,  becoming visible only when the pages of the book are fanned.

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October 1, 2013
by alice.stanne

Welcome to the new Illustration Department Blog!

The Illustration Department would like to announce our new department blog!

We wanted to create a place where we can share what is going on with our current students, alumni and faculty and inform everyone of art related interests going on within the department and out in the world. One of our goals is to create a hub to share information and we welcome current students and alumni to contribute to this blog. If you have an interesting story you’d like to share, a current professional or personal project or  successes to share, we would love for you to submit them so we can post and show the wonderful things MassArt artists are accomplishing.

We will highlight FEATURED POSTS which will be about interesting art-related topics, exhibitions and ideas. We have new posts about the upcoming John Singer Sargent watercolor museum exhibition at the MFA and book arts in production right now!

We’re also proud of our students and want to highlight their successes during their stay here at MassArt and after they graduated. The ALUMNI and CURRENT STUDENTS links will be chock full of accomplishments and information about them. It will also give you the opportunity to connect with one another.

As an example of our alumni successes, recently Pat Falco, BFA 2010 had a solo exhibition titled “Just Happy To Be Here” at the Schlosberg Gallery @ Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA August 7 – September 8, 2013.

(photos courtesy of Pat Falco)

Along with our students, you will be updated on DEPARTMENT NEWS and FACULTY NEWS. Information about special events, guest speakers, class trips to museums and faculty projects. For example, ISTVAN BANYAI who recently had a solo exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum will be coming to speak to the students October 7th at 6:30pm! We look forward to having him visit MassArt as an honored guest!

(image by Istvan Banyai)

We also have special events such as Draw En Mass which is run by students! Every semester, a group of artists get together and go out into the Boston area and draw everything around them! It’s been a popular way to meet fellow students and get out of the studios for the day. Students even organized a drawing event over the summer! Look out for announcements about upcoming Draw En Mass events here or at its own dedicated blog and as well as other future events.

(drawing by Chris Bowers)

From Open Drawing sessions to Senior Thesis work, we hope to bring to you all the wonderful things we are doing in the Illustration Department and we want to make sure you are part of it! If you would like to submit news about you and your work, please send an email discussing what you would like to post to and we will get back to you about what is needed for the post.

We hope you have a wonderful and creative semester!