Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Next Lunch 2016!

No lunch this week. Happy New Year!

Our next lunch January 6th at Back Porch Saloon!

Monday, December 21, 2015

STUDIO SPACE: John Maggard

Location:  Cincinnati, Terrace Park OH
On the drawing table:  2016 Heart Mini Poster 39
Coming soon:  DRGW at Castle Rock, CO - private painting

How did you get your start...Illustrator?

After graduating from Miami University in Ohio in 1976, my first professional job was with NCR Corp in in Dayton, Corporate Graphic Design, then a year later moved to Cincinnati to join Steinau-Fisher Studio and still later at Wanamaker Advertising in Dayton, at that time one of the premier illustration studios in the area. After several years working with Scott Hull, Dave Groff, Andy Buttram and others at Wanamaker, we broke loose and I began free lancing with Scott Hull Assoc., a relationship that remains to this day.
Time Life Space
Describe your work:
During college and for some time after, my drawing and painting was fairly loose and open. Due to the nature of the studio work coming in, it took a turn toward much more realistic and detailed finish and rendering. For years I depended heavily on airbrush work with the detailing done with smaller brushes. When a large amount of detail is involved I still like to get the composition and pieces down cold with tracings and sketches first, typically doing the final drawing in reverse and burnishing it down onto the prepared surface for painting. I use cold press illustration board or gessoed wood panels - occasionally a canvas surface. I've recently tried to move away from the prep time and mess of the airbrush, but still break it out when needed.
I began looking into the possibilities of 3D computer graphics and visualization in the mid 80s as a way of shortening the design time in setting up complex scenes; I'd been working on several pieces that involved looking down into New York City, Chicago and other dense architectural situations, and being able to construct a simple way of manipulating perspective with simple wireframe forms seemed like a godsend. I didn't own a computer at the time so the idea got shelved for a while. Once I started down the digital road with 3D Studio (later the current 3DStudiMax) I was hooked - it not only did what I needed but also presented the lure of creating animation! 
Most of my finished work is still hand painted, but I've done a couple of very large animations for clients and see it as an alternative way of creating art, limited only by the processing power of the machine and the learning curve of the software. I often use 3D visualization in the preliminary phases of laying out a composition, as well as experimenting with lighting solutions and detailed elements, but I've also found there's a danger in getting too wrapped up in the
fun part of pure modeling in 3D and losing track of its purpose - setting up a good visual solution.
Kahns Billboard
Time Life Chopper

American Legion

To this day I miss the studio space I had at the pre-Museum Center Cincinnati Union Terminal, but I have a wonderful studio built for that purpose as an addition to our home. My workspace has large north facing windows for great light during the day, and the space serves as art studio, computer lab, electronics workshop, rehearsal space and library - usually all at one time and in a state of controlled chaos. I also spent several years in a studio on Fourth Street in Cincinnati that had its perks but being able to be home for family and the weird hours that go along with this business makes it the best solution overall.

Typical Workday:
I don't think I have a typical workday in terms of routine; it varies greatly depending mostly on what work I have in at the time. Large projects tend to accelerate in neediness toward the deadline, requiring more studio time in the short term. I used to have at least a couple of smaller projects going at the same time but many of those clients have gone other directions for their content; most of the work I get now is large in scale and complexity, and it works best for me to concentrate on that job through its completion.  I've been on our local Fire department and EMS squad for the past 20 or so years, and need to build in time every week for administrative work at the firehouse as well as dropping everything on occasion to go on emergency calls.  It helps that I'm still a night-owl and don't need a rigid time structure to get everything done - but I find I do need more sleep these days than I used to.

Pencil Transfer

Pencil Transfer

I'll be very honest - this is a challenge for me. I've loved my career as an assignment-based illustrator but the combination of lack of commisions and all-or-nothing effort on large projects that still come my way have taken a toll. My main motivation has always been to do the best work within my ability and surpassing my last effort, and remains so. That said, what I've always liked best is the collaborative nature of illustration - working with designers, art directors, friends and others to come up with the best solution to a given problem...absent that partnership I sometimes struggle to sit down at the board and create art - I never would have thought that possible. It doesn't help that I'm easily distracted and can find lots of things to do  - play music with friends, rebuild an amplifier, animate some mechanism in 3D, whatever.
3D Study

3D Study

3D Study

3D Study

3D Study

3D Study

3D Study

What do I listen to/read?
I'm a news junkie - have been since the Watergate hearings. I like to stay informed and listen to all sides, up to a point...CNN, NPR, FOX, MSNBC are all on different parts of the workday until it gets too repetitive or I need to think clearly. Then I go to jazz or classical CDs or itunes radio stations. Why a city the size of Cincinnati won't support a local jazz format dumbfounds me...WNOP was the best. I've supported WNKU for years but they're skewing their listenership in a direction I understand but dislike. End of soapbox...
I read a lot, mostly before sleeping & preferably with a good single malt in hand. Historical fiction - Jeff Shaara, etc or good sci-fi - got hooked on Iain Banks (but he passed away last year so looking for another author to follow); Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk. Older books on turn of the century steam technology (amazing what you can find in the used book stores in cities with once-thriving industries); open source Amazon and Google books.  During big projects book CDs from the library are a must.
Influences, Not art-related, Inspiration, etc.
I was a terrible student; paid attention when I was interested, including art history. I'm only now studying and learning about artists I should have known about years ago! The great Flemish painters through Sargent and up through NC Wyeth, Leyendecker & Parrish, Ludwig Hohlwein to Ditko & Kirby, CF Payne and Jim Effler - hard to say who's had the most influence on me but they all have their place. I enjoy and admire old ad illustration from Colliers Magazine almost as much as a trip to a museum. I have a lot of interests outside of making art  - playing music, history, railroads, nature and science - and ultimately they all play a part in the direction of a piece.
Best Career advice given to me:
The advice from a lot of friends an fellow travelers - do what you like to do and are passionate about...advice I'm finally following years after I should have taken it seriously.
Favorite Color:
Same as my favorite child - love them all...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Travel Journal Opportunity!

Join artist Amy Bogard for this summer workshop opportunity!  Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding countryside offer an abundant array of beautiful things, hither, thither and yon, to inspire sketches and paintings in your travel journal.  We will work together with some simple drawing supplies, a little watercolor set, and a sketchbook to bring out the drawings you have always wished you could capture while traveling.  This workshop is a shot in the arm for practiced artists, and a great leaping off space for those new to sketching and drawing.  Are you a teacher?  The art of keeping a sketch journal would be a cool thing to pass on to your students when you return to classes in the fall. Consider treating yourself to this workshop! 
We always have a wonderful group of folks on this trip and 2016 will be my 6th year offering this class.  Consider joining us for a magical week of art, laughter and amazing food and beauty.  More information at Amy's website!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Marlene Steele: Classes Winter-Spring 2016

 Marlene Steele is the current Portrait Society of America Arts Ambassador to Ohio.  An alumni of the Academy, she teaches her studio skills in several media including oil painting, watercolor, pastel and drawing media.

Marlene works regionally as a courtroom artist since 2004, licensing her work with national networks. Marlene's draughtsmanship makes use of speed and gesture as well as classical shading, proportional principles and compositional drawing skills.
She is a founder of the Greater Cincinnati Calligraphers' Guild and holds a lifetime honorary membership.

Visit the website:

Contact:   P:  513-562-8748     513-562-6262
or register online: Link here:

Winter session 2016

Saturday  March 26 to May 7 (Skip April 16) 9:00 am - 12 pm  6 classes
Expand your approach to figure and portrait: Classic Sepia and Sanguine pencil on toned papers. Learn how to heighten your formal effects with white pastel.  Model fee included  

Calligraphy Foundations: SPENCERIAN
Saturday March 26 to May 21 (skip April 16)   1:00 - 3:30 pm  8 classes
For the beginner or advanced student:  Beautiful flowing script from the pointed pen. Learn the basics of this classic American script style.  Marlene is the founder of the Greater Cincinnati Calligraphers' Guild with many years experience in the lettering field. 

Tuesdays  February 9 to March 1st   9:30 am -12pm   ESSEX 4 classes
Freshen your approach to color with the portrait in traditional pastel. Students work from the live model. Model fee included.

OIL PAINTING: A Fresh Start!
CLIFTON Cultural Art Center  Wed eves:  February 10 to March 30
6:30 - 9:00 pm    8 classes
Freshen your approach to oil painting with a pro. How to begin a painting.  Basic composition and color mixing. Beginning and intermediate students welcome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One of my pieces will be feature in this art show in the Hive Art Gallery in L.A.! Very excited!

Pendleton Art Center Holiday Market

I'll be there! Come visit with me! There will be Pizza!
                                                                           Sarah Rocheleau

On December 13th between 1-7pm I will be at the Rhinegeist Brewery at Art on Vines Holiday Art Sale. Come visit me! You get two Free beers, admission is only $10 and of course there will be lots of great art.
                                                                         Sarah Rocheleau

Sunday, December 6, 2015

STUDIO SPACE: Evelyn Pence

Evelyn Pence is a professional illustrator experienced in the field of instructive science and health information. With over 15 years experience in academic publishing focusing on higher education and professional healthcare education, her work can be found throughout many leading college publications, websites, professional education materials, and scientific, medical and technical journals.
Evelyn trained at the University of Michigan, where she received a Master’s of Fine Art in Medical and Biological Illustration. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, Marketing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She is a certified medical illustrator (CMI). She is a professional member of the Association of Medical Illustrators.

Location: Newport Kentucky
On the Drawing Table: Liver surgery
Coming out soon: Psychology text 

How did you get your start as a professional artist?
When I was a student, I did a class project with a professor of radiology. He was developing a special way to inject contrast into arteries to get clearer MRI scans. He gave me my first job after graduation to illustrate protocols for publication. I worked for him until I took a job at a start-up near Washington DC where I developed medical illustrations and animations for patient education websites. After a while, I moved back to the Cincinnati area to work for the professors at the University of Cincinnati Geology Department. At the same time, I began freelancing and transitioned to my own business full time.

Describe your work.
Primarily, I illustrate academic textbooks. For years, I did Biology and Anatomy books. Lately I’ve been working on Psychology texts. The work is more editorial, a change I really enjoy. Some of my favorite work is medical legal, because it’s so interesting to draw the unique anatomy from real patients. This work involves creating demonstrative evidence for juries in medical malpractice trials. And since this is Cincinnati – we are a consumer goods kind of city– work comes in for package illustrations.

Scientific illustration needs to be fairly realistic. If you can count it, you should draw it. The style varies depending on my clients. For example, surgical illustrations for medical professionals might be very realistic or highly schematic, and tricky for some non-medical people to stomach or understand. Patient education for children is abstracted and simplified to be cute and friendly. My goal is to be as clear and accurate as possible in a style that is appropriate for the audience.

I work in a studio in my home. It’s both spacious and cozy, furnished with old library tables and bookshelves holding reference materials. It has tall windows that look out over our pretty historic neighborhood. It’s usually a little cluttered, but I’ll admit I love it best it when it’s clean and organized.

Favorite materials
I studied with traditional materials, so I still have a special fondness for pen and ink, and even a material that usually only medical illustrators know about: carbon dust. For fun, I really like watercolor.  Out of practicality, everything I do for work is digital. I resisted going all digital at first, but now I don’t know what I would do without computers. I use a stylus and pressure tablet to draw everything. Sometimes I go weeks without touching a pencil.

Typical workday
The day starts early around 7:30 to check client emails and jump in to production. If I have clients in town, I will usually meet with them in person to develop reference materials and launch a project. Otherwise, if I’m not sitting at my screen, I’m not getting much done. I usually eat lunch at my desk. I try to take breaks to move around and rest my eyes. I’ll wrap things up around 3:00 to pick up my kids from school. Depending on their activities for the afternoon, I may or may not be able to get back to work. If I have tight deadlines or pressing client emails, I will work evenings and weekends.

Deadlines! (and knowing that I have limited time to work before family life will disrupt productivity).

Not much. I’m more likely to sketch if work gets slow.  Here are some sketches from my anatomical sketching class– medical illustration students are required to spend a semester dissecting and drawing a human cadaver.

What do I listen to when I work?
I like to listen to public radio, TED Talks, pod casts and audio books. I’m listening to “The Fates and the Furies” by Lauren Groff right now.

It’s hard to find a medical illustrator who isn’t influenced by the father of medical illustration: Max Brödel. Also many others, some are: Da Vinci, Ingres, Vermeer, Maxfield Parrish, Chuck Close and Edward Gorey for his pen and ink.

Nature gives more than I could ever need. I think fungi are strange (neither plants nor animals), unpredictable and weirdly beautiful. Once I tried a few large oil paintings. Not sure I did the fungi justice.

Best career advice
Don’t be afraid to talk to people you admire. They might help you. Other good advice: Do not think your art will speak for itself. Buck up and find a way to promote your work.

Favorite color 
Green–maybe because it’s rare in the human body. Really only the gall bladder is green. It’s a very pretty green.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New Cincinnati Illustrators Facebook Group

I have started a Facebook group to more easily share lunch information and so we can share work and announcements more easily.

Ideally, I hope to eventually eliminate the weekly email in favor of this but the snag is not everyone on the lunch list is on FB.

To start a group I had to add people, but I do not have time to add everyone, so join yourself if you are interested.

The group is closed, so you can share work that you may not want seen by your general feed.

I also plan to do a weekly event for the lunches so people can RSVP so there will be less of a problem if people cannot find the group.

Discussion about Kenner Toys on WVXU today and Library Show

Many illustrators in town worked on Kenner Products.

Today, Cincinnati Edition will be about Kenner and the exhibit at the Cincinnati public Library.

More info here: 

Here are some of the library events:

Kenner Toy Symposium —Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m. –5:30 p.m.

In celebration of the exhibits and upcoming release of The Force Awakens, the Main Library will host a special day-long symposium with former Kenner employees. All events will take place in the Main Library’s Reading Garden Lounge. No registration is required.

Kenner History, 10 a.m.–noon

Corky Steiner, the son and nephew of Kenner’s founders, will retell the history of the company through 50 years of vintage Kenner toy commercials wrapped into two 20-minute segments. The segments will be followed with a Q&A session featuring former Kenner executives.

The Phases of Kenner Toys, 1–3:15 p.m.

Take an in-depth look at the various phases of the Kenner Toy company from the 1950s to ‘90s. Session will feature actual video interviews with the leadership that guided Kenner in the post Steiner era from 1972 to its closing in 2000. A Q&A session with Kenner employees will follow.
  • 1950–1970s: A family business to General Mills management
  • 1970s–1980s: General Mills to Tonka
  • 1990s–2000: Hasbro’s acquisition of Kenner and Hasbro’s consolidation of its various entities to their Rhode Island general offices in 2000.

plastic galaxyPlastic Galaxy Screening, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys, directed by Brian Stillman, examines the history and pop-culture impact of Kenner’s of Star Wars toy line.

Panel discussion with Star Wars toy designers, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Moderated by director Brian Stillman, this panel discussion will feature original Star Wars toy designers Jim Swearingen, Tom Osborne, and Mark Boudreaux.
For more information, contact the Genealogy & Local History Department at 513-369-6905.