Design Studio: Travel posters

30 11 2011

Last year I created these travel posters as a fun project for a friend who is a flight attendant. My goal was to create a series of these for various cities that she frequents and always incorporate the airplane silhouette. Some elements are original illustrations, some were rubber stamped images that I later scanned, and other elements were purchased at http://www.vectorstock.com and incorporated into the collage, which was created in Adobe Illustrator CS5.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Coming full circle?

17 02 2010

My friend Cam just finished a painting class with Joseph Melancon at the Art Center of Sarasota. Like me, Cam makes her living as a graphic designer, too. While she has dabbled in acrylic painting just a bit in the past few years, I think her work is really evolving and she is definitely growing as a painter! I photographed this recent painting in her home in Siesta Key a few weeks ago. You can view the work of her instructor, Joseph Melancon, here. She is now enrolled in an abstract painting course at the Art Center of Sarasota.

Kudos, Cam—I do hope you keep at it. I remember being completely absorbed in the process back in my teen years. That’s why I chose to major in art in college. I couldn’t imagine making a living doing anything not creative.

I remember my very sage father asking me, “how will you make a living with your painting?” He was not trying to discourage me; both my parents have been incredibly supportive of all my creative endeavors. I replied, “why, I’ll sell my paintings, of course.” He then asked, “what if no one buys your paintings?” Huh? That one certainly stumped me. I hadn’t imagined that I might not be able to sell my work! It had nothing to do with talent or lack thereof—it was a practical monetary issue. That’s where fantasy and reality collided.

Then I discovered graphic design. Ah…so here was a potential career where you could actually make art, get paid, and not be the quintessential “starving artist.” It made complete sense, so I enrolled in the “Commercial Art” program at Pan American University (now University of Texas Pan American). While I still painted and sketched, I was more focused on a career where I could actually make a living (practically guaranteed). Hey, Sonya and Mary—remember hand-lettering “Make Your Rum Ron Rico” in design class? Yes, hand-lettering. Rapidograph pens, ink and bristol board. Remember waxers, amberlith, rubylith, and sticky registration dots? Jeez, I feel old just typing this. Remember our instructor (Phillip somebody-or-the-other)? He was always working on his own freelance projects, with an exacto knife in one hand and a cigarette in the other, when he was supposed to be teaching us. That should have been a clue to us—here he was teaching and freelancing just to pay the bills. And he was old…why, he was at least 45! Bald on top with gray fringe around the ears. Still having to work two jobs. How did we not question that set-up and run screaming to the career counselor to change our majors? I want a refund!

Fast forward…all these years after, I’m still a graphic designer…and not entirely unhappy with my chosen profession…but somehow both Cam and I are back at the “what if we could paint (or craft or photograph or something else creative) and sell our results to make a living?” mode. We both daydream about that possibility. Life, full circle, perhaps—back to our roots—if only in our imaginations at the moment. Makes me want to drop everything (not possible) and start painting again. I certainly have the arsenal of supplies with which to do so…sigh…some day. But today? Today a newsletter, trade show banner and business card design beckon. Back to the (electronic) drawing board.





“Four by 4” at Gallery West

13 01 2009

FourXFour LogoOn Saturday evening Michael, Regina, Karen, and Joe and I attended the opening reception of the “Four by 4” show at Gallery West on King Street. Regina’s husband, Jeff, was one of the four artists in this collaborative exhibit. Founded in 1979, Gallery West is an artist’s cooperative gallery located at 1213 King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. The “Four by 4” show runs from January 7 through February 1. All photography © Cindy Dyer.

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The Four x 4 artists, left to right: Parisa Tirna, Susan La Mont, Karen Waltermire, and Jeff Evans.

From the Gallery West website:

PARISA TIRNA is an emerging self taught landscape artist whose contemplative canvases evoke the classic landscapes of the 19th century. This is her first gallery show. See more of Parisa’s work at www.parisaart.blogspot.com and on the Gallery West website.

SUSAN LA MONT has a B.F.A. in art from Pratt Institute, a M.A. in illustration from Syracuse University, and a Doctor of Arts from George Mason University in higher education with a focus on art. She has won several awards and her sharply drawn realistic paintings can be found in numerous private and corporate collections. See more of Susan’s work at www.susanlamont.com and on the Gallery West website. You can watch her work on one of her paintings in a video I found here on the Artistic Type website.

KAREN WALTERMIRE studied art for several years before striking out on her own to develop a unique whimsical drawing style. She has been in several group shows in the D.C. area and was previously a member of Spectrum Gallery. See more of Karen’s work at www.inkonly.blogspot.com and on the Gallery West website.

JEFFERSON EVANS is a self taught photographer who focuses on travel, nature and fine art images. He is a member of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society and the Springfield Art Guild. His work has been in numerous juried shows, exhibitions and publications. See more of his work at www.evansimagesandart.com, on the Springfield Art Guild‘s website, and on the Gallery West website. Jeff also contributed his beautiful Monarch chrysalis photographs for a poster I designed for the Happy Tonics Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. You can see that poster here. The “Monarch emerging” photos are also used in the nameplate of the quarterly newsletter, Butterflies & Gardens, that I design and produce for Happy Tonics.

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Parisa started painting as a non-objective abstract painter until her first landscape experiment showed her the rewarding spirit of nature and brought her to the world of landscape art. Her paintings are inspired by American East Coast lushness of trees and fields of wildflowers and create a feeling of open space and reverie.

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Susan La Mont’s narrative realistic style connects with viewers and encourages them to examine the details and speculate about the scenes she portrays. Susan’s work has been acquired by over 30 private and corporate collections.

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Karen Waltermire draw portraits of imaginary people in pen and ink based on people she sees, architecture, and her imagination. Her style is modern, edgy and spirited—with a sense of humor thrown in.

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Travel throughout Europe, as well as his wife’s love of gardening, has greatly influenced Jefferson Evans’ photographic eye. His images capture everything from broad vistas to lively street scenes to dewdrops on a single blade of grass. His subjects range from floral ephemeral to human transitional—from one moment to the next—from vivid colors to classic monochrome to evocative infrared. Above: Jeff and his wife, Regina

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Above: Jeff with Leda (a friend from our neighborhood and also one of my “Weedettes” in the Garden Club) and Leda’s friend, Anna (right), who coincidentally was one of Michael’s co-workers when he worked for the City of Alexandria. Anna worked as a graphic designer for the City and is now a freelance photographer.

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And from Jeff’s ‘hood, a rousing show of support—Michael, Regina, Karen and Joe. Some other neighbors and friends in attendance were Tom, Holly, Mike, Janet, Bill, Jeannie and Dan—and other supporters I met but whose names escape me. Michael, Tom, Holly, Karen, and Joe and I gathered for a wonderful Italian dinner across the street at Pines of Florence after the reception. (Kudos to the gallery and the artists—they provided a plethora of things to eat and drink—best food offering of any gallery reception I’ve ever been to!)

A SHORT STROLL DOWN (BLOG) MEMORY LANE: Back in December 2007 I posted a photo I shot of Jeff in front of his winning entry at a Huntley Meadows photo contest on my “One photo every day” blog. I wrote about Regina’s garden (which is one of Jeff’s inspirations) in September 2007. I posted a sweet photo of Regina with one of their three cats, Dusty, this past May. This past June I photographed Tom’s beautiful farm and two of the creatures I came aross—a beautiful Widow Skimmer dragonfly and a hungry White Death Spider. You’ll find those three postings here. And in April 2008 I wrote about Karen’s memorial garden to honor her mother.

Remember, the show runs until February 1, so if you’re a local resident (or traveling in the area during this time), stop by Gallery West to see the exhibit. Gallery West is open from Wednesday through Sunday. From January to March, hours are 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. From April to December, hours are 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Other hours are available by appointment.

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Jeff and I often go on short photo field trips. One of our favorite local places is Green Spring Gardens, where Jeff photographed his gorgeous pink poppies photo! Here are some of my photos from our field trips:

Green Spring Gardens
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/in-bloom-at-green-spring-gardens/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/glorious-poppies/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/wordless-wednesday/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/love-in-a-mist/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/a-day-of-bliss/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/honorine-jobert/

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/worth-standing-in-the-july-heat-for/
http://www.cindydyer.com/KenilworthGardens/

Brookside Gardens
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/brookside-gardens-2/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/wings-of-fancy/

U.S. Botanic Garden
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/in-my-heaven/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/us-botanic-garden/