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Adam McCauley
March 2010
Watercolor Work
posted:
These are some paintings from a couple of recent commissions for Country Living magazine.  I've worked with Mike Bain over the years at various magazines like Outside and O, and now he's here at CL and has been having me do pieces that are similar to some of my sketchbook work.
This first series are images from a feature about a woman's lifelong relationship with gardening.  They needed to have a reflective, dreamy feel to them yet offer specific plants and a location specific atmosphere.
Working this way is really different for me than my other work.  Because these really aren't conceptual, and the feel is dependent on the process, the "sketch" is generally a finished piece, so I always want to try and get it on the first round.
Immediately above is the first sketch.  They liked it in general but felt it had too ominous a feel.  I re-did it (top), and attempted to simplify it and give it more dream and beholden it less to the specifics of the photographic reference.
These are some spots that were sprinkled throughout.  For whatever reason, for me plants are hard to draw; I enjoyed the challenges of making dynamic vignettes and trying to make the color interesting.
This drawing was floated in the middle of the page on a field of paper texture, just a vignette of a garden scene. 
This is another feature story, this time about a guy who found that long walks helped him cope with getting through a divorce.  Again, there was a specific location - Greenwich Point park in Massachusetts.  Here again the challenge was to simplify an otherwise complex compilation of images and try and tell a story.
This one also needed to have text over the top half of the image, so the colors needed to be kept as light as possible.  Above is the final piece.
This was the original sketch painting.  According to the editor, the main guy was all wrong, as were the couple in the background.  So repaint those characters...
With stuff like this, I can make a separate painting and pop in the update - not very purist, but it's the only way to do this sort of thing.
Finally, these last two were for the turn-page spread.  Top is the sketch, bottom the final.  Again, type needed to lay on top of the image, so ultimately I had to strip the color down, take out the bicyclist, jogger and trees and make the guy smaller and the same as the opener.  I guess it worked out ok, but who knows.
I liked this little bicyclist.  Oh well, as Heidi Klum would say - "OUT!!".
V & A Friday Late
posted:
 
These are from some work I've been doing for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.  V & A  has a program called "Friday Late," where the museum stays open late on the last Friday of every month.
The job consists of a subway poster, print ad, a number of web banners, and some printed promotional cards. 
This post is just the first few banner ads, which also had to fit a few other dimensions and work as e-cards.
 
 
 
With each Friday Late, there is a special and different event. The first one I did was for the "Renaissance Ball".  The top piece is the one they chose, the two above were the sketches.
 
 
 
"Decode Lab" was the second one, which was an extension of the Digital Design Festival and was taking place in town at the same time.  Above is the one they chose, below is the additional sketch (which I preferred but what do I know???).
 
 
 
The art direction has been pretty hands off.  As a matter of fact before doing each of these I have barely any idea what I'm supposed to be drawing!
"Stitched Up" kicks off an exhibit that celebrates all things stiched, highlighting British quilts of 1700-2010.
 
 
 
Above, the final, below the additional sketch.   Some of these I've nailed quickly and others have been a lot of rounds.
 
 
 
"Playgrounds" was a Friday late that's filled with social games and playful experiences such as hide and seek.  It sounds fun actually!  Below is the one they finally went with.
 
 
 
Below here are the sketches.  The top one was too static and the color too strong, but they liked the gist of it so it was reworked.
 
 
 
This has been an interesting job and a big honor to do, I'm looking forward to the remaining work.  Although I've never been to the V & A, I understand it to be a phenomenal museum, one of London's best.  I hope to get there some day soon.
 
 
Poetry
posted:
Poetry magazine contacted me recently to submit some personal work I had laying around for a cover.  They've used a lot of great artwork over the years, as you can see in this slideshow.  I remember Cathie Bleck recently posted a cover she'd done with them.
Anyway, I'd done this image originally as a cover for my friend's band Yard Sale, but they ended up going in a different direction and so the image was never used.  I'm glad it worked out for Poetry Magazine, which is a terrific half-size compilation of poems published by The Poetry Foundation.
"Tip-Jar Angel"
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