The entrance into the French Building of the NHIA campus.
Jim Burke recently had me and my pal, illustrator Carl Wiens, down to visit his illustration students at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA). Lots of fun - Mr. Burke certainly knows how to roll out the red carpet. Carl and I had a blast while we there, hanging out with Jim, John Dykes and Ryan O'Rourke - a few pints were shared while talking about illustration and school, amongst other things.
We DID go down there to do some work! The first day there, we each gave a workshop... Carl digitally created an image of a snowflake, and later on in the day I took an existing painted sketch/study of Hannah, and changed her hair, her expression, the direction she was looking and brought in some colour with oils. I spoke to the students about how I welcome disruption in my work, the way I like uncertainty and risk - and doing that to an old sketch was actually pretty hysterical and nerve wracking! Fighting that blue/black was fairly difficult. I was pretty quiet for a while, scrambling to make something come about. I'll send an "after" shot if I can get a hold of one. I didn't think to take a picture.
That same day we hung out with the students, talking to them about what they were working on, and that continued the next day, after we had done talking about ourselves and the different paths our work has taken us. As to the slideshow I took them through, I focused on the different stages my work has gone through, from the time I quit school at 16, before I found my way as an illustration student at Sheridan College, to after I graduated and where my path took me to where I am now. The idea was to show the students that your career is a work-in-progress that has many stages, learning curves and triumphs.
I was impressed with the school, the students - with Jim Burke - and how he's cultivating the NHIA illustration program. The students have an impressive amount of resources and industry at their fingertips! Made me want to go back to school... ;)
We took a detour after that, and went downhill skiing about an hour outside of Manchester NH, at the Mount Sunapee Resort. I've always wanted to try downhill skiing. What little skiing I have done has been cross-country. Carl took off to the diamond routes and I had a two hour lesson on wee training hills. I think I love downhill skiing now!
We headed back to Boston, to hang out for our last day with some illustration friends at the Museum of Fine Art. Rob Dunlavey, Polly Becker and Scott Bakal. Pictured below, we're all drooling, flipping through one of Rob's countless sketchbooks. Oh, in fact, Scott has recently posted a short film about Mr. Dunlavey and his work, here.
Lastly, here's one of the more inspiring images I saw at the museum that day. A small James Abbott McNeill Whistler, titled "Harmony In Flesh Colour and Red"...