The three pieces shown here use interior and exterior environments to express different reactions to negative emotions. Melancholy Dreamland uses a more muted color scheme, ominous sky, turbulent sea, and view into a dark interior to evoke a sense of dread. This is offset, however, by the whimsical subject matter. The lighthouse with white picket fence and garden, the sailboat rendered in a cartoonish style, and the friendly rounded hills contribute to a light dreaminess. Growing up in one of the rainiest regions in the country, I became accustomed to a pervasive dreariness, and this painting reflects the delight I take in the romance of such melancholy surroundings.
Cauchemar expresses a strange, inexplicable uneasiness similar to how I often felt at nighttime as a child. The room is lit with a soft glow. That, along with the abundance of pillows, pale pink roses, and soothing decor should make the space look enticingly comfortable and safe. Yet the harsh dark lines and deep black night outside prevent the room from feeling entirely peaceful. Feelings of unease and discomfort without a concrete source remind me of lying awake in my pink bedroom as a child, unsure as to why I was too frightened to fall asleep. Wide cartoon eyes peering out from under the bed were included as an evocation of a children’s book read at bedtime, yet it is unclear if they belong to a monster, or someone hiding from their own anxieties.
Similar to Melancholy Dreamland, Settling In is about enjoying the romance and dramatic intensity of sadness. The way I feel emotion is very deep and very strong, which can at times be hard to manage. A habit of mine, be it good or a bad, is to fully lean into my feelings. This means when I’m sad, I allow the sadness to take over. I listen to heart wrenching music, paint dark subject matter, and let the tears flow. Settling In illustrates this habit by placing a luxurious interior within a bleak graveyard setting. The warmth, comfort, and bold color palette of the interior express the extent to which I accept and settle into what I’m feeling, allowing it to become an oddly comforting environment. The graveyard, a not-so-subtle symbol of sorrow, death, and tragedy serves as an acknowledgement of the fact that my intensity can swerve into the mellow-dramatic. However, the contrast between the dreary graveyard and the appealing interior also emphasizes the strangeness of the fact that to some degree, cozying up in my darker emotions seems to work for me.
Building community is a foundational part of Whitworth culture and it is brought into every aspect of campus life. This year, as the Design Editor for the Whitworth Natsihi Yearbook, this was the overarching theme that was identified for us by our Editor in Chief, Madisen Montivino. Running with this concept and the visual component of the campus map, I designed 6 spreads to match the divided sections of the book. These titles, Place Making, Academic Buildings, Community Spaces, Athletic Fields, Residence Halls, and Beyond Campus, are lined up to guide you through important aspects of campus life and identify Whitworth’s intentional community building attitude. These designs were originally created digitally, but screen prints show the standalone compositions, not distracted by other elements from the yearbook spreads. These graphics are taken from the actual Whitworth map, but highlight the specific sections of campus that are big parts of Whitworth’s Culture. The overall title, Place Making, was identified as an alternative phrasing of “community building” and is a key phrase that is used in academic research on topics concerning campus life in the United States. A lot of thought went into the conceptualization and creation of these pieces and they underwent much trial and error before reaching the final iterations. The result is my series of 6 unique Whitworth campus map designs, all of which will also appear in the 2019-2020 Whitworth Natsihi Yearbook, the printing of which has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Summer Ball was one of my favorite books as a young teen and I wanted to use my vector design to put together a teen-friendly book cover. I combined warm colors and a summer camp atmosphere in order to create a cover that would align with the title: Summer Ball. The book is about an undersized basketball player (Danny Walker) who attends a basketball camp with the country’s top players. Throughout the camp Danny is faced with high levels of competition and a variety of conflicts. I used the basketball to represent the sun and included vector trees and mountains in the background to bring out the summer camp atmosphere. Furthermore, the large basketball hovering over the horizon is representative of Danny learning to overcome hardship.
The Things They Carried is one of my all-time favorite books. This book is packed full of short stories that chronicle the events encountered by soldiers in the Vietnam War. These characters are used to describe some of what Tim O’Brien encountered when he was in the war. This book gives a glimpse into the hardships of being a soldier. I tried to exemplify this through the cover of the book by giving the viewer a “sneak-peak” through the silhouette of the soldier’s head which acts as a lens through which we view the Vietnam War.
My logo designs showcase my preferred style of using simple, clean graphics to fulfill the client’s objectives for brand identity.
Commissioned for the fish lab at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington, the GHC Fish Lab logo was my first freelance project. The goal was to update and simplify the existing logo, while clearly highlighting the combination of fish and science. The salmon, fishing line and DNA strand were elements I incorporated from the original logo. In addition, the concentric circles, typefaces and varying letter sizes mimic Grays Harbor College’s official emblem.
The Oleum logo was designed for a fictional company that specializes in an organic line of cleaning products. The drooping leaf incorporated into the “O” and flowing script font represent the natural ingredients used in the products. This is emphasized further with the mint blue color – a symbol of freshness – that drives home the company’s values. The accompanying style guide allows the client to use this logo and exact color palette to keep the brand identity uniform.
These photographs are a continuation of the series that included the images Light 1-4 from my first post. The idea of focusing on the process is still important, as is the emphasis on light and shadows. However, I added a specific attention to texture for this set that I was not as concerned with in the first. I searched for mundane surfaces around me that had an intriguing texture and feel to them, showing the grittiness of the world. I also decided to focus on horizontal lines for this portion of the series, hence the names Horizontal 1-4. This set is darker than the first, but I have continued to simplify the subject matter in an attempt to remove the necessity of constantly knowing from the equation, whether that be in life or in art making. Once again my aim with these photographs is to create a method of calming the mind, both in creating and looking at them. I have found this ongoing series to be helpful in both my artistic discipline and my overall wellbeing, and I plan to continue working on it for a long time.
As I progressed in my education, I began to work on more advertising and marketing projects. In the fall of 2018, I had the opportunity to work for an outside client, Whitworth Church, creating a marketing suite for their kids’ program. After meeting several times with the children’s director, Cara Cavicchia, setting out expectations, desires, and needs, I produced the flier shown here. Cara loved it, and it also won a 2019 Spark Award from the Spokane MarCom Association.
I’ve also done some advertising work for my own activities and projects. The bookHoard ad shown here was a project pitch for my Mobile Applications Development class, the proposed app being a literature-based social media platform. The other ad is for the Whitworthian, Whitworth’s student newspaper. For the last three years I have edited and managed digital content for the paper, which has included ad work. In the production of ads like these, I often use stock photography as a placeholder, but the final product shown here uses my own photography.
The two pieces that I am showing this week were made recently as a continuation of the work that I had in my first blog post. In the chaos of life, I am trying to stay busy by creating new art whenever possible. While working on these pieces, I focused on organic shapes with interesting lines as well as playing around with textures. I enjoy the idea that they look like they might go crawling off somewhere. Each creation starts with an idea and as I work, I let my mind escape into what l am doing. This is how I develop the character and uniqueness for each piece. By letting the piece change as I work, I can break up the repetition that can happen in an art piece.
The world is in turmoil, and life is uncertain. Art is one of the ways that I am dealing with everything that is happening around me. When I don’t know what to do, I start on an abstract artwork by channeling all my emotions into creating that piece. When I look at the end result of my second piece it reminds me of a small burst of sunshine behind the clouds of life. I hope that by stopping by this art blog, it inspires you to create art or pick up a new hobby while we are all stuck at home.
If you are interested in purchasing my work, please contact me through my website. A link can be found at the bottom of this post.
This shape took me many, many tries to accomplish. I necked the bottle in at the top to add variation in the body of the vessel. These glazes were chosen to not overpower but instead compliment what’s within. This vessel has been used to hold many bouquets of flowers and is awaiting another.
For the profile of this serving bowl I really wanted it to appear to lift off of the table. By adding a tall foot, the bowl will elevate whatever lies inside for the user. I chose these colors because not only do they blend really well together, they also compliment while not overpowering the deliciousness within.
This pitcher was made during the exploration of adding and subtracting clay. I left the top untouched. Moving down the vessel I used a wire to remove parts of the outer wall. This carving adds a simple flare to the piece.
All three of these works compliment what I seek to achieve in my work, simple but impactful changes that tailor to what lies inside the vessel.
Birdwatching started as a hobby for me that has evolved into a passion for conservation and naturalism. Observing birds in their natural habitats to understand their behaviors helps me to more accurately paint their characters. My lifelist, or list of birds I have seen in my lifetime (at least since I started caring about keeping track of that kind of thing) has reached 383 species between the United States and Costa Rica.
The song sparrow is a small brown bird with a big voice. I frequently hear them singing at local parks and in my neighborhood. While some migrate to the southern US in the winter, many stay in the northwest where food is abundant. They are active and sprightly little birds, full of energy and fun to watch kick up leaves searching for insects and seeds. I have painted one as I observed it foraging in frost-edged walnut leaves on an early November morning. The light was low and warm, filtering through the hedges and lending a golden glow to the leaf litter. The goal of this series is to emphasize the bird, while including a small bit of its habitat for context and compositional completion.
Say’s phoebes spend their summers in the sage scrublands of the inland west. Characteristic of flycatchers, they are active and territorial. I have painted a juvenile from the high desert of Wyoming. Adults have whiteish wing-bars, but the soft peachy color juveniles have instead paired perfectly with the muted gray-green of sagebrush leaves. The afternoon light on this individual diffused nicely across its gray feathers and reflecting on its buffy belly feathers. This piece in particular was inspired by the work of Alex Warnick, a modern master of ornithological illustration that uses watercolor washes on rough paper to make soft gradients incorporating subject and environment. This style contrasts somewhat with my favored crisp white background but was perfect for this subject.
Male ruddy ducks are funny, dashing little creatures to watch as they attempt to woo females by puffing up their chests and splashing the water with their bills to make bubbles. The displaying male captured here was glowing in the first light of morning in southern Idaho. The light made his rusty body shine like copper and deepened the velvety black of his head which was set off by the bright white cheeks and blue bill. His reflection is as important as he is, broken up by the pale purple ripples. I spent a long time observing this individual and his competitors to paint him as true to life as possible. I emphasized his clever little eye to add to his comical character and enthusiastic display.
From 2016-2018, I had an internship at SuperGraphics in Seattle, Washington. During the summer of 2017, the UW Softball coaching staff approached our firm seeking environmental graphics and signage to revamp their boardroom.
I was provided with the dimensions of the space, a brief on the types of graphics they were looking for, as well assome photography to include. As a softball student-athlete myself, I felt well prepared for the project, and excited to design for such a well-known program. I intended to create graphics that would inspire the team, impress the coaching staff, and excite the team’s new recruits.
It’s important to show versatility in my work and demonstrate my ability to work with a variety of clients. My style adapts depending on the kind of experience my client wants for their audience, and that varies greatly between different environments. Contrary to the simple, geometric designs of my last project, these athletic designs needed to be bold, dynamic, and attention-grabbing.
The brand development for Ciocco & Co. was created as part of a packaging design workshop with the Spokane branding company, Maker & Made. Participants were given a logo and brand guide including fonts and several colors. The pattern was designed using key ingredients from the products as well as plants that are local to the area the company is based out of (Portland, OR). I illustrated this pattern to mimic the unique small business feel and handmade quality of the product brief. This chocolate pillow pouch was designed to attract a demographic of women from 25-45 with its eye-catching colors and whimsical patterns.
As mentioned previously, the ideas of narratives and storytelling are reoccurring themes throughout my work. The two works seen here were both created in Adobe Illustrator and then transferred into Photoshop where they were animated frame by frame and exported as GIFs. These uplifting animations represent some of my first explorations into the use of movement, unconventional portrayals of depth, and pixel art. Ultimately, I view each as simple reminders that it’s important to try to accept things as they are and have fun in the moment.
These family portraits were created using Procreate, Apple IPencil, and IPad. All of them are for different families with different pets. The frog was a challenge, but it was fun expanding my skills. I used textured brushes and highlighted different color pallets on each to illustrate a variety of moods. I focused on capturing the unique features of each person and animal. From there I played with layout and proportions. The hair coming out from the frame creates a more dynamic composition for a more enjoyable viewing experience.
Find me on Instagram @camrynscutecreations or on the web at http://camrynbreneman.com or look me up on Etsy at camrynscutecreations