Tag Archives: Jen Vaughn

Schulz Library Blog Interview

Last week, cartoonist/librarian Jen Vaughn invited me to contribute to the Schulz Library blog with an alumni interview. Thanks so much Jen! Here’s a little excerpt on the undergraduate class I’m teaching, or read the entire interview here!
What have you been up to since you graduated from CCS and moved?
Katherine Roy: I am teaching a new class at the Art Institute of Boston (AIB) called “Form, Content & Context,” which is basically a cross between 2D Design and Visual Thinking for undergraduate freshman in the Foundation Studies department. Each week or so we’ve done a project exploring a new element of design, including shape, line, texture, and value, soon moving on to color. My 10 students have completely different levels of artistic and concept development experience, so it’s been a challenge for me to learn how to frame the parameters for each assignment in a way that gives them a focal point, while also encouraging play. I feel like my job is really to teach how to SEE, and in return I get to revisit the way I see and make and explore through art. It’s my first time teaching at this level, after lots of experience with kids and adults, but so far it’s been incredibly rewarding.

Which assignment turned out to be your favorite?

KR: So far the texture assignment has been, I think, most successful, which is funny because it was the one I felt most uncertain about. I started off by stealing an idea from one of my drawing teachers, Jeff Fisher, who sometimes has his students wrap a commercial-sized trash can with a long piece of paper, and then the students move AROUND the model, drawing AROUND the trash can, keeping it oriented to the model while circling the room. The result is a distorted but very dynamic drawing that forces you to think about connections in space, and editing while you draw.

Students working on barrel drawing.

To translate this into a design assignment, I started by setting up a large still life in the center of the room, and had the students do two drawings on the trash cans, using paint and charcoal, as they circled the still life. From there they had to choose the one that was working the best, and then collage textures back into it (rubbings, drawn textures, etc) and incorporate value to create a completed piece. I was very pleased with some of the final pieces— you never know how students will respond to something so unconventional, but the unfamiliarity forces students to try thinking in a new way, which is exactly what (I think) Foundation Studies should be about.

Student work by Sophie Lizano




“A Dartmouth Year” at the Collis Center

After many rounds of ideas for the Collis Center Cafe space, my co-designer, Laura Terry, and I were inspired by the Dartmouth College Winter Carnival poster design. We loved the flat, linear design and the bold color. The execution turned out to be more challenging than we anticipated, but we’re very pleased with the final results. Here are my final digital color designs, followed by photos featuring Laura’s designs and a panorama of the space:

Each of the large masonite panels is 3’x4′, and the two medium ones are 2’x3′. LauraJen, and I finished painting in May, and the show went up late last month. They came out beautifully! Click on the panorama below to see the Cafe, or feel free to stop in and check them out!

Mural Madness at the Collis Center!

For a second time this year, Laura Terry, Jen Vaughn, and I have combined our talents for another mural adventure! It’s finally up and on display for one year in the Collis Center Cafe at Dartmouth College. Here are my early composition sketches for my part of of the design. Our theme was A Dartmouth Year, scenes of life around campus:

Dartmouth Mural in the Class of 1953 Commons!

Welcome to a brave new year! It’s a little late and it’s been a little while, but I feel great about the way the year has kicked off and there are promising horizons ahead. I’m reading some great books: Carolyn See’s Making a Literary Life (a MUST read for all of you creative types) and No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics (responsible for turning my bathroom into a salad bar), along with the incredible picture book blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. I’ve also been doing a great deal of drawing and design, and this week, of all things, I am painting a temporary mural at Dartmouth College in the Class of 1953 Commons (Thayer Dining Hall) with the talented Laura Terry (CCS ’10), Jen Vaughn (CCS ’10), Jon Fine (CCS ’11), and several Dartmouth art students. Here’s a link to some photos at Jen’s flickr account.

We have less than 30 hours of working time this week to grid, draw, paint, and finish nearly 80 feet of wall! It’s going very well and has been exciting to watch as our cartoons become life-sized drawings. If you’re in the area please stop in to say hello and take a peek at the mural; it will be up for 3-6 months as the kitchen renovation is completed. More from me soon. Happy new year!