Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Is Almost Here!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor"

I'M EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor by Jim French has finally been released! It is a collection of never before seen Polaroids by Mr. French to be used as reference for his illustrations.

While his resulting drawings were beautiful, it's no wonder he switched to photography later in his career. The book contains 116 color and black and white photos. As an artist that has recently begun to explore the male nude, it is an inspiration and guide. It's amazing to see the time he put into making each setup and the all the poses, props, and settings he explored. I'll definitely be taking the time to examine each image.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Push and Pull" at the Leslie Lohman Museum

UPCOMING SHOW! I've been selected to exhibit as part of the Push and Pull show, later this month. The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art hold a drawing studio every week. I've been attending the group off and on for the last two years. Here's what they have to say about the show:
Push and Pull is a sampling of works on paper created over several years by 40 artists from the weekly Leslie-Lohman Drawing Studio, in such contrasting media as wax, charcoal, collage, pencil, inks, acrylic, and other watercolors. As the battle for same-sex marriage continues and the institution is redefined in many places in the US, artists from the Drawing Studio interpret the fundamental issues of male couples and how they relate to one another. This is the first in a new series of pop-up shows exhibiting and selling work from The Drawing Studio. Works on display will be for sale.

Curator: Frank Sheehan
Opening Reception: Friday, December 13, 2013, 6:00-8:00PM
Exhibition Dates: December 14-15, 2013, 12:00-6:00PM

Drawing Ben - 11/22/13

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! Ben is in the holiday spirit! We've seen Ben before. This time he came to me with an idea. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Drawing Gabriel - 11/21/13

ANOTHER FAVORITE OF MINE. Gabriel has a perfect youthful, heroic body. He has an athlete's body, not a gym rat, overly diet-consicous body. Wrestling has given it to him. It's been a long time since I've gotten to draw him. You can see the other images of him here.

Drawing Boris - 11/14/13

IT HAS BE CRAZY AROUND HERE. I'm so behind on posting. It's funny how that works out. The busier I am with interesting projects, the less you all get to hear about it.

Drawing Jonathan - 11/07/13

BANG BANG! This was a fun drawing session. We had Jonathan in the studio posing. Despite the big gun, he's actually a gentle soul.

Check Out The New JohnMacConnell.com!

YOU BIG JOHN MACCONNELL FANS (MOM), may have noticed a few things have changed around here. I'm very excited to announce the launch of the new JohnMacConnell.com! The site still showcases my professional illustration and graphic design work but has some new sections I'm very excited to tell you about.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Drawing Eryc - 10/24/13

I NEVER TIRE OF DRAWING. I enjoy doing it ever opportunity I get. I have been posting, quite regularly, figure studies for the last year and have enjoyed working on each one. If any of you wonder, I'm not drawing these for work, nor am I enrolled in any class. I'm making these drawings and watercolors because I want to. It's what I love to do more than anything.

A few weeks ago, I got to draw Eryc. Eryc is a dancer and, in fact, owns his own dance company. He's obviously in shape and gave us some great poses. I'm in love with the last painting here. I really captured his weight and mass.

I hope you enjoy looking at my work as much as I enjoy making it. Please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or just want to say hi!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Drawing Benjamin Part II - 10/17/13

I GOT MY WISH. Benjamin came and posed for us again! No need to reiterate how perfect of a model he is. (You can read it here.)

I can't get enough time with this guy. I'd like to hire him for a new series I'm hoping to start in the next month or so. He's got the perfect physique for the sport-focused images I'm imagining. I'd like to draw them in graphite. It might be a while before you get to see anything, though. I'm going to experiment with mixing my old style with some of the new pen and watercolor work I've recently been doing. It's going to be an exciting project! Stay tuned!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Drawing Magic - 10/03/13

NOW FOR A LITTLE MAGIC! Our model last night was magic. I mean, our model last night was Magic. Magic was his name. Like, legit, his parent's named him Magic. Often models with have "stage" names to protect their identity should they become famous actors or politicians. I was a surprised this was not the case last night. 

He was quite the handsome guy, long, lean, and muscular. I'm sure that his training as a dancer gave him the body. It also gave us the great dramatic poses. He was a pleasure to work with. I hope I get the chance to draw him again.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Drawing Ben - 09/29/13

BEN WAS A SURPRISE! Ben contacted me to model. I was nervous at first because he didn't have any modeling experience, but he was a natural!

He's super-fit from his collegiate days as a track runner. With a little direction, he gave some great poses. I think we were both really happy with the experience. He had fun and checked something off his bucket list; and I got some great drawings!

If you're interested in modeling, please contact me. I'm mostly interested in working with athletic/fit builds that connect with my current body of work.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Drawing Francisco - 09/26/13

FRANCISCO WAS LATE, but he was worth the wait! As mentioned in my last entry, Drawing Charles, Francisco had some difficulty arriving on time for our drawing session. Because we got a late start, we had him hold the same pose for the entire session.

Drawing Charles - 09/26/13

LAST NIGHT the our model was late so Charles volunteered to sit. Although I was expecting to draw a young, muscly model, I had a lot of fun painting Charles. It's been a while since I've done a portrait of anyone out of their 20's... or clothed.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Drawing Tim - 09/17/13

TIM HAS RED HAIR. Not strawberry blonde, like REALLY, REALLY RED! It was fun to paint, since I'd never painted a ginger before. It was a different palette. So many pinks and oranges!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Drawing Michael C - 09/10/13

DANCERS ARE THE BEST MODELS. Michael C. is a dancer. He had such elegant poses. Even the motion to get into the poses was graceful. Also, they obviously have great bodies. I mean, just look at him.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Follow Me on Instagram! @JohnMacConnell

I JOINED THE INSTAGRAM BANDWAGON a few months ago, and so should you! I love it! Get a glimpse into my process and inspiration! Follow me @JohnMacConnell!

Drawing Ryan 2 - 09/03/13

RYAN 2 REALLY SHOULD BECOME RYAN 1. This is our third time together. Ryan 1 hasn't shown his face again. Also, Ryan always looks great. Check out his heroic poses below.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Drawing Benjamin - 08/20/13

BENJAMIN HAS ONE OF THOSE HEROIC BODIES usually reserved for Italian sculpture and comic book pages. We're talking serious beefcake. Needless to say, he was a pleasure to paint. I kept having the urge to put a "S" on his chest, though... I'm hoping to work with him again. Stay tuned!

Drawing Dustin - 08/10/13

Photo by Carlos Pisco 
IT IS TIME to catch up on posting. The summer is always a busy time. I'm having a great summer visiting the beaches of Fire Island every couple of weeks. In August we had quite a unique drawing session with the Pines Nude Drawing group. Not only did we get to draw on a boat, but our model Dustin was a skilled accordion player! We must have been quite the site huddled on the pier drawing!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Drawing Jeff & David - 07/23/13

I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE TO FOCUS LAST NIGHT. Jeff and David were both beautiful men. They each deserve a drawing session of their own. It was only by mistake that we were drawing them together last night at Mark Beard's--a double booking. 

While I love the first painting of the two full-body figures together, I wish I would have had more time for the second. The double portrait would have been beautiful. It's such a more intimate composition.

Drawing Bryan Slater - 07/21/13

MORE DRAWINGS for your enjoyment. Our model Bryan Slater (NSFW if you google him...) was amazing this week. He had a well-muscled, sinewy body that captured the light just right. He posed for the Pines Nude Drawing group in the Meatrack, just outside of the Fire Island Pines. It's so nice to be able to paint the figure in nature. It's going to be hard to go back to a basement studio after this...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drawing Chad & Will - 07/06/13

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND was a blast in the Pines! (I know, I'm a little late...) A highlight was definitely drawing with the Pines Nude Drawing group. It was glad to take some time away from all that strenuous partying and stressful days on the beach to relax with my pens and watercolors. :P

Chad and Will were great sports. We found a secluded house at the edge of the Pines with it's own private beach (newly cleared thanks to Hurricane Sandy). The boys did everything we asked--posing in the water, and we even got Will to climb a tree! I wish the session would have been longer. It was a great spot!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Drawing Zsolt - 06/02/13

SUMMER HAS OFFICIALLY UNOFFICIALLY STARTED! And so has my share in the Fire Island Pines. It was beautiful on the beach last weekend. It was the perfect start to the season -- good friends, good food, and good drawings.

Last week was the second week (the first I could attend) for Pines Nude Drawing, the drawing group that meets almost weekly in the Pines. This week, we had a great model named Zsolt with very classic heroic features. I love the red and blue ballpoint pen drawings I captured of him. I need to do more of those in the weeks to come.

I'm so excited for the summer and for more poolside/beachside drawing! Also, if you're interested in drawing or posing email info@pinesnudedrawing.com for more information!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Drawing DanPaul - 5/9/13

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; I present you with DanPaul; singer, songwriter, artist, and model.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Drawing Eric - 4/25/13

ERIC THE DANCER was a pleasure to draw last night. He held some great poses for us. I really hope I get to draw him again. Enjoy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Drawing Chris - 4/18/13 & 2/28/13

CHRIS HAS BECOME ONE OF MY FAVORITE MODELS. He's obtains that classic heroic build and profile of ancient Greek sculpture. I've been lucky enough to draw him twice. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Drawing Ryan 2 - 04/11/13

AFTER SEVERAL CRAZY WEEKS of work, moving, and gallery shows, I was finally able to make it back to drawing. Drawing makes the craziest of weeks better. This week I had the pleasure of drawing Ryan 2, again. I think he's been lifting. He looked bigger. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Boys of Summer: Recap

I HOPE YOU ALL WERE ABLE TO STOP BY this past weekend for the Boys of Summer: Artwork from the Pines Nude Drawing Group show at the Leslie Lohman Museum. Opening night we saw around 300 visitors, alone! Saturday night was another big night as we hosted a special cocktail hour for one of our sponsors of the event, Front Runners New York. Throughout the weekend, I was in and out of the gallery and was excited to always find a few people checking out the art. All-in-all, it was a huge success!

Opening Night

Personally, this was an exciting weekend for me. This was my first gallery show in New York, outside of school exhibitions, years ago. I had about a dozen drawings in the show. I was overwhelmed by the support I received from friends and museum faculty. Thank you to everyone who showed up! I even managed to sell a few pieces! 

Special thanks to Carlos Pisco and Shungaboy, for leading a beautiful show!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Boys of Summer: Artwork from the the Pines Nude Drawing Group

Boys of Summer: Artwork from the Pines Nude Drawing Group

Opening: April 5th, 6-9 PM
April 6th & 7th, 12-7 PM
Prince Street Project Space
127-B Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
(Between West Broadway and Wooster Streets)

FEATURING WORKS BY: Anthony Gonzales, Carlos Pisco, Dan Evans, Duane Neil, George Towne, Grant Aronld Anderson, Ian Sklarsky, John MacConnell (THAT'S ME!), Kenneth Nadel, Richard Des Jardins, Rob Clarke, Robert de Michiell, Shungaboy, Todd Yeager, William Bil Donovan, W. Douglas Topper, and archival images from the Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society.

If you're in New York, please stop by the first weekend in April for this show at the Leslie Lohman Musuem. It is my first since finishing grad school. It is a collection of drawings and sketches that I created over the last two summers on the beaches of Fire Island with the Pines Nude Drawing group. Mine and other work will be for sale. Postcard designed by me!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Watercolor Set

NOT MUCH TO SAY HERE. Just a pretty scan of my travel watercolor set. I have been using these for over a decade (!) when I'm sketching onsite or when traveling. I have a large palette and tubes for my big projects. This set has literally gone across the country and around Europe with me. I got these paints from my high school teacher. You can see a couple of the colors have been replaced. Currently, I'm carrying a tube of yellow on the side. I'm not quite ready to retire these, yet.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"I Paint Flowers So They Will Not Die."

I SAW THIS QUOTE and thought it captured exactly how I felt when drawing from a model or from life in general. Thanks Frida for finding words I couldn't.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Drawing William - 02/07/13

AS I MENTIONED LAST WEEK, Mark Beard gets really great models. Exhibit A, above, B, C, D, E, and F, below. William could have been sculpted out of stone. I can't believe the abs on this guy. Even better, he really has fun on the podium with complicated poses. He posed for an entire three minutes BALANCING ON ONE LEG! I'm not kidding. Check the image below, in blue ink. He was still as stone. Unbelievable!

I really took the time to slow down to get shape and volume this week. I really wanted to capture his physique. I think I achieved my goal, but the end result looks a little stiff. I guess that's what you get for drawing a sculpture...

IN OTHER NEWS, it sounds like some of my figure drawings are going to in an upcoming show at the Leslie Lohman Museum in Soho. In talks with them, I know a few pieces will be shown, but I don't know which yet. The show, Boys of Summer, will be in early April. No further details at the moment; stay tuned to find out more!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Drawing Ryan 2 - 01/30/13

ANOTHER WEEK DRAWING WITH MARK BEARD. This is becoming a habit. I can't help it, though. He gets such great models. This week, we have another Ryan. A different one from last week... Rumor has it we're having two more to round out a month of Ryans. Should be fun!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Drawing Ryan - 01/24/13

ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT of drawing with Mark Beard. This time with the golden boy, Ryan. Such a handsome guy. He had some amazing poses. I wish I would have had enough time to finish at least one of the portraits (and do another dozen drawings). Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Cards

I hope everyone had a fun last night and has made it out of bed this afternoon.

In high school, I used to watch one of my teachers hand make her own holiday cards every year. It was an immense task, as she hand cut snowflakes, snowmen, pine trees, and the like for what look like 50-75 cards. It was obviously a labor of love, and the pieces she created were truly amazing. At the time, I thought it was an amazing gesture and hoped that one day I'd be able to do the same.

Mrs. Gould was instrumental in my art training and my senior year helped me get into art school. After I graduated, I was overjoyed to find myself on her Christmas card list. Year after year, she has sent me a card since (which is more cards than I'd like to admit). I think in that time I have (maybe) organized myself enough to send out Christmas cards once... It's made me feel a little guilty that I'm still on her list, but I'm so grateful to receive them and have saved them all. 

This year was different! Above you can see the card that I created for friends and family for the holiday season. I was so excited to send one to Mrs. Gould, especially. They're not quite a match to Mrs. Gould's cards intricately handmade cards, though. I hand-drew a single image, scanned, and printed with my HP LaserJet it at home; instead of hand-drawing all the cards individually. Also, I created less than 50. They came out beautifully, and it is a start, though. In the end, it was a fun process and a tradition I'd like to continue.

I received a few emails and comments from my friends and family that had received the cards, including from Mrs. Gould. They noticed that they were custom and wanted to let me know they were excited to receive them. If you like doing home projects, I really recommend trying this one year. You'll be glad you did!