Brendan Clark

contributor to 1 poster

  • Illustration of Elizabeth Cotten at Libba Cotten Park, Syracuse


    Hop The Cotten-picking

    When I first read my list of given poems, Diane’s seemed to jump out at me. It conjured more imagery in my mind than the others did. After doing a bit of investigation into Elizabeth’s life and listening to her song “Freight Train,” I felt compelled to select her as my subject. While researching I discovered the existence of Libba Cotten Grove, a local park near downtown Syracuse dedicated to her memory. Perched on a slight hill is a bronze statue of the folk artist playing her guitar, created by local sculptor Sharon BuMann. I was so taken by her character and energy that I decided to use this statue as the heart of my inspiration.

    As an artistic Jack-of-all-trades, choosing how to illustrate this piece was difficult. In the end I elected to use Adobe Illustrator for this project, mostly because of familiarity and for the sake of efficiency in making alterations. I tend to work using a ridiculous number of layers, building each interaction with the use of textures, transparency, and gradients. And I’m an old-school, self-taught user, so no tablet or stylus, only a mouse and many memorized keyboard shortcuts! This poster was fun and I look forward to participating more in the coming years.