Façades for Mark Rothko by Crispin Elsted

Façades for Mark Rothko by Crispin Elsted

It has been a year since I posted and it’s time to get back at it!  Fast-forwarding past the rest of producing the Great Wall of China to my most recent project, I’ll backpedal next time and finish the story about The Great Wall. Just in time for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair in March, my latest book project was finished. It is the last of three books I started working on at the beginning of 2016. From the first time I heard Crispin Elsted read Façades for Mark Rothko I wanted to spend more time with the poem. It had not been published, but Crispin was kind enough to send a copy by mail. After reading it and musing on it, I asked if I could print it.  When he said yes, I panicked, wondering what had possessed me to ask –how I could possibly do the poem justice? Several years have passed since that moment of horror, and Crispin has kindly offered suggestions and provided encouragement along the way. The text was sent off to Michael and Winifred Bixler to be set in 14 point Van Dijck and the Zerkall paper was ordered from the UK. I sent two other texts off to Bixlers’ at the same time, and since they were in line to be printed first I had time to consider the poem and how to present it. Thinking of Rothko’s paintings, I wanted the book to have a quiet presence but not be imposing, to contain and present Crispin’s writing without being illustrative. Many ideas came to mind, but they all seemed too imitative or...
Façades for Mark Rothko by Crispin Elsted

Façades for Mark Rothko by Crispin Elsted

It has been a year since I posted and it’s time to get back at it!  Fast-forwarding past the rest of producing the Great Wall of China to my most recent project, I’ll backpedal next time and finish the story about The Great Wall. Just in time for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair in March, my latest book project was finished. It is the last of three books I started working on at the beginning of 2016. From the first time I heard Crispin Elsted read Façades for Mark Rothko I wanted to spend more time with the poem. It had not been published, but Crispin was kind enough to send a copy by mail. After reading it and musing on it, I asked if I could print it.  When he said yes, I panicked, wondering what had possessed me to ask –how I could possibly do the poem justice? Several years have passed since that moment of horror, and Crispin has kindly offered suggestions and provided encouragement along the way. The text was sent off to Michael and Winifred Bixler to be set in 14 point Van Dijck and the Zerkall paper was ordered from the UK. I sent two other texts off to Bixlers’ at the same time, and since they were in line to be printed first I had time to consider the poem and how to present it. Thinking of Rothko’s paintings, I wanted the book to have a quiet presence but not be imposing, to contain and present Crispin’s writing without being illustrative. Many ideas came to mind, but they all seemed too imitative or...
Kafka, Chapter 2 (‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.’ )

Kafka, Chapter 2 (‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.’ )

When I started the book, everything went smoothly and it seemed like it would be a straightforward project. The plan was to open the paper, stack it flat to relax, and cut it to size on a guillotine. Easy, right? I had cut Japanese paper this way, so it should work and I could get to printing. Then, out of the blue, Robbie Burns’ ‘Gang aft a-gley’ kicked in. Chinese paper is shipped ‘gently folded’ in packages of 50 sheets, rather than being rolled around a core. When the box arrived, I opened the packages and lay the paper out flat so it could relax before being cut to size. It didn’t relax. I waited. I tried putting weight on top. I rolled it up and let it sit over night. In the process of trying to flatten it, I realized that, because of its soft texture, it also wasn’t going to jog well enough to be cut on a guillotine. Time for plan B. Water. The 27″ x 54″ sheets were too big to dampen and stack, so I folded and knife-cut each sheet into eighths by hand. As I started folding it in half, I realized the paper wasn’t square. The concertina structure, with pages tipped back-to-back, requires that the pages be the same size and square. Time for plan C. Sigh. I would have to fold each sheet in half and trim it to square by hand before printing, then trim the head and tail of the book block after it was glued so they would all be the same size. The paper is Double Xuan, 2-ply paper we chose because it...
Open Studio

Open Studio

I am joining Bob Brink, Di Dabinett, Jeanette Jobson, Po Chun Lau, Louise Markus, Mitzi Smyth, and Gerald Vaandering for Pouch Cove Open Studios on August 29th and 30th, noon to 5 p.m. It’s your chance to see what we are working on and talk to the artists about their work. I will have my artist’s books on display as well as a variety of paintings and prints. Have a look at the website here: http://www.pouchcoveopenstudios.comand come out for a visit at the end of the...
Going up!

Going up!

The mural of my painting is being installed on the Convention Centre downtown! This is what it looked like yesterday evening. It’s interesting to see how the painting was cropped, and how it wraps around the building. They are expecting to finish it this...

Change

2014 has been an interesting year, and the second half has sped by, much like these time-lapse satellite images http://world.time.com/timelapse/. Today I am packing so I can set up for the Anna Templeton Tea and Sale, where I am sharing a table with Anita Singh and Duncan Major this weekend! I’m looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen all year! Visit my shop for 25% off all items til Dec 22.  Enter 25OFF as a coupon to get the discount. Here are a few of the things I’m selling this Christmas:           and so, things continue to change. There is so much to write about, I don’t know where to begin, but this, at least, is one baby step...

Remembrance Day

November 11th is a day of contemplation for me. Living in Newfoundland, which was not part of Canada until after both World Wars, the day is full of somber ceremony remembering all those who have served and are serving, especially those who have lost their lives in battle. I’m posting Terry Kelly’s poignant song as a reminder to take a moment to honour...

Taking a Breather

This is the last painting, Not a Breath, delivered yesterday! Finally, all the work has been delivered and the show is hung for tomorrow’s opening. You can see the pieces here:    Christina Parker Gallery – Tara Bryan, Littoral Light Now all the chores that have been piling up while I finished paintings now cry out for attention. The eternal game of catch-up! Today, to weed part of the garden and get the last few plants in the ground. I am trying to be methodical and work section by section so I can see my progress. I’m starting with the front bed, thinking I might be able to get it done this morning since it’s not too big. In the meantime, the white irises and lupins are gorgeous. See for yourself!...

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