The next layer

The next layer

The light in the studio wan’t great when I snapped this, but I think this painting will be finished today. My palette is covered with mixed blues, violets and greens so I will be ready to start this morning. I may have to take a break and go iceberg hunting- I saw a huge one as I was driving into St. John’s last night, and went to Signal Hill around 10 p.m. to look at the moon and see what bergs were there. I could see 4 that all looked pretty large- one silhouetted by Cape Spear is probably the one that had an arch last week. Here is a photo I took near Old Perlican a week or so ago. It’s hard to stay in the studio painting and finish work knowing there are icebergs...

Another Day

I made a bit of progress on this rocky beach after another day in the studio. I tend to work on several paintings at once, rotating through them and setting them aside to dry when I think they are finished. I always give myself some distance so I can assess a piece with fresh eyes before I sign it. I work best when I have a deadline, and the current deadline is the first week of July. The tentative opening date for my next show at Christina Parker is July 17th, and she will have all the paintings on her web site after the opening!...
There comes a time

There comes a time

In the process of painting, there is often a point at which I really like the underpainting. It might be a calligraphic brushstroke or sloppy swaths of colour, but something makes me really happy, and I am tempted to leave the painting at that state. This is one of those moments. It’s clearly not finished, but there is something I find satisfying about the sketchy outlines of the rocks and wave below the cool, smooth fog and iceberg. That’s one of the reasons I take photos as I go- to reassure myself that I have done the right thing by continuing to paint!  ...

Printers’ Fair

I have been overwhelmed (in a delighted way) by all the positive response to the news that the City of St. John’s selected one of my images for the facade of the Civic Centre downtown. I am truly amazed and grateful to everyone who has liked and commented on the announcement! (Press release here: http://www.stjohns.ca/media-release/convention-centre-facade-artwork-selected#.UnaKRpXRksU.facebook) Sewing copies of Amelia and Reginald, gluing copies of Making Bread (not bombs) and printing, I’m getting ready for the next thing, the Book Arts Association NL’s Printers’ Fair on November 17th. The news is here: Printers’ Fair Artists and Craftspeople selling their wares: Books! Broadsides! Prints! Cards! Linocuts! Etchings! Lithographs! Letterpress! Sunday, November 17th, 2013 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Rocket Room (upstairs at Rocket Bakery, 272 Water Street) Admission Free Exhibitors: John Andrews Graham Blair Caroline Clarke Janet Davis Lori Doody Jud Haynes Sonia Ho/ Alan Ho Philippa Jones Christine Koch Duncan Major Jennifer Morgan Janet Peter Krissie Worthman Running the Goat Books and Broadsides St. Michael’s Printshop Urchin Green Walking Bird Press Hosted by The Book Arts Association of Newfoundland and...
Whew!

Whew!

Whew! I finally (3 weeks later than planned) finished the last illustration for Amelia and Reginald today. Several in the second batch of drawings didn’t make good plates, so I had to rework them and send them back. Which left me further behind with the 2 baffling images, an Angel Choir, which Reginald is asked to imagine as he tries to wake Amelia from her comatic state, and Crossing the Alps in the style of 18th c. gentry, being carried in chairs. I have taken them out and put them away several times, but finally thought of trying to incorporate music into the choir image. Something funereal? After looking through the hymnal and on line, I decided on Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, a melody anyone who reads music is likely to recognize, and another non-18th c. element for the pseudo-ness of the book (like Micky and Minnie on Amelia’s bed). I also divided up the group to make the image more vertical to fill space at the end of the chapter, and changed their faces and poses a bit so they are not all playing instruments and they are all singing. The final bugaboo was the image of A&R crossing the Alps, being carried as gentlefolk were. It’s a double-wide illustration that will be folded and stitched in between signatures. Now to finish printing and start assembling! Here’s hoping everything else goes without...
Polymer Plates for Amelia and Reginald

Polymer Plates for Amelia and Reginald

I went to Corner Brook last Sunday to make polymer plates with the help of David Morrish at Dead Cat Press. We went to work Monday morning, and by the end of the day the plates were made for all the completed drawings. Tuesday I worked on this drawing, and we made the plate Wednesday evening. I drove home on Wednesday with a pile of plates ready to print! Spent Thursday and Friday getting ready for Open Studio this weekend, and this afternoon I printed 3 of the images onto the text pages, 110 or so copies of each. I’m hoping for an edition of...
Sketches

Sketches

Back to working on the illustrations for Amelia and Reginald. Here is Reginald, despondent and  refusing to eat. Where there is space at the ends of chapters, I am adding small illustrations to fill in. These are two sketches for Amelia’s wet clothes that she takes off in a room at an inn, after surviving a shipwreck. Neither of these is quite right, but none of the illustrations will be complex, detailed images. They are meant to suggest or be an echo rather than show minutiae… The luggage is for the chapter following, when the servants arrive with A&R’s luggage, and a new wig for Reginald. I haven’t worked on the illustrations for a week, and now see several things I want to change. It’s always good to back off for a bit and come back to a project with fresh...
illustrations

illustrations

While I am slowly assembling the edition of Making Books (not bombs), I have turned to completing a project that has languished in the studio for MUCH too long. My friend Rudolph Ellenbogen’s pseudo-eighteenth-century love story, The True History of Amelia and Reginald, has been off and on the back burner since 2005 (ouch!) when my brain shorted out while trying to grasp the style of the time (think Hogarth) and simulate it in my drawings. Over the past 8 years, I have taken it out, reread the story, looked at background material, and done sketches, only to tear my hair, rend my clothing, and vow to hie myself to a monastery to avoid confronting the sad realization that I am doomed to failure for false pride. I do love the story, and I do love my friend Rudolph and his lovely wife Alane, and having survived the struggle of creating Making Bread (not bombs), I feel up to taking a more equanimous view. I promised that the book would be finished in October, and to that end, I am keeping the drawings out in the dining room, where I can spread everything out on the table. I have sorted the illustrations and reference material into folders. To help keep myself focussed, I am going to add progress reports to my much-neglected blog. Below are the silhouettes for the frontispiece. I will scan and post more...