Archive for the ‘Illustration’ category

A Joyful Collaboration: The Truth About Rabbits

May 2, 2015

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It is our great pleasure to announce the release of a book of poems by Winona Linn, The Truth About Rabbits. These edgy, intelligent and humorous poems have been set by hand in metal type by Thee Hellbox Press in Kingston, with wood engravings  cut and printed by Larry Thompson of Greyweathers Press — a joyous collaboration of word, type and image.

The Truth About Rabbits
Poems by Winona Linn
Wood engravings by Larry ThompsonJointly published by Thee Hellbox Press and Greyweathers Press
Hand set in type in the Garamond face printed by Hugh Barclay at Thee Hellbox Press
Wood engravings printed by Larry Thompson at Greyweathers Press
Dimensions: 10.5 x 10″ tall. 20 pages on St. Armand paper
142 copies

$75

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Show and Sell – Back from the shows

November 14, 2013

The Eagle Point Winery show proved a very good show for me. Part of this is the good company I had in the board room, with John Sorensen’s wonderful paintings on the walls and sharing the massive table with potter Linda Hynes. Both are friends of long standing so it made doing the show a lot of fun, but people were buying as well, so all good. This is in a way an extension of the table shows that make up the book arts scene. The usual tables (approx 6″ x 3″) don’t have a lot of room for prints, but I was able to use the great depth of this table to layer prints: standing at the back against Linda’s display, then propped, then flat and finally the books out in front. In a standing position before the table, customers have free access to the books, but a bird’s eye view of all the prints. Simple but effective. The show had a heavy mix of fine art and fine craft, twelve exhibitors in all, arranged around the impressive winery.

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All set up at the Eagle Point Winery show.

Back home from Eagle Point Winery, I had one day to turn around before setting up at the Nepean Sportsplex for the Nepean Craft Christmas Sale. This five day show is definitely in the craft domain, with mostly crafts, including a lots of jewellery and food – a definite trend in the craft circuit. I juried in promising to use our hard walls; they look amazing, with lighting nested into valances mounted atop 7 foot tall walls. Everything fastens together with clamps, however it was designed to fit into a 5 x 15 space. It will articulate, as in this case to a 10′ x 10′ space, but no matter what, it takes a lot of work to set up, particularly when two strongly opinionated people are involved. All of that, and a rental van to get the booth to the show, and back home again at the end. Also, we had to buy rugs to put down on the bare boards that are the only thing separating the booth and work from the arena ice surface. I stopped and wondered what it might be like to have the show right on the ice with everyone skating around to the booths – a reminder that not all ideas are good ones. It’s a chilly show to do, but now having seen the upper salons, admittedly warmer, I still much prefer the arena.

Hard walls decked with prints at the Nepean Craft Christmas Show.

Deck the hard walls with prints by Larry at the Nepean Craft Christmas Show.

I’m starting up with craft shows because I want to increase the profile of my press in the region, and because I hope with prints my price point will be attractive to the clientele at these shows. So far, I’ve had mixed results. One thing is for certain, at Christmas shows, any sales I make are impulse buys and often, but not always, the customer is buying for themselves. I’ve been doing the book arts shows and studio tour much longer, seven or eight years now, and people are coming and buying because they expect me to be there. Given time, and better economic times, this should happen at the craft shows.

 

The Idle Fool / Is Whipp’d at School

September 16, 2012

When my friend and letterpress printing colleague Jason (of Three Bats’ Press) announced a couple years ago that he was seeking artists to illustrate an upcoming project, naturally I took interest. He had taken the text from an early New England primer designed to teach children their letters by infusing the little tykes with a healthy fear of God, or in other words, scaring the holy snot out of them. Artists could choose a letter and with the associated rhyme for the letter. For example: A = “In Adam’s Fall / We sinned all.” Or this for J: “Job feels the Rod / Yet blesses God.” Or Y: “Youth forward slips / Death soonest nips.”

Cheery, is it not! Jason was clear in saying that he wanted a “re-interpretation” of these poems, and by handing off to a bunch of recalcitrant artists, I’m thinking he’ll get his way.

I chose F: “The idle Fool / Is Whip’d at School” out of a sense of personal irony (as a student I was neither devout nor studious) and envisaged a period engraving showing the enraged schoolmaster, a la Dickens, taking his fury out on some hapless kid.  But as I thought more, the extreme violence and fear overtly suggested in the statement and insinuated in the other quotes, and the religious extremism implied in the the whole primer, I conjured the impersonal image of great big meat-hook hands clenching a heavy barbed-studded leather strap, with all the menace of impending violence that seems to go hand in hand with extremist ideals. I may go that route, or I may throw it back in the puritans’ faces and do something associated with that odd cast of kink enthusiasts who have an entirely different attitude toward the whole question of whipping. With all the popular fervour for Fifty Shades of Gray and similar works, called “accessible erotica” or less generously, “mommy-porn”, that might be the right choice.

A first attempt at turning the quote on its head, so to speak, played with the curve of a back to create a lower case ‘f’ from a whip and a belt for the cross-stroke. It had the uncomfortable look and feel of something out spiny out of Predator. Another quick effort incorporated a similar stylized letter ‘f’.  I’m really not entirely sure about pursuing this route.

Perhaps my discomfort comes from a certain reserved nature, but it also has to do with the violence implied for the woman in the picture. Making it a male back, or elongating the drawing to show the woman holding the whip would certainly change the dynamic.

No matter what, there will be a stylized letter “F” formed from the coils of a whip.

Jason tells me that he is expecting some very extreme submissions for some of these puritanical aphorisms, so perhaps I’m worrying needlessly.


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