I often wonder about the possibility of combining my varied interests to create something more meaningful, more lasting, than any one avocation ever has the chance to produce. Last night while looking at my partial schematic of the former Reading & Columbia Railroad that runs through Lititz I thought the text labels on the diagram might be more understandable if I rotated them 90 degrees. This felt like the first time I thought about the railroad as a designer, not simply a rail fan. Within a short time I transformed my barely serviceable sketch into an a more lucid and artful interpretation of the subject at hand. I don’t expect that a “map” like this could matter much to anyone else, but I feel compelled to pursue the idea a bit further, and to eventually take it into the letterpress shop.
Here’s a small linoleum cut that I just finished. This peony will illustrate a collaborative letterpress piece I am doing with J C Groff. In the final piece the peony will print white on a medium toned paper. The body, typeset by Jim, is excerpted from a letter he sent to me. One hundred fifty finished prints will be submitted to the APA. I’ll try to remember to post the finished piece. And yes, I did notice that it has been exactly six months since I last posted to the site. Ouch.
After spending several hours working on a painstaking, rather fussy linoleum cut for a client, I needed to do something quick and loose—something to clear out the cobwebs and relax my tense mind. I looked up from my work table to see the scene pictured above, only, in reality, the image is reversed, left to right. This is because I drew the scene directly onto the surface of my linoleum block before cutting. Once cut and printed, it became flipped.
Here’s an up-close look at a recent sketch I did in preparation for cutting a linoleum block for a client. That’s all. I just thought it was neat.
This is actual size. I find that I really like the small working scale and the focus. The hands tend to cramp, though. I think this one shows a bit more control than the first attempt. Better tonal variation. Squishy letterforms. But overall worth trying again.
This was my first attempt at wood engraving, done sometime last year. It is not a good drawing. It was a technical exercise, the results of which were promising enough to permit me further study in the medium. In retrospect, I wish the modeling—the rendering of light and dark—was much more extreme. This image is very flat. Still, it has some qualities I like.
I have executed a few more wood engravings since this trout: they will be posted ‘in the fullness of time’, as my boss would say, apparently quoting Paul Rand.
Trichrome is a simple interactive diversion that I made back in 1996, when using HTML frames was still really cool (I thought). While neither a game nor a tool, Trichrome could be useful to a few, entertaining to others, and numbingly dull to the rest. This is an excercise in basic HTML. It requires only a frames-capable browser and a delight in color. There are at least 17,550 possible variations. Instructions should not be necessary.
Special Note, 02/10/05—Color frames are adjustable! Click and drag the frame border between colors in order to change the amount (relative surface area) of color. Thanks to Douglas Campbell for indicating to me that this is a cool feature that is not at all obvious.