This time of COVID-19 during our #stayathome orders* has afforded me an enormous amount of solitude, thereby a substantive amount of space for art. All this to note a very circuitous route to re-creating a letterpress broadside printed in 1995. It has taken me months to get to the point where I feel satisfied with this last reincarnation (which is good, as I am running out of prints!)
Credit is given to staying home, but more importantly to a book published in 2000 that I cataloged this year for a small art library – Picture This: How Pictures Workby Molly Bang. For those of you who recognize the name, yes, she is the children’s book author.
In 1995 I wrote this short poem, made the paper and using a Vandercook proofing press, printed about 50 copies. I was never satisfied with the results.
In March of 2020 I pulled out the remaining copies to re-design. Below are some of the additions and attempts; some never panned out:
The point I hoped to reach is one where I can say to myself, “I can live with this.” It took two months of off and on viewing and re-making. It was Bang’s book that give me direction.
*Let me say this straight out – I know how fortunate I am during this time of COVID-19. I am currently reading Madeleine Albright’S memoir, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948. My sets of grandparents both escaped living under fascism in Czechoslovakia and Italy; my parents and in-laws lived and fought in the U.S. during World War II. I get how fortunate I am even during this pandemic during 2020, living where I do; being who I am.
This art piece is made from love and to honor his beautiful canine being.
Step 1 Starting
Staring with the original photograph, the image was printed out on an old HP colour printer using my handmade-paper of linen & cotton blend. This gave it texture for reworking with other materials.
Step 2 The Assemblage
Within 2-3/8″ square, the following pieces were designed:
Photo resized & reworked with chalk pastel for high/low lights;
Glue background piece onto an acid-free, heavy stock
Calligraphy, hand-coloured with pencil;
Hand-decorated pieces for emphasis with added, and
Lastly, shell gold was painted on and buffed to signify lasting love.
Step 3 The Final Gluing
Assemble pieces into places for the last view
Add or move pieces now
Glue smaller pieces together to form larger ones before final gluing to the background piece
Place in book press for 30 minutes with wax paper covering image
Step 4 Frame
A memento of someone loved, to someone you love.
Sammy the Dog came into our lives through our son -his very first dog as an adult. This pup was a rescue dog who had suffered much prior to his adoption. He lived a good life : well-loved, well-fed, well-cared for every day. He took up little space but filled all of my son's with a devotion, pure and simple, as only a dog can do for us.