June 7, 2016

Eventful Weekend

        I had two events this weekend.  First, a Spring Arts Festival on Saturday.  At my shows I generally hang a certain number of framed pieces on my display grids, and bring everything else matted and unframed in racks.  The framed pieces are usually a representative variety, with an emphasis on my newest work that the regular visitors won’t have seen before.  However, for this show I tried something new: I framed and hung every piece that had only one or two impressions remaining, in the hope of culling down some of these orphans.  Plus it was kind of fun to see all these pieces together, representing the whole stretch of what I’ve been doing over the years.  I did sell the very last of three designs, which is never as many as I would have liked, but every little bit helps.  Of course, I also finished carving a new piece, so at this rate I won't run out of art any time soon.
        The second event was technically neither block printing nor fantasy, but it was a book launch party on Sunday for a book that I illustrated.  Approved! is a story designed to introduce children to the process of Quaker decision-making, a.k.a. meeting for worship with attention to business.  It’s written by Nancy Haines, who’s a bright light in leading workshops and teaching about Quaker business meetings.  As you might imagine, a book like this has a niche audience, but in Quaker religious education circles it’s getting a lot of great buzz, and I’m excited to be part of this project.  (You can see Nancy's blog post here.)
        I first thought of doing the illustrations with block prints, of course, but I couldn't make that work to my satisfaction, so instead I devised a mixture of collage and photoshop.  This turned out to work well, because the different papers give the illustrations such cheerful bright colors and patterns.  And just for fun, I made the title page a portrait of our meeting house, which then was photo-transferred onto the cake for the party!
        And now, after that last spring hurrah, the art show season goes into summer vacation.  Except for one Sunday at the farmer’s market in July, I have no more shows until the fall.  You’d think that would mean I’d have lots of time to get busy with new work, but we’ll see…

[Pictures: AEGN at the Needham Spring Arts Festival, 2016 (Photo by MJPG);
Nancy Haines and AEGN at the book launch party for Approved!, plus the cake, 2016 (Photos by David Haines).]

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