October 13, 2015

A Glimpse of Rowayton

        Today’s wood block print illustrates both the miracle and the frustration of the internet.  It’s a detail from a larger wood block print, and I’m simultaneously delighted to have seen it - something I would presumably never have known existed if it weren’t for the internet - but frustrated that I can’t find any image of the entire piece.  The world wide web is teasing me!
        Oh well.  I’ll try to appreciate what I have instead of feeling aggrieved about what I don’t have, just like I’m always telling P & T.  So let’s take a look at what we have here.  This is by Jim Flora, famous in the 40s and 50s for his album cover designs, and other commercial illustration work.  This is a scene of the town where he lived.  It’s a very artistic-looking place, with those wonderfully patterned trees, and all those big, fancy birds!  As a matter of fact, Crockett Johnson, Maurice Sendak, and Ruth Krauss lived there, too, so perhaps this is where they got their inspiration.  If my town were inhabited by those birds, I’d be pretty inspired, too.  It’s enough to turn anyone into an artist.  I love the happy dog at the right, too.  Most of the people in this town look pretty happy, which gives the lie to all those who claim that misery is necessary for proper artistic inspiration.
        Anyway, I find this piece of a piece delightful.  I’m very sorry not to be able to see the whole thing - after all, I don’t even know how much more there is.  Are we missing just a sliver along the right and bottom?  Or is this only a tenth of a much bigger whole?  But even so, I’m enjoying at least this much.

[Picture: detail from Remembering Rowayton, woodcut by Jim Flora, c 1974 (Image from Jim Flora blog).]

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