Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Flores Book

And now, for some hand drawn flowers.

When trying to think of the perfect holiday present, I came up with an idea for a new book arts project.

My love for old things, 18th and 19th century botanical drawings, flora, and books decided to tie themselves together for this one. You have probably already seen my post about P is for Plants, the second book in this as yet untitled series, so I won't bore you with too many unnecessary details but this is the book project that began it all. 

In this book I worked only with lettering and line drawing, keeping things rather simple to see how it would play out. It was also less like a field journal, with just common and Latin names for each of the flowers, instead of details about them as well. 

Having done two books in this style so far, I'm feeling like there is a lot of potential for further projects and for turning this into some sort of series. I guess we'll see where it goes!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

For L

These flower images have a different purpose from my other flowers pictures. 

L's birthday was earlier this month and her parents sent her a lovely little flower arrangement. Not wanting to keep it at work, she brought it home where it would potentially face the wrath of my two crazy cats. Hiding in our little sink area wasn't much of an existence for the arrangement either so in an attempt to prolong their lifespan, I decided to photograph the flowers. These images are a bit of a belated birthday present for L.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Alice in Wonderland Sneak Peek

As you may already know, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time (subjective opinion but I'm not alone in this), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. A perfect combination of nonsense, adventure, math, and card gaming, it was a tale I could never resist. Nor could I resist doing a letterpress project to celebrate this anniversary.

Now, I'm only going to give you a little glimpse into this project right now but, suffice it to say, it will be a bookmark set containing hand-set quotes equal parts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and it's chess game sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The sets will be editioned in 150, to tie them back to the anniversary.

I know the coasters were a bit deceiving; they were a warm-up exercise, if you will, that I did with some of my letterpress students to get the Alice juice flowing. Also, in case you haven't read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or it's just been a really long time, Project Gutenberg has it ready to read!

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) isn't the only man celebrating an anniversary this year... 100 years ago, after about 11 years of preparation, Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity. I might just have a project floating around with this in mind as well. 

(if you want work-in-progress images of what I'm up to book, letterpress, food, and cocktail-wise, follow me on Instagram)

Friday, April 17, 2015

P is for Plants

The complete book and an image of each page can be found on my website

The Marin MoCA's annual Altered Book Exhibition and fundraiser opens tomorrow and this year I have a book featured. I'll be one of 150 artists with a piece up for auction with the proceeds going to support the museum. It's the first time I've exhibited book art with content since college and I couldn't be more excited. 

As you know, I'm quite fond of upcycling, or taking something old, used or worn and turning it into something new. With this in mind, I jumped at the challenge of creating a piece for the exhibition. It all began with an orphaned volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica that I found at a SFPL book sale a few years back. I had been using it sporadically for collaging and wrapping paper but wanted to do a larger scale project with it. 

The volume I had was PLANTS to RAYM and, given my obsession with plants, it naturally seemed that that should be the subject for this book. 

I started out by making a list of plants I wanted to include. I won't lie, I chose ones that I liked, but also tried to have a mix of flowers, green plants, and fruit bearing plants. Then, with a decent amount of Internet searching for models, I sketched each page out in my notebook before moving on to the actual pages. 

I really love the botanical field journals of the 18th and 19th centuries so while researching, I took short notes about each plant I was drawing so that I could add notes, making the final book have a bit of a field journal air to it.

It was quite laborious given that I'm not known for my penmanship, drawing isn't my strong suit, and neither is coloring, but I wanted to push myself so each page was sketched, inked with Micron pens, and colored with colored pencils. I'm rather pleased with the results.

The final structure is an accordion, hinged with Lokta paper, with hard covers that have a mock half binding appearance. The backside of the book is lamented with un-altered encyclopedia pages. The book is unique and not editioned. More images, and artist statement, and the complete book layout can be found on my website

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Let's just admit it, there is something incredible and fascinating about bones and skulls. One of the best special exhibits done by the California Academy of Sciences, in my opinion, was 2014's Skulls exhibit. In a super simplified summary, it was a large room filled with skulls and information about said skulls. It allowed insight on how the internal bone structure of animals directly relates to their functioning and needs as living beings. As you can imagine, I wanted nothing more than to photograph the exhibit, which is precisely what I did. There are a lot of photographs coming up and I'm not going to ruin it by being overly wordy, I am just going to let you look and enjoy. 
Note: To add a bit of drama, and also bring things down to more basic elements, which is what bone structure is, I've desaturated the photos so they are black and white. The images are scaled down and paired (in no particular order) to save a bit virtual space. Wishing they were larger? Well, maybe, just maybe, these will become a zine at some point in the future, most likely with more words.