Tuesday, March 22, 2005
I have been working in an altered book belonging to my friend Dixie. It is called 'Zen and the Art of Travel'. One definition of Zen is "the attainment of enlightenment by means of paradoxical and nonlogical statements." I photocopied the frogs from a Dover clipart book and gave them life with Prismacolor pencils. They are mounted with foam tape so they don't quite touch the page, which gives them a 3-D look and makes you think they might be about to jump. I was intrigued with the idea of what could possibly be going through their little froggy minds as they contemplate the Golden Gate Bridge. Have they ever observed someone leaping off the bridge? This rather black humor led me to the question that I penned on the opposite page, which was written on a piece of Glad Tidings scrapbook paper with a #22 Hunt nib and gouache.
This is another spread in Dixie's book with a bit of whimsy. The modern jet aircraft was original to the book; I added the man strapped to the fantastical device as a Zen touch. You can't quite get the full effect from viewing it on a computer because he was flattened while being scanned, but in actuality, the man's limbs curve away from the page to add to the illusion of being airborne. The quote by Charles Lindbergh was made regarding his first parachute jump. He said, "It was a love of the air and sky and flying, the lure of adventure, the appreciation of beauty...where immortality is touched through danger, where life meets death on equal plane." I wrote it with a #6 Mitchell nib and Schmincke Burnt Sienna gouache on a piece of black Ingres paper.
This barren landscape and the quote by Emerson that says, "The difference between landscape and landscape is small, but there is a great difference between the beholders," led me to contemplate two very different types who live a world apart, but in similar surroundings. My observation was written with a Pilot P-500 pen in a journaling script called Akim. I chose it because it has somewhat of an Arabic look with its tall verticals, tiny "o"s, and long horizontal swings. The red lines were drawn with a Prismacolor pencil. This is my take on the men pictured: "What a dichotomy of two desert dwellers! One a veritable merchant of death--evil incarnate--while the sandpainter's mission is to invoke cures, create blessings, and restore harmony between man and nature."
The last spread in Dixie's book is about the lost civilization of the Maya. The dewdrops were already there on the cobwebs, but I enhanced them with a bit of gold Pearl Ex mixed into Diamond Glaze. The spider was created by gluing a paper image to black Fun-Foam and giving him legs made of embroidery thread stiffened with PVA. He hands by a silver thread. The ancient Maya could calculate the orbits of the planets around the sun with an accuracy not equaled until modern times, yet their massive pyramids and palaces are now inhabited only by arachnids. How zen!