This week's Illustration Friday prompt is Summer- my favorite time of year! This is a linocut of Lily Lake, one of the beautiful spots on Rabbit Ears Pass where we like to hike. Unfortunately we haven't done any camping or hiking since our baby was born last spring. We do lots of walks closer to town with our dog, though. The production involved in a bigger hike and the timing always seem too challenging. There's still plenty of summer left though to give it a try!
For the month of June in Lilla Roger'sAssignment Bootcamp, we did a nautical theme and we were encouraged to use hand lettering. You have to check out the gallery of so much gorgeous ocean-inspired artwork. It's really incredible!
I chose to do a mama and baby whale because I looooove whales. I've been wanting to test out my idea of printing on top of collage so that's what I did.
I intended to print my linocut edition on top of a series of original collages but it didn't work out. The paper got both stiff and wavy because of the layers of paper and paint. It didn't look good and it was difficult to print on also.
So I scanned the collaged background and printed it out using my Epson printer onto BFK Rives. It looked great! Once I'd printed the linocut, I stamped WHALE SONG and added a little watercolor.
I'm so glad I found a way to make this idea work, because this is how I'd like to make the artwork for my book Baby Sings. I'd been taking a break from working on that dummy, but I'm back at it now!
I'm so excited- I got the fabric I ordered from Spoonflower! These are fat quarters- 18x22 inches. And the one on the bottom is a little sample of faux suede that they were offering for free. It's great to see my stamped patterns turned into fabric!
Wow! I have to share this book. I've always loved Walt Whitman and especially Song of Myself. His expansive joy and love for everything and everyone is so wonderful. I don't know how he pulled it off without sounding like a sap, but of course he did. When I first read this poem I was in high school and I wasn't an artist, I was a musician. Even though I hadn't drawn anything since grade school, the imagery made me want to illustrate many of the passages. The musician in me also responded to the flow and rhythm of the Song.
As I grew into an artist, I often thought that I would like to do artwork for Song of Myself. But it's so overwhelming! Talk about an all-inclusive, jam-packed, marathon of a poem! So, even though he didn't illustrate it anything like the vision I have, I'm amazed at the stamina of illustrator Allen Crawford. What a big project and so beautifully done! I love the graphic quality of the artwork, the hand lettering, the quirky layout of the text, the simple colors, and the attention to the design of the book. It's gorgeous!
The two spreads below have my favorite part of the poem. Although I love the look of the text handwritten in every direction, it's hard to read. So I included it below. I still have my own imagery for this passage swimming around in the back of my head and maybe I'll do it one day!
I am he that walks with the tender and growing night,
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night.
Press close bare-bosom’d night—press close magnetic nourishing night!
Night of south winds—night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night—mad naked summer night.
Smile O voluptuous cool-breath’d earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset—earth of the mountains misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
I was inspired to make these patterns because of the Cosmic Voyage contest put on by Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. But I wasn't paying enough attention and had the deadline day wrong. So I missed the entry! But anyway, there will be so many wonderful entries it will be fun to see all of them. Getting this ready prompted me to figure out how Spoonflower works and I'm glad I did. You can have your designs printed on many different types of fabric or gift wrap. How fun! I uploaded 4 of my stamp patterns and ordered fat quarters- 21 x 18 inch pieces of their standard cotton. I can't wait to see them!