Murray and Carol called from San Francisco to tell me that Murray will be featured for the next week in Leif Peng's wonderful blog, Today's Inspiration. Peng does a remarkable job talking about the history of illustration focusing but not limited to the illustration of the 1940s-1980s. Peng has a very lively personal collection of ephemera and posts wonderful Flickr sets on the illustrators he covers in addition to the insightful writing he provides us. So, take a look. We will see the decorative Murray peeking out at us this week to all of our delight.
I was packing and unpacking. Taking things out of my bag and replacing it with something different. Taking out the giant sketch book and just putting a regular one in place. Do I have my cell phone plug? Do I have a zip drive? Did I burn the CD of my NYC project? Did I write the requisite weekly checques and gather up bus fare for K?
Now, I am sitting having a quiet moment before getting myself primed to get on the second leg of my flight to SF. In the packing and unpacking, the wandering around and looking at stuff, I cracked open my two Memento Mori books and read a bit of the narrative that I wrote here on the blog while I was thinking on the topics of my reading and sketching. What struck me the most was that I am developing a big project style with images and writing that are often insightful and interesting (particularly when I am not sitting on top of the topic). The process almost demands writing to help me sort out my thoughts conceptually or remember approaches as I go through the work. It was telling that on one of the spreads--I was reflecting that I needed to better understand mirroring images within the context of developing frames and borders. I had forgotten that...and now, here I am...working that out. One feeds the other. I need to remember that...and when copy is needed on the picture, to go back to the source as there might be something more succinct or fresh to help to focus the work that is already written. Bring on the white out and editing pencil!
Murray is going to give me direction on these heads. The nose and mouth I have, he says...so it must be the scary eyes. Keep it light, open, feminine. I have been sketching on Punch on the flights and he is developing with his traditional big nose and big chin. He is a wicked boy...There was a wonderful reference shot that someone posted from a photograph taken of a wooden Punch from the Henry Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA. There is a leery, edgy thing that this Punch has (along with a mask) that has me intrigued. And Judy is such a simple housewife (maybe a bit of a nag) that Punch whollops with his big scary stick. The alligator gets it, the baby gets it, the cops get it, clowns get it. That's Punch, the guy with the whippin stick. I just peered up at the TV while writing this, and CNN was reporting on James Brown...speaking of Punch and his stick...JB was a bit of a Punch himself, whapping his wife with a telephone. Interesting where the world goes.