Thursday, June 20, 2013

WORK AND PLAY

 

Have just spent a beautiful few days on a working visit to the The Old Stile Press to discuss our project of the book of Blaise Cendrar's poem Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France translated by Dick Jones, which I'm illustrating and which the OSP will publish. We are making very good progress but there's a long way to go before I complete 48 images and Nicolas' busy schedule allows him to begin printing what is sure to be a stunning book (premature boasting is allowed in this space). Dick's work is done but has gone through much fine tuning before arriving at its final crystalline state. We're fortunate that Miriam Gilou Cendrars (Blaise's daughter) has been extremely helpful with comments and is very interested in our undertaking. 

Here's a glimpse of a tiny bit of the work in progress - a couple of the relief blocks I'm cutting and trial proofs. The poem's text will be incorporated within the images. The beautiful setting made every moment of shop-talk a pleasure. When the sun finally came out I started a couple of drawings, first on the banks of the river Hay (oops! It's the river Wye) - Nicolas' camera caught me in the distance - then in the orchard, but I'm finishing them at home. UPDATE: Have added the orchard drawing below.



This will be my third collaboration with the Old Stile Press - the first one was an interpretation of Revelation and the second, line drawings on the Life of Jesus - but my friendship with Frances and Nicolas goes back a long way and I never fail to be inspired by them, their life dedicated to making and living with beautiful things and the magical place that is both their home and workplace. 

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19 comments:

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

What a talent you have!

Dick said...

Tantalising! - an exciting glimpse into what's upcoming!

I promise I'll flag up 'TS' very shortly on the Patteran Papers. I'll link to you for that hint above!

Dick said...

Whoops - a stray exclamation mark...

Tom said...

It's a privilege to be allowed indoors, and to be privy to work in progress. I wish the project well.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bruce,thanks. I try and keep the talent busy, in the hope that it will last as long as I do!

Dick, your take on this project and how it came about will be very welcome.

Tom,indoors and outdoors at the Old Stile Press home is a seamless wonder, nature and art holding hands.

marja-leena said...

How wonderful to have such great friends and collaborators with the bonus of a beautiful setting. The project looks marvelous and very Natalie! Congratulations to all of you on another great book coming up.

Hattie said...

My God these are lovely things. I was thinking of a very special day in my life in the English countryside years ago, and what I saw resembles your drawing.
Thank you!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Marja-Leena, it's exciting to try and interpret Cendrar's passionate poem with relevant visuals. Relief printmaking demands a very different approach to intaglio, as you know, and it's a challenge.

Hattie, where were you in the English countryside? At this time of year, naturein Wales is greener than any I've ever seen, with hundreds of different shades.

Jonathan said...

It's such a treat to be included in your work this way Natalie, and also to get a glimpse of where you were. Last night we were visiting local friends and the man pulled out a collection of artist's limited editions. Made me think of you immediately, reinforced by today!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Jonathan, I'd love to have been there when you and Beth were leafing through those livres d'artiste.
The next project is always the most exciting and while I don't want to hurry the process, I really look forward to seeing what the end result of the Trans-Sib will be.

Roderick Robinson said...

Do I stand out more with a comment here? Or at the other place that gets neglected? Perhaps both. Gee, Nat, you appear to have surrounded yourself with blogging's outer complexities and I don't have the foggiest idea why. Because they're there, I guess - slightly modifying poor old Mallory whose bones, swathed in a tweed jacket, were found on Everest only a handful of years ago, long after he disappeared into the mist and from life as we know it.

Not that I've anything to say as must have become evident. Except to discover that you spent some time (modestly, a tiny spot in an ocean of green) on the banks of the... oh, no! I first read that as Wye and the misreading was amplified by the fact that Hay (the town of books) is on the Wye. If I look out of my study windows I can see a line of trees, five hundred metres away, that indicates the banks of that magnificent river (the Wye, alas, not the Hay). And there I was, trying to extend the hand of geographic commonality, and I failed at my first try. To delete, or not? Never mind, think of this as a footprint. Size 10½ if that helps, but most of the time I make do with an 11.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Roderick, do not delete yourself! Yes I can see you better here because the commenting system at my Other (main) home is currently so infuriatingly convoluted. The only reason I put it there is because the old, easy system ceased operating last year and since I publish Blaug from my own website, I can't use any of the automatic commenting services. Too boring to explain the techy reasons why but I'm trying to fix it. I have become/am a geek.
You see, your prolixity (?) encourages imitation and is appreciated - plus I haven't heard "Gee, Nat" since my American schooldays and it's kinda heartwarming.
How lucky you are to almost see the Wye from your windows! I wish I had that almost-view from mine. Hay-on-Wye is great - I have a story about that (not the Festival) but too long to add here. Maybe a blog post.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

BONES IN TWEED JACKET FOUND ON EVEREST!

That's too good a line not to be used. Title of your next novel?

Ellena said...

Wow! The artist engulfed by infinity!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Ellena, yes, an infinity of green, every imaginable shade of green.

Hattie said...

Natalie: It was in Cornwall, years and years ago, by a lake with the yellow flags in bloom.
It was so delicate and lovely there.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hattie, well you'll have to come back and see if it's changed. Probably not, Cornwall is always beautiful.

Ellena said...

What is this with you Nathalie? Again you are floating in infinity.
I prefer the warm green to the intimidating blue.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Ellena, but floating in that blue ocean is more like my life, which I'm about to try and verbally reconstruct.