Brought on by a now redundant but initially traumatic misunderstanding, a radical decision was made concerning the illustrations for the Blaise Cendrars Trans-Siberian Express book: to use only black and white for the images, rather than multiple colour blocks, but to print the text in several colours. Far from diminishing the visual excitment, this approach powerfully enhances the harmony of text and image on each page. It also allows me to work much more speedily, with only one block to cut and proof per page.
Below are examples of proofs I've taken from a few new blocks. They don't show the actual page dimensions or layout and the text in the bottom one is only pasted in, not hand-printed and in colour as it will be in the final version. As I've explained in previous posts, I'm cutting all image blocks from vinyl floor tiles.
Good to hear that things are getting back on track, so to speak. I am intrigued that you are able to use vinyl floor tiles which, in my ignorance of the matter, would have seemed too thin to work with comfortably. In olden times, when I was young, I played around a little with lino but found that material too brittle. I imagine vinyl doesn't have this problem(?)
Tom, indeed the vinyl tiles are not as thick as the lino generally used for printmaking but the ones I'm using are fine for my purposes. When I finish cutting each one, I glue it to a second tile so as to bring it up to the type height for its eventual printing by Nicolas McDowall (The Old Stile Press) on his letterpress.
I am flabbergasted at your artistic technique.
Thanks Bruce, but it's not flabbergasting. The hard part is getting the idea and doing the drawing. Cutting the block is not that hard.
These are very strong. Lots of impact.
Hi Hattie, thankyou> Glad top see you!
So glad to hear the troubles are receding, it sounds like you had.a horrid week. Great to see these images , powerful and unmistakably yours - looking forward to seeing this project develop. Best wishes Natalie ;-)
Hi Phil, thanks. Will post more images as they progress. Hope your work is going well too.
These are strong, confident and adult. The third one down might find a home with someone wanting to illustrate Anna Karenina.
Thanks Roderick. Since it's one of my illustrations for Blaise Cendrars'long poem (Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France) Anna Karenina will have to wait.
Are you working on the third reprint? Looks like it from what I just read when googling the poem. I wish for you that this next book also end up in museums and libraries. You deserve it.
Hello Ellena! Thanks for taking an interest in this project. What do you mean by the third reprint? Oh, I see...you're talking about the original edition of this poem,the one with Cendrars' text and Sonia Delaunay's abstract images?
No, the edition I'm working on is an English translation by Dick Jones which I'm illustrating in a totally different way and which will be published by the Old Stile Press (their website link is on my blogroll) as a hand-printed. limited edition. Since it's a 'livre d'artiste' kind of thing it will indeed end up in museums and rare book libraries etc. but I hope the general public will get to see it (and buy it!)too.
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