India ink was my first love. Before there was watercolor, the book arts, or even graphite, there was India ink. Unlike the serendipity of watercolor or the erasibility of graphite, India ink is unyielding, unforgiving, and even cruel at times. There is simply no way to hide a bad line. It cannot be redone. It cannot be erased. It cannot be gone over again. It is there for all the world to see. It is my favorite drawing medium whether I use a brush or a steel dip pen. It is also my preferred medium when I am busy filling my sketchbooks whether it is for a project or while just sitting on a jetty.
A simple sketch launched a project which eventually led to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crows taken from a book by Charles McKay published in 1841, titled Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Made possible by a TAIP grant from the Tacoma Art Commission, The project received it’s first solo exhibition at Collins Library on the University of Puget Sound Campus in February 2012.
Inspired partially by the work of William Morris at Kelmscott Press, The Book of Kells, and many others, the more than 117 illustrations created for this project took many months to complete. Sixty of the illustrations measure 10 x 7 inches, with the remaining fifty-seven illustrations measuring 10 x 3.5 inches or smaller. Below is only a small sample of the body of work that was created for this project. Click on the images below to enlarge. For more information about the work, contact the artist or visit the Art of the Book tab at the top of this page.
Not all illustrations are part of a greater whole. They often stand by themselves, created simply on a whim, inspired while driving down a winding road lined with orchards, somewhere between Port Angeles and Neah Bay, or during a walk on the beach at La Push.
I always try to match the medium to the subject. There are times after all when India ink will not give me the subtlety that is required. At the same time I appreciate a spot of color that can enhance a simple continuous tone image.