The Art of the Book

Book PressWith apologies to Rudyard Kipling and The Elephants Child, my intent is to design illustrated books for those “with ’satiable curtiosity.”  Simple and sometimes unadorned, but thoughtfully creative book designs hide a treasury of illustrations within.

 The Library is Open.

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The Garden of Earthly Delights

 

I sincerely believe we are products of our environment. or to turn a phrase, “Wherever we are, there we will go.”  Keeping this in mind and channeling my innermost Hieronymus Bosch, I attempted to create a sketchbook for The Garden of Earthly Delights had Bosch lived in the Pacific Northwest.  The project gave me license to createMater Image for Website copy outside of my usual boundaries or at least to use what I normally hide from view and keep safe in my sketchbooks. Looking at the collection of sketches surrounding the book, you may notice similar nightmarish visions to the original but which incorporate icons from the Pacific Northwest.  Remember too that this work is meant as an extension of those sketchbooks.

Without too much difficulty, you should be able to find representations of The Seven Deadly Sins, or at the very least, passages to Heaven and Hell if not the actual destination.  There are also representations from other works; The wreck of the John Iresdale becomes The Ship of Fools.  Gone however are some of Bosch’s personal icons such as the owl, except on the opening page, where I have included the sketch of an owl’s skull as a Jack-in-the-box.  If I have not succeeded in my endeavor to create a new groundwork for A Garden of Earthly Delights, it might be attributed to the fact I did not have the Office of the Inquisition looking over my shoulder as I worked…..

Colophon:
Sketch Portfolio
90# Ivory Stonehenge
Colored Pencil, Conté Crayon, Graphite, India Ink
Unryu Paper covered Book Board
Cave Paper Spine
Inside Cover, Marbled Paper made by the Artist
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

 

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The Imaginarium

 

Master Image for Website II copyLike all Do-si-Do books, this bound collection of illustrations tells two stories beginning at opposite ends of the book.  Or do they begin in the middle?  The narrative of each collection travels in opposite directions simultaneously so that it could be argued they actually end when you open the book and begin when you reach the middle.  It’s up to you to decide.   The first collection is a Creation Cycle, beginning with primal life and evolving after vast passages of time.  The second collection concerns us with the concept of regrowth and regeneration and is in itself a veritable Garden of Earthly Delights.

Colophon:
Do-si-Do style book,
Bound through the Spine
Black Bookcloth, Haystack Paper on Book Board
90# Natural Stonehenge Paper
Colored Pencil and Graphite
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

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What Lies Beneath

 

Unlike most of my sketchbooks which are not only thematic, but also drawn in one medium, this one is different.   Even so, I find myself on familiar ground as I work in multiple mediums for this collection of Master Image for Website II copysketches devoted to the world of the Pacific Northwest that most of us ignore the most; what lies beneath our  feet.   What Lies Beneath is a collection divided for continuity purposes into three chapters which are pretty straight forward in their content.   There are no hidden meanings here, with the possible exception of the first sketch of Chapter I, which is intended as a self-portrait; perhaps with an expression of grim determination of finishing this, the last of my books for this project.  Pavement, tree roots, and rocks, all find themselves included in this work.

Colophon:
Leather Bound Sketchbook
100% Post Waste Recycled Paper
India Ink, Conté Crayon, Graphite, Watercolor, Colored Pencil
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

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Gargoyles

Image for Website copyLooking around at some of the other sketchbooks in the exhibition I find myself on familiar ground.  I once stated in one of my early exhibition biographies, I considered the Dungeness Spit a sculpture garden.  I still do.  Often, walking on the beach I am left to myself as my wife and daughter walk far ahead, while I walk around a newly found “gargoyle” taking photographs and looking for additions to my growing menagerie.   Since I began making and binding my own sketchbooks, this is the first time I have attempted to make my own paper to create a sketchbook.  This is also the first time I have used bamboo quill pens which I made especially for this book.

Colophon:
Post Bound Sketchbook
Unryu and Cave paper covered book boards
Handmade Paper by the Artist, using Abaca & Cotton fiber
Marbled Endpapers made by the Artist
India Ink & Bamboo Quills made by the Artist
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

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Northwest Alliterations

Master Image for Website copy

How many words can uniquely describe the Pacfic Northwest?  I set out to find out and met up with sometimes more, and as with XYZ, sometimes less than I bargained for as it became a challenge to find words that were not proper nouns.  Towards the end I failed in that goal and yet words like Zags and X-box seemed apt.  As you read the collections of words, you will notice a rhythm.  Each collection is written in the form of a Haiku even though they may lack the purity and simplicity of a true Haiku.

As for the capitals, each letter was drawn onto Unryu paper using the letters from a circa 1940 Montgomery Ward brass stencil set, then inserting the paper into a 1951 Underwood Rhythm Touch typewriter while using the traced stencil as a guide once I began to type.

Colophon:
Abecedarian Meander Book
Book board and Unryu Paper
Circa 1940 Montgomery Ward Brass Stencils
1951 Underwood Rhythm Touch Typewriter
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

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Tacoma Codex II

Master Image for Website copyI wonder what Samuel Taylor Coleridge would have said if told a manuscript could be written in English, but as if the Roman alphabet had never existed?  After creating Tacoma Codex I by taking images to create text, the next logical step was to take text and turn them back to images. As in Tacoma Codex I, the illustration is the rubric for understanding the text.  Having mastered the text in Tacoma Codex I, you should be able to translate, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

Colophon:
Abecedarian Book
Handmade Paper by Artist, Velma Bolyard;
Kozo, Lokta, Flax, and Hangi fibers
Coptic Bound Amate and Cave paper covered book board
India Ink and Opaque Watercolor
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

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Tacoma Codex I

Master Image for Website copy I watch as decaying, abandoned wharves crumble under the forces of nature, and ponder what they are trying to tell us.  For me, they represent the characters of an unknown script or possibly hexigrams from I Ching, the Book of Change.  After almost twenty years of study, I take a handmade sketchbook, and quickly fill it with 26 characters inspired by the docks on Ruston Way in Tacoma.  The ensuing book and it’s illustrations becomes the rubric for deciphering the cryptic text.  Take the time and decipher only the first line and a familiar poem will quickly emerge.

Colophon:
Abecedarian Book
Watercolor and India ink on Punjabi Paper
Coptic Bound, Wood Covers
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

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Northwest Rhythms

Master Image for Website copyLife in the Pacific Northwest is comprised of rhythms. Tides, waves, wind, and even the falling rain create a song most take for granted or cannot hear, but exists nonetheless, often manifesting itself when we least expect it.

For this work, I used two contrasting images to illustrate the prevalence of this music. On the cover, the crow’s reflection mirrors the keys of a piano. lift the lid of the case and we find an illustration of a decaying wharf which when opened fully, becomes the keyboard of a grand piano. In spite of their obvious contrast, both images create a sense of cadence that becomes obvious if one only listens.

Colophon:
Accordion Book
Canvas Linen on Book Board
Unryu Paper
India Ink, Acrylic, Driftwood
Dimensions:

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Partially funded by a 2017  TAIP grant from the City of Tacoma Art Commission.

LineThe Secret Place Banner copy Open BookThe Secret Place is meant  to be neither evocative of any one place nor a compendium of past memories.   If anything, the images created for this book reflect an indistinct quality such as might come from a mirage and are meant to embody many secret places I have visited in both reality and in my dreams and so in a sense, belong to me and me alone to visit again and again.   Unlike my other books, I did not use a sketchbook to plan my images.  The ten panels of primed linen canvas were bound together before the work commenced and the unfolding panorama was created strictly from memories and my imagination in three days using India Ink and dry brush and split brush techniques.

Colophon:

Primed Linen Canvas wrapped on book board 
Illustrations: India Ink 
Cover: Jute fabric and Unryu paper with split bamboo
This work is unique:  Price $1500

 

LineMetamorphosis Banner copyOpen BookBound together as one, two distinct conversations occur in this collection of sketches.  The first, concerns the transformation in Washington State of the Nisqually Delta, from farmland back to its original salt marsh.  The second conversation, inspired by Franz Kafka’s original work, The Metamorphosis is not meant to be taken as a literal interpretation of Kafka’s work.

In a short time, tidal surges created an altered world populated by anthropomorphic creatures and golems made from tidal mud, dying shrubs and decaying organic matter.  Are we looking at a mythical race of shamans striding purposefully across the water, a macabre bestiary, mutated insects, or perhaps all three at once?  True to Kafka’s adamant demand the insect never be pictured, it is not until the end that the final transformation becomes clearer, and even then the insectile form, hinted at in almost all of the 65 sketches, has been left ambiguous.

Colophon
Cover: Hardbound: Cotton and linen cloth
Paper: Abaca
Sketches: Dip pen & India ink
Fonts: 1946 Smith Corona Portable Typewriter;
Vintage 1911 Excelsior Rubber Stamps

This work is unique.  Price: $1200

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 Playing Hide and Go Seek in the Dark

    Ghosts 72dpiIt was a dark and stormy night….Wrong story, but apt.  An eclectic collection of memories and observations, this is a work in progress, currently comprising approximately 40 stories typed with the same 1946 Smith Corona Silent typewriter my father used in high school. Hoppmann01aTyped onto Egyptian papayrii and  bound into ten codices made from rustic handmade paper, the stories are housed between two pieces of weathered board Coptic style and held by tension with the aid of two vintage gate latches. Naturally, barbed wire graces the front cover. This is a unique work, but don’t despair.  The stories will be posted from time to time on the blog page of this website. 

Colophon:

Font: 1946 Smith Corona Portable Typewriter  Cover: Coptic style bound cover of aged wood and manila hemp with barbed wire 
Paper: Egyptian papyrus and handmade paper, made in the artist’s studio. 
This work is unique.  Price: Sold

 

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 Extraordinary Popular Delusions
& the
Madness of Crows

DSCN6020A bound collection of over 117 original illustrations celebrating the enigmatic crow and made possible by a TAIP grant from the Tacoma Art Commission.  The Book of Kells, and the work of William Morris at Kelmscott Press, amongst other sources inspired this body of work.  Available in two sizes each in a limited edition of only 50, each handmade book and accompanying wooden box are made using different materials and with varying binding techniques including Coptic, post, longPsycrowdelic stitch and many others.  The intent is that no two books or boxes are alike.

Small Book: $750
Large Book: $1000

Colophon:
©2013 Mark Hoppmann
India ink, conte, graphite
90# Canson Classic Cream ®
Epson WF-5710 Inkjet
Durabright ®  Archival Inks
Cover: Assorted materials, including leather, papyrus,  &Belgian Linen
Boxes: Distressed wood and various materials, including, vintage hinges, hemp, glass, and tile.

Currently in private collections, and the rare book collections of The Ringling College of Art and Design, Emory University, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, this work is represented by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers LTD   Line

A Journey

   A Journey IA Journey is a bound portfolio of 26 illustrations.   As the title suggests, it is a chronicle of one person’s passage; one of discovery and interaction, from an early moment of awareness to a moment when one is ready to embark on a new path even if they are unsure what that path should be or where it will lead them.   More importantly, the illustrations explore the complex relationship between intellectual curiosity and artistic experimentation and expression influenced by those early discoveries.  Page 14 small

Colophon:
©2012Mark Hoppmann
India Ink, Graphite, White Conte
100# Stonehenge ® paper
Cover: raw Belgian Linen, hand brushed metallic Indian paper.
Price: SOLD

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A is for Alien

A is for Alien II

 A

handmade, hardcover, abecedarian book with over 52 original illustrations rendered in India ink and dip pen, accompanied by graphite, conte crayon, and colored pencil.  Scanned and output on an Epson WF-7510 inkjet printer with archival inks.   The resulting signatures are hand stitched and mounted into a hardbound cover, created from a variety of papers and materials, making each book unique. The end pages were created by scanning an image into the computer and replicated to create a series of images marching to infinity.   Currently in the rare book and artist book collections of the University of Puget Sound, The Ringling College of Art & Design, and others.  Represented by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers LTD or contact the artist. 

Colophon:A is for Alien
©2012 Mark Hoppmann
Original Illustrations: India Ink, Conte, Graphite, Colored Pencil
Epson WF-7510 Inkjet Printer
Format:  Hardcover, Butterfly Book
Covers: Various Papers and bookcloths

$85.00

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Thirteen Ways

     

At the sight of blackbirds Flying in a green light, Even the bawds of euphony Would cry out sharply. Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

A signed, limited edition of 100 books created in collaboration with musicians Sean Osborn,  Rajan Krishnaswami and others of simplemeasures.org.   The illustrations, created using a dip pen and India ink, are the artist’s interpretation of Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking a Blackbird, a collection of poems first published in 1917.   The books and original illustrations were first exhibited  in April, 2010 in Seattle, Washington during a performance by simplemeasures.org of Thomas Albert’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird based on the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Contact the artist for price and availability.

Colophon:
Thirteen Ways ©2010 Mark Hoppmann
Signed, numbered edition of 100
HP-960 inkjet printer
Hand sewn with illustrated hard bound cover

Only a few books are still available.  Price: $30.00

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Twelve Days

Twelve Days is not the Twelve Days of Christmas your grandmother read to you when you were a child.  Rewritten and illustrated as only the artist could,in India Ink and a dip pen, Twelve Days will make you laugh…or maybe cringe.

On the first day of Christmas  a wise crow gave to me,  a colly bird in a dead tree
On the first day of Christmas
a wise crow gave to me,
a colly bird in a dead tree

Colophon:
Twelve Days ©2011 Mark Hoppmann
Original Illustrations: India ink
Printed with an HP-960 inkjet
Covers: Rustice Handmade paper bound with willow and raffia

$30.00

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For inquiries, contact the artist at
mark@markhoppmannart.com
or leave a comment below.

 

 

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