This is a detail from a 2’7” x 1’11” poster of the poet Claude McKay (1889-1948). In this year of Covid, I’ve thought a lot about McKay’s poem “After the Winter,” which ends like this: “And we will seek the quiet hill/Where towers the cotton tree,/ And leaps the laughing crystal rill,/ And works the droning bee./And we will build a cottage there/Beside an open glade,/With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,/And ferns that never fade.” This is my first time working in poster format, once again with water soluble graphite activated by both brush and spray bottle.
What’s a diary banner? I keep an illustrated journal but recently I have been experimenting with 18″ x 36″ or 48″ banners that are folded horizontally and vertically and then folded into page-like squares. Illustrations in these diary “banners” can then cut across multiple pages/diary entries.
This semester I was lucky enough to teach the poetry of Nicolás Guillén (Cuba) and Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico). I was inspired to create a week-long diary banner measuring 18″ x 48″ with two quick portraits of them in pencil and water soluble graphite. Below are some snaps from the banner, with diary entries blurred out.
A few months ago I submitted two sketchbooks to the Brooklyn Art Library “Sketchbook Project.” At some point they will be digitized and available for viewing on their website. These two pages are from the sketchbook titled “Just Another Covid Sketchbook.” These two pages seek to express the difficulty of representing the emotions provoked by Covid and the American politics around it. The sketchbook is angry and bitter, mostly, and these pages capture the challenge of articulating something about our situation. I made this with watercolor pencil and water soluble graphite and then used a spray bottle with water to activate it all.
I keep an illustrated journal but recently I have been experimenting with 18″ x 36″ or 48″ banners that are folded horizontally and vertically and then folded into page-like squares. Illustrations in these diary “banners” can then cut across multiple pages/diary entries. The detail above features a figure from Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.” The banner recreates elements from that aquatint, in water soluble graphite and watercolor pencil. The images below are other parts of the banner, with my handwritten text blocked out.