Week's End and Work is for the Birds


This week has flown by on feathers the color of the Pacific Northwest in August, and is brought to you by the letter B. While not on my list of things to accomplish immediately, a brand new bird coloring book came together last week. I've had it in mind for ages to create a series of tiny coloring books, each a companion to the next, each featuring categorized groups of western flora or fauna.  But like I said, this was on the list of Things To Do When The Other Things Are Finished.

Well, other things are never finished. There are always things, and so without even thinking about it, I simply started assembling my Backyard Birds of the Pacific Northwest Book. All nine of the featured birds are drawn, traced onto vellum, scanned, and cleaned up in Illustrator. There are some finishing touches I need to make, but everybody is pretty much ready to go, and they should roll out onto my shop shelves late next week.

Backyard Birds of the Pacific Northwest features: the Western Scrub Jay, Steller's Jay, Anna's Hummingbird, Spotted Towhee, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Black-Capped Chickadee, Varied Thrush, the House Finch, and the darling bandit known as the Cedar Waxwing. 


Also bird related is next year's calendar illustration! I'm frankly amazed that I have the illustration for 2017's letterpress calendar sketched already, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss the early birds who like to buy their next year's calendar as the summer wanes.

2017 will be Red-Tailed Hawk and river themed. It will be letterpress printed from linocut as it is every year. I'm excited about it --- but right now it feels a little too close to get carried away. I haven't even begun to carve but I'm already envisioning pulling the first print, anticipating the held breath and release, and I can't wait.

For the first time ever I will probably put my 2017 calendar on pre-sale, look for this early next week, as soon as I can get the colorways mocked-up. I anticipate being ready to deliver the real goods mid-September.


Lastly I want to tell you about a project I've been working on with fellow Portland artist Anne Greenwood for the last year and a half. Anne has been working with poems by the late Oregon poet Hazel Hall and is creating a beautiful book featuring her needlework poems with letterpress "pressure printing" and Anne's own embroidery. The project comprises a poetry chapbook and a limited edition artist book including a fold-out tapestry with Anne's artwork embroidered to integrate with Hazel Hall's words.

I hope to be able to feature more of Anne's work in the next few weeks as all of the printing and book layout that we've been doing together takes shape!