I finished six paintings which will illustrate a book of poems to be published next year titled, A Crop of Riddles©. In it, the author Jack Veeger reflects on his long life of 85 years. His daily routine is to sit at his desk, pen in hand, ask himself questions and voice his opinions through the written word. His words, to me, are akin to a songwriter’s lyrics because of their easy flow.
Below are the paintings that will be scanned and digitally submitted to the publisher. Unlike most of my paintings, the project came with guidelines about certain dimensions required for book formats. Scale considerations are of utmost importance when print is involved.
Here’s the title page. The question marks front and center seemed appropriate for this collection of poems.
My Blue Silver Abyssinian cat, Tobit, was the subject matter used for illustrating the poem, “Hush.” A verse talks about a gently purring, very custodial cat.
Another image came from cattle that roamed a Johnson City Ranch where I once hiked. The poem’s called “Bells that Distance.”
For “Taming of a Boisterous Sea,” photos I took of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on rocks below a patio terrace were the source for this painting.
As I read the manuscript and realized Mr. Veeger is a master of asking complex questions that deserve long pauses for contemplation and have multiple answers, the image of thought bubbles – many of them – kept (appropriately) popping up in (not over) my head. See a translation in the illustration below for “Dubious Chance.”
For A Heaven of My Own, the line about “ferns and moss and Lilies-of-the-Valley” inspired a line drawing of that fragrant flower. Plus, the poet’s European background conjured graphic images of Bauhaus and a Mid-century Modern aesthetic which inspired the color and composition of this illustration.
Until next week, enjoy.