Archive for January, 2011
I’ll reiterate something I’ve admitted before here as we enter 2011, Abridgers.
It’s been hard to stay faithful to this blog.
As a result, most of my posts lately have been shorter, and more likely to appear on Facebook than this long format blog. Perhaps this is a subconscious draw to post where the audience is, but it’s also felt similar to the slow, melancholy march from record album art, to “long box” cds, to MP3s.
So on this – the 2nd day of 2011 – I wanted to once again show some respect to my digital journal as it enters it’s sixth year.
So let’s see, what’s been happening lately? Most notably in the last couple months of 2010, I tackled an ambitious large scale mural project out in Chicago’s western suburbs. The fact that it was printed – and could thus be printed at any size – might lead you to believe it was no more difficult to create than a Christmas card. But because the scale would be so big, and viewers would be able to step right up to it… I had to include far more detail and sharpness than I would’ve otherwise.
The finished 16 by 8 foot piece looks great, and I attended the private unveiling ceremony last month, where they also showed off the Richardson antique canoe I’d refinished and sold to the Park District, and where they named the whole building after a nice local woman who’d contributed much of the funds involved, I’m guessing. I signed poster versions of the mural and happily answered questions, including several to which the answer was, “Nope, I know it looks like I painted it, but it’s all digital.”
We also had a medical issue in the family, which necessitated my housesitting in Cleveland for a week not long ago. I took my work along, sat in a blizzard, and took our trusty GS150 in for service at a respected Cleveland shop.
Back home, I’m now catching up on another mural “audition” for a large building on the west coast (more soon), an “Airstreaming 101″ type booklet to be included with sales of all future Airstreams, and a few smaller projects.
I’m hoping to pick up the torch in 2011 on several personal projects that have long been dormant; the Milk Bandits clothing line, the Alphadog children’s alphabet book, and a new idea for a series of books about certain crafts that have become all but extinct: wooden boatbuilding, blacksmithing, letterpress printmaking, instrument construction, and others. The only place to learn about much of this accumulated knowledge these days is in a museum, but there are several people left – from Brokow’s “Greatest Generation” and even younger – who keep stoking the fires of these traditional jobs, despite the obstacles.
There’s deep, soul-satisfying value in these pursuits – an immense pride in working with your hands to create something unique… special. And while it may seem strange to hear those virtues celebrated by someone who just finished talking about his digital mural a few paragraphs north of here… I’d like to think I can simultaneously celebrate at least two centuries’ worth of technology, and maintain my adamant stance that sometimes we need to keep all of something, rather than continually replacing.
As it appears installed.
The Vespa, fixed up and running on a frozen sidestreet of northeast Ohio.
A shot, and the set of our New Year’s Day paddle on the Chicago River.