Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Library of Congress, in Stone (and Bronze)

The Library of Congress became one of my favorite sources online for historic images. I felt like I knew the LOC. Then I met the real live Library of Congress, situated on Capitol Hill just east of the Capitol dome.I was lucky to have an insider guide to explain the circumstances of its creation in the late 1800s. He said, If you are impressed (as I was) with the exterior you'll be amazed inside! I was.He explained that the project came in under budget, the extra funds used to adorn the building. Craning my neck to take in the mosaics and frescoes within the vaulted halls, stained glass skylight, stone carvings, I thought, Here is our American equal to the incredibly ornate carved stone Hindu temples of India: As those temples stand for the religious and cultural narratives of Hindu mythology, the Library of Congress expounds the moral and intellectual ideals of our American society.
Human scale is manifest not only in the materials and their proportions but throughout the building as human forms carved in stone and bronze: babies with props represent various noble professions, sculpted heads mounted at the keystone of window arches represent various ethnic societies of the world, the busts of great thinkers and an abundance of mythological figures are nestled into the architecture. Each tells the narrative of our American moral and intellectual ideals.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Map of Savannah, Georgia: 1916 / 2010

I've been in Savannah, deep. In my mind. Perpetuating my quest to draw maps patterned after the lithographic techniques of 1800s maps, I present a map of the city core, north of Forsyth Park. The hand-drawn lines are rusticated. I hope they look like pressed ink. The building footprints and street patterns represent the City's structure in 1916.The map features eighteen blocks of Jones Street around the perimeter. The "bonus" sketches within the borders of the lithographic maps are one of my favorite features, like in this map of Lisbon. (I have a long way to go, Lisbon...) The final print size is 16" x 18". A few more glimpses -

This map will be part of the BOOK exhibiting all of the Jones Street block drawings, This is Savannah, Vol. 2.
The Print is also Available in my Shop.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Books, Unchained

click to view larger
I "got familar" with The Unchained Tour while taking on the challenge from its local organizers to design a postcard featuring the independent bookstores of Savannah. The Tour consists of authors, storytellers, raconteurs, and a few musicians performing in support of independent bookstores, and it lands in Savannah this weekend. If you are in Savannah, check it out!
As founder George Dawes Green explained, “We’re embarking on our tour to spread the message that indie bookstores should be the vital center of communities. Nights of storytelling and music, of book groups and talent shows, are at the heart of any living town. It’s time to break the chains of the Internet, and of addictive shallow surfing, and get back to books and deep reading and sharing evenings with living breathing people.”

On that note, why don't you shut down your computer right now and get out - or into a book!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Heart Autumn

I am soaking up Autumn, my first in the Mid-Atlantic in seven years. The seasonal orange vegetables and apples at Eastern Market, the scent of leaves working their way back into the ground, decomposing by moisture and sun; boats put up at Fletchers Cove signal the end of summer. I saw the paddle boats stacked at the tidal basin wistfully; I'd wanted to go out on one of those...maybe next year.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Madison Square Postcards, Too!

Introducing Savannah No. 6...

2 Squares drawn, 3 more as I document the jewels of Bull Street: Johnson, Chippewa, and Monterey.

MADISON Square: Savannah, GA

Sergeant William Jasper guards Madison Square, sword in hand, holding aloft the flag he nobly planted before British lines. The Revolutionary War hero was killed in battle near this spot in the 1779 Siege of Savannah. Like Wright Square, Madison is endowed by phenomenal buildings along its perimeter, including the Savannah Guards Armory {shopSCAD}, the Scottish Rite Building, St. Johns Episcopal Church, the Green-Meldrim House (temporary home of General Sherman when he occupied Savannah during the Civil War) , the Sorrel-Weed House, the DeSoto Hotel, and the Eliza Jewett House {E. Shaver Booksellers.} The DeSoto is rendered in retrospect and appears as a shadowy "watermark" in place of the present DeSoto Hotel which replaced the old magnificant and once state-of-the-art original DeSoto Hotel.This print is second in a series of Architectural Map-drawings of Savannah Squares, along the renowned Bull Street, from the river to Forsyth Park. It is companion to WRIGHT SQUARE.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Frederick, Maryland: 200 N. Market Street

Among all the architecture-rich blocks in downtown Frederick, I chose the block between Second and Third on Market Street for its incredible architectural variety, seemingly undervalued. This block faces the 1890s Houck Mansion which now houses the tres-chic restaurant Volt, which I'd also like to draw.

I couldn't find a high-quality historic map with good lines and texture to fill the backgound for this first print showcasing one of Frederick's great urban blocks on Market Street. So I created one using available maps and hand-drawn cross-hatch patterns. The additional background layer is a multiplication of the beautifully scroll-cut wooden vents common in Frederick above gateways between buildings. You can find one in this block.

Now, Terracotta - or - Slate?

Both are FOR SALE at The Muse, on N. Market Street, Frederick as well as online in my etsy shop.