Monday, April 20, 2009

Æthelwold Etc. Utopiate

Initial Sketch for UTOPIATE

I am currently consumed by sketching, ordering, re-ordering, and re-assigning ideas, shapes, forms from one composition to another as the remaining 23 letters of Æthelwold come in to focus. I am reticent to show sketches of partial ideas but thought I'd show an early rendition of UTOPIATE from the U composition. The composition itself uses text from De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater, set in my sans serif rendition of Thomas More's Utopian alphabet, as shading for a dimensional letter form. ¶As the remaining compositions in the book come together I have been led in many unexpected directions for which the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art have been invaluable. The Met's collection of hair ornaments form the Biwat people of New Guinea, 5th century Byzantine weavings, and 16th century initial letters of Girolamo dai Libri have all presented new vantage points from which to begin or complete letters. Additionally, I have now been able to work the writing of Keats, Byron, and my beloved Coleridge in, as well as to draw a composition based on the fabulously painterly pavement designs of the Duomo in Sienna. It's all terribly exciting and exhausting.