Week 36

I’ve been chronicling my project with my wife on this blog. I’m writing a poetry collection about the creation of California. I’m trying to tell the story of water in California, what really made it what it is. Ann’s a visual artist, so she’s going to do the graphic art work for it.

So far on this project, I have written only about the work I am doing, but of course, Ann is working hard too. She has worked through a number of different styles and projects, as I have, in order to come up with what she wants to do.

Some of the early ideas was to do pen and ink sketches to look like my narrator is keeping a notebook and writing and sketching as he goes along. Later, she made some abstract paintings. Then she thought she might illustrate what was happening in the poems.

Ultimately, each of these were unsatisfying, especially the idea that she would illustrate my poems. First, a poem is highly metaphorical and illustrating metaphor completely destroys the power of the metaphor. More importantly, however, doing so places a secondary emphasis on the art, and we wanted this to be a joint effort, two kinds of art working jointly. Each commenting and enhancing the other.

In any case, one of the media that Ann works in is printmaking, so she has been developing prints for the book. She is going to have her own vision of California water through prints. She’s had as many false starts as me, but I think this is a good final product. Here are two of her prints. I hope you love them as I do.