The Inspiration

My inspiration for this work comes from illustrations in 19th century children’s literature.  The original woodcuts and lithographs are beautifully detailed and rendered and their captions establish an earnestness unfamiliar to 21st century readers – no irony, no winking at the observer.

I use ink on 300 lb watercolor paper with collage which allows me to layer onto and cut into my surfaces to create dimensional effects.

The small shadow box pieces are the visual counterpart to the puzzles, short poems, math problems and moral lessons that would fill the pages of books such as the “Chatterbox” series from the 19th century.

These books taught children about friendship, loyalty, courage, history and the rewards of good behavior.

I am interested in re-producing the tone of that earlier period which to me feels quiet, slow, sepia toned and just a little bit strange.