Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bonus Guys Read

 Last weekend there was a special follow-up Guys Read party (see previous posts here from 2016 + 2015) out at the North Pole Library Branch, which, as per the usual routine, I set up a table at to do some demos.

“Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own”

I probably could roll most of this post over into the Castor canadensis category, what with the beaver-themed results.... managed to coax out a small colony of contributions to the ever-growing collection.

But the capstone of the afternoon's festivities was my efforts at the cupcake station... I'm seriously thinking now about throwing in the towel as a teaching artist and just embrace my inner pastry chef. All I can say to this year's state fair entrants in the culinary division is... look out, there's a new dam decorator in town.

Artwork: Colin See-Paynton

On a side-note, the only other time I'd visited the library was for last year's inaugural Comic Book Day as a participant, and this time I was early enough for setup to peruse the stacks and check out more of the building. To my complete surprise and everlasting joy, tucked away in a small study room was a framed set of wood engravings by one of the living masters of the craft, Colin See-Paynton, from the UK.
In 1972, See-Paynton moved to a remote farmhouse in Wales, on to which he built his studio. Entirely self-taught as an engraver, he began to make prints in 1980 and has since produced over 250 editions. Colin has brought a new vitality to one of the earliest forms of printmaking. Although his work is based on the meticulous observation of the natural world, his talent is to invent compositions which distil the ecological and behavioural relationships of the species and their habitats. He uses his knowledge and imagination to construct engravings of great complexity and refinement and has evolved something new by the patterning and layering of his images. - from the Brook Gallery
Previously I'd seen his illustrations in a couple books, but up close and personal was a revelation for this former printmaker - there's simply no comparison to being eye-to-eye with the actual originals. To simultaneously trigger awe at the pure craftsmanship in conjunction with astonishing portrayals of the magnificent species, is a rare experience. I'd definitely rank him on the same level of another favorite, C. F. Tunnicliffe, who I've managed to acquire a modest collection of titles from over the years. For a wonderful sampling of more astonishing works by See-Paynton, see this Pinterest board collection, and make the time to see the rest of the Gianni Collection if you're ever in that neck of the woods, as there are many other artists represented throughout the library.

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