Monday, January 24, 2011

Blast from the Past #342: "Hampshire Life" garden chart cover, printed color version

Some years ago -- I can't remember if it was while we lived in Sharon, CT or when we moved back to the Northampton, MA area -- I decided that it would be a good idea to get more organized with the clippings of my published work. This was mostly the stuff I did for "Hampshire Life", with some other work mixed in.

So I made a folder. It measured about 15 inches by 20 inches, and I used cardboard cushioned with some kind of material the nature of which I cannot at this time recall, and covered it with fabric. I glued a somewhat fancy foil-type paper on the inside.

Then I took large sheets of some fairly heavy paper -- I think they came from a cheap sketchbook -- and proceeded to cut out, trim, and glue down all of the printed samples of my work that I had saved, ending up with about 80 pages like this. Then I stuck it in a cabinet and rarely looked at it. I think the last time I took it out was when Emily was somewhat younger and I was trying to show her what her Dad did before the Turtles took over his life. (As I recall, she wasn't that interested.)

Recently, though, I had call to pull it out again, when I was trying to find the image of Dr. Martin Luther King and Archie Bunker's stuffed chair for this blog post. I knew I had done that drawing, and I knew I had seen it recently. I thought that was when I was going through some of the photographs I'd take in my old studio last year when I started (but still have not finished) my "digital art archive" project… but I was wrong. I went through all those files and could not find the image. But I thought it was very likely that I had a printed version in my pasted-up clipping files, and so I did, and that's what I used for the blog post on MLK, Jr. day.

(Curiously, two days later I found the original for the drawing sitting on top of a pile of stuff in my very messy room… I guess that's where I'd seen it recently and then forgotten about it.)

Anyway, when I went into that old folder to look for the Dr. King drawing, I was pleasant surprised to see that at least for some of the pages, I had actually taken the time to write down next to each piece where and when it had been printed. And as I went through the folder, I saw quite a few things I'd forgotten I'd drawn.

A few days ago, I spent a couple of hours taking photos of each of these pages. It is not the greatest quality for a digital archive, but it's something. And the way these clippings are yellowing (they were almost all printed on newsprint), I think it is better to have even a low-quality set of images of this stuff than let it go to the point where they will have changed so much that it would require huge efforts in Photoshop to bring them back to a reasonable facsimile of how they originally looked.

So now that I have this new group of images, I may be pulling stuff out for this blog, and if they look a little funky, that will most likely be because of the aforementioned process of slow decay of the medium on which they were printed. But it's kind of fun to look back and see how some of these things were actually printed -- I'd forgotten some stuff, especially with covers I did for "Hampshire Life", where someone in their in-house art department would add mechanically-separated colors to the art. I never had a hand in this, and I think for the most part whoever did the colors did it well.

One of my favorite "Hampshire Life" covers was the "garden chart", which I have already posted in its black and white form here. And now, the art as it appeared when printed.

-- PL

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