‘Glimmerglass’ in black and white

I’ve just been finishing the vignettes for Glimmerglass that will be used as chapter headings and/or tailpieces in the book. Here’s a scattering of them as a curtain raiser. I envisage they’ll be reproduced at quite a small scale.

Glimmerglass is strewn throughout with descriptions of the flora and fauna of an observed landscape. But like the Arabian Nights storyteller, Marly spins tales within tales that access altogether more fabulous topographies, and it’s as though the sea-serpent door-knockers and griffin-embellished wrought-iron gates of the real world, have been markers of hidden realms paralleling the everyday. Bearing in mind I’m a man who reveres the great eighteenth century wood-engraver Thomas Bewick, it was a foregone conclusion that when I came to consider decorations for the chapter headings and tailpieces of this wonderful book, I’d be moved to create a miniature naturalis historia.

The images are collages pieced together from paper worked with brushes and paint, pen and ink, crayon and frottage. They reference the interior decorations made for Thaliad, though are simpler and bolder in design and execution.

8 thoughts on “‘Glimmerglass’ in black and white

  1. Exquisite little collages, predictably I especially like the horse!

    I love Thomas Bewick’s work too, I saw an exhibition of it in Birmingham a while ago, really lovely.

    • Bewick is the fountainhead for all of us interested not so much in ‘illustration’, as in the decorating of texts. His wood-engravings are sublime accompaniments to prose and poetry, wonderful little meditations punctuating the written word. While I’m ultimately looking for something much simpler in form than his dense, highly detailed images, I’m certainly aspiring to a similar quality of mood and character.

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