Sunday, July 20, 2008

Psalm 1, A Beginning

I'm really not sure how to start this, so I decided to just jump in and at least write something, even if it sounded stupid or weird. After reading and rereading the Psalm many times, I saw a river through a plane of space separated by extreme weather conditions:
But the "ground" needed to be something, so I decided on the book because that it where it all began for me, in "the" book.
I also decided to include the Psalm title in the actual woodblock print, which later I have "Durerized" by hiding it within the image, sometimes boldly and sometimes like a a "where's Waldo" located title, or just placed it at the bottom if I couldn't work it into the image.
I tried to mirror the image, on the left being lush and green and plentiful, while on the right burned out, degrading and crumbling.
The image was carved on a linoblock and I used Graphic Chemical's black water based ink. Hand rolled and printed on Goyu paper by my own hands (funny side note, I printed the first print on the wrong side of the paper, leaving me no space to put the calligraphy text of the Psalm).
Now for the fun part! Once the print was primed up right, I printed the woodblock onto the paper and got ready to add the text. I have really tried to make the illuminated portion of the image work with the text and illumination, sometimes the outcome was not exactly what I wanted, but this time I think it worked. Here is the key decorative capital:
The letter I think is from the Book of Kells, but since I rarely follow the rules, I've changed it up a little bit. I hope this works, cause I'm still trying to figure out this layout stuff, but here is the bottom image:

It is really hard to see here, but I have used the same colors and the same animals, just in different positions. I know it doesn't look like it, but the gold color is really a bright gold color, about as close as I could get to the real thing. Someday maybe I will try using gold leaf, but for now I've found that multiple layers of a gold pen will give you quite a brilliant, shiny gold. Oh well, too much talk, here is the final image. Once I figure out how much and how to sell these "prints?", I post them up:

Stay tuned, I will post Psalm 2 soon (oh yeah, I did the calligraphy also), total paper size is roughly 15" x 21".


  1. Dan, great work and blog. I try to post to mine when I get something new to offer. I envy those who find the time to post daily, but it I did that it would bore everyone to sleep :-) You go, guy!

  2. Nice control over the medium. And nice calligraphy, dip pen? or?

  3. Yes, please tell more about the lettering. It's beautiful.

  4. Ah, I see you filled us in on the calligraphy in the next post. Amazing! Such courage to calligraphy on the print itself.

  5. I have come back to this Psalm hundreds of times since I first "read" it in my early teen years - your interpretation of Psalm 1 revitalized the powerful imagery of the Psalm itself. Thank you.