Created for FLA exhibit at MIZE GALLERY May 2021
In this piece I tried to capture the tropical shirts and vintage marketing flavors that were part of old Florida vacations… The famous citrus, pelicans, tropical plants, seashells, and alligators were all iconic symbols of this exotic get-away. I took my first Florida vacation as a kid with my mom in 1976. We went to Disney World, Busch Gardens and the Ringling Circus Museum but my favorite thing was the beach and collecting shells. Even as an adult Florida resident that natural magic never waned and I came to cherish the flora and fauna of Florida. The spontaneous graphite lines are in honor of the younger me that fell in love with the idea of Florida decades ago. For me they represent the underlying promise of fun in the sun that is part of the Florida lifestyle. They’re also intentionally made with pencil which is not as permanent as ink because the dream vacation is always temporary.
This piece was created by translating my original sketches into hand carved relief blocks, like large rubber stamps, that were then inked and printed carefully one at a time in layers onto the prepared wooden surface. This is a one-shot process, if you screw up you start over as there is no way to change things once the ink is on the wood. There were several layers involved—the background was white washed with gouache then the first layer of souvenir pennant shapes were printed in yellow and pastel sky blue. On top of that came the orange layer, then the dark blue layer, then the pencil lines added last. The blocks are printed with an archival dye ink that has a transparent quality that permits the layers of color to interact and change when combined.