3/1/15

INVISIBLE CITIES: Laudomia

The 46th of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my fifteenth overall, Laudomia, the city of the living, the dead, and the unborn. You can see the entire series of illustrations so far, which includes work from my friends Joe Kuth and Leighton Connor, at our tumblr Seeing Calvino which is updated every Wednesday.

"...the Laudomia of the dead and that of the unborn are like the two bulbs of an hourglass which is not turned over; each passage between birth and death is a grain of sand that passes the neck, and there will be a last inhabitant of Laudomia born, a last grain to fall, which is now at the top of the pile, waiting."

10 inches by 8 inches
ink and marker on watercolor paper
January 18, 2015



INVISIBLE CITIES: Thekla

The 43rd of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my fourteenth overall, Thekla, the city forever under construction. You can see the entire series of illustrations so far, which includes work from my friends Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our tumblr Seeing Calvino, which is updated every Wednesday.

"If, dissatisfied with the answers, someone puts his eye to a crack in a fence, he sees cranes pulling up other cranes, scaffoldings that embrace other scaffoldings, beams that prop up other beams. ‘What meaning does your construction have?’ he asks. ‘What is the aim of a city under construction unless it is a city? Where is the plan you are following, the blueprint?’

“‘We will show it to you as soon as the working day is over; we cannot interrupt our work now,’ they answer. 

"Work stops at sunset. Darkness falls over the building site. The sky is filled with stars. ‘There is the blueprint,’ they say."

10 inches by 8 inches
ink on watercolor paper
January 13, 2015



INVISIBLE CITIES: Leonia

The 40th of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my thirteenth overall, Leonia. You can see the entire series of illustrations so far, which includes work from my collaborators Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our tumblr Seeing Calvino.

"Nobody wonders where, each day, they carry their load of refuse. Outside the city, surely; but each year the city expands, and the street cleaners have to fall farther back. The bulk of the outflow increases and the piles rise higher, become stratified, extend over a wider perimeter. Besides, the more Leonia’s talent for making new materials excels, the more the rubbish improves in quality, resists time, the elements, fermentations, combustions. A fortress of indestructible leftovers surrounds Leonia, dominating it on every side, like a chain of mountains."

10 inches by 8 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
December 29, 2014



INVISIBLE CITIES: Clarice

The 37th of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my twelfth overall, Clarice. You can see the entire series of 37 illustrations so far, which includes work from fellow artists Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our group art tumblr Seeing Calvino which is updated every Wednesday.

"And yet, almost nothing was lost of Clarice’s former splendor; it was all there, merely arranged in a different order, no less appropriate to the inhabitants’ needs than it had been before."

10 inches by 8 inches
ink and marker on watercolor paper
December 9, 2014



INVISIBLE CITIES: Adelma

The 34th of Calvino's Invisible Cities and my eleventh overall, Adelma, the city of the dead. You can see the entire series of 34 cities so far, which includes work from my peers Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our tumblr Seeing Calvino, which is updated every Wednesday.

"I thought: 'If Adelma is a city I am seeing in a dream, where you encounter only the dead, the dream frightens me. If Adelma is a real city, inhabited by living people, I need only continue looking at them and the resemblances will dissolve, alien faces appear, bearing anguish. In either case, it is best for me not to insist on staring at them.'"

10 inches by 8 inches
acrylic paint, charcoal and ink on watercolor paper
November 18, 2014



INVISIBLE CITIES: Esmeralda

The 31st of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my tenth overall, Esmeralda, the city of many ways. You can see the entire series so far, which includes work from my friends Joe Kuth and Leighton Connor, at our Seeing Calvino tumblr which is updated every Wednesday.

"In Esmeralda, city of water, a network of canals and a network of streets span and intersect each other. To go from one place to another you have always the choice between land and boat: and since the shortest distance between two points in Esmeralda is not a straight line but a zigzag that ramifies in tortuous optional routes, the ways that open to each passerby are never two, but many, and they increase further for those who alternate a stretch by boat with one on dry land."

10 inches by 8 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
October 21, 2014



INVISIBLE CITIES: Baucis

The 28th of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my ninth overall, Baucis, the city in the clouds. You can see the entire series so far, which includes work from my fine friends Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our Seeing Calvino tumblr which is updated every Wednesday.

"After a seven days’ march through woodland, the traveler directed toward Baucis cannot see the city and yet he has arrived. The slender stilts that rise from the ground at a great distance from one another and are lost above the clouds support the city. You climb them with ladders. On the ground the inhabitants rarely show themselves: having already everything they need up there, they prefer not to come down. Nothing of the city touches the earth except those long flamingo legs on which it rests and, when the days are sunny, a pierced, angular shadow that falls on the foliage."

10 inches by 8 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
October 7, 2014



INVISIBLE CITIES: Aglaura

The 25th of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my eighth overall, the colorless city Aglaura. You can see the entire series so far, along with work by my fellow artists Joe Kuth and Leighton Connor, at our group art tumblr Seeing Calvino which is updated every Wednesday with new art.

"So if I wished to describe Aglaura to you, sticking to what I personally saw and experienced, I should have to tell you that it is a colorless city, without character, planted there at random. But this would not be true, either: at certain hours, in certain places along the street, you see opening before you the hint of something unmistakable, rare, perhaps magnificent; you would like to say what it is, but everything previously said of Aglaura imprisons your words and obliges you to repeat rather than say."

10 inches by 8 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
September 16, 2014



INVISIBLE CITIES: Sophronia

The 22nd of Calvino's Invisible Cities and my seventh illustration for the project, the dual city known as Sophronia. You can see the entire series so far, along with amazing work from my fellow travelers Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our group art tumblrSeeing Calvino, which is updated every Wednesday with new art.

"The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half-city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the palaces, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half city."

10 inches by 8 inches
ink on watercolor paper
August 27, 2014