…and they have arrived!
“The Heart of a River” has arrived today, just in time for a book launch at tonight’s exhibition at Touchstones in Nelson, BC
“The Heart of a River” tells the story of the Columbia River – from its geological origins to the advent of dams and storage reservoirs. It is written in poetic prose and asks the reader to “imagine that you are water”…
When author Eileen Delehanty Pearkes showed the story to me in September, asking me to layout the book, I fell in love with what she had written and asked her if I could illustrate it. By time we sorted through finding a great printer, deciding on page count, size, paper etc, and coming to a 50/50 joint publisher agreement, I had a month to layout and illustrate the 45 page book. I illustrated for 30 days and 30 nights, page after page, with no time to imagine how the “big picture” would look. I had no time to map out an approach, discover visual themes, or orchestrate a visual crescendo. I just completely gave myself over to Eileen’s prose and hoped that page by page the words would take me visually where the book needed to go. I used all of my ammo – images from my own copyright designs, artwork from my childhood, website references to any kind of historical visuals I could find to interpret the story’s message with authenticity. At one point I felt like I was metaphorically in the river, floating along with the Columbia from its inception, through to the present, and wondering where its heart would lead me next. Even in the hours leading up to the final print deadline I had moments where I wondered if I would ever emerge. It was not until the last illustration was done that I felt myself surface and I even called Eileen to tell her that I was “out”. When she asked me about why I wanted to do this project I said “I felt like I wanted to give back to the river. So much of our mountain culture life is deeply connected to and dependent on water. Many of my projects are in some way connected to the Columbia – whether I am designing for a local business, creating advertising for tourism, promoting water conservation strategies, or encouraging habitat preservation.” I hope you get a chance to pick up a copy and enjoy this extraordinary poem Eileen has written. I hope I have done it some justice… Its a lovely story for people of any age to enjoy.
Books are $20 each and can be ordered directly from me here.
Or call to reserve your copy at 250.352.9697