Long ago, but not far away, I took BART to San Francisco once a week. Debarking the train, I would begin to walk. I liked walking along the Embarcadero, along San Francisco Bay, nearly underneath the Bay Bridge, looking back towards home in Oakland, across the water. On one of my journeys, I was watching the gulls, walking by the piers in the direction of Fisherman's Wharf, but still quite a distance away, and words began to come to me. I stopped at a grassy hill and sat down, opened my notebook, and began to write. The bright light, the view across the water, the position on the grass, and the feeling I had then is still vivid now. Somehow I knew that I had to keep writing at that moment or it would be lost. And somehow I stayed there while the words flowed, and I finished the story.
A Fish Story became my eighth artist book, letterpress printed while I was attending summer school. Hokusai's famous wave inspired the linoleum cut, and taking advantage of the folded pages for a Japanese sidebound book, I made cutouts and sandwiched colored paper between the folds to show through. For whatever reason, I could not envision a cover, so the front contains only the title.
Man. Fish. Bird. I still work with these subjects, all these years later.
A Fish Story
More book art videos at my YouTube channel, never mind.