Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Assiniboine River Trail



The Assiniboine River Trail is my most recent copper etching printed in the fall of 2009. I'm still finishing part of the edition of 20 up with the embossing and the hand colouring. This etching is part of several prints that explore narratives of Winnipeg. It is the largest plate I have worked with so far (55cm x 85cm). I considered making the image smaller at some point, but I just couldn't fit everything I wanted to tell into a smaller format and it was definitely a new challenge working in this size. Another new thing I tried with this print is the blind embossment that gives me the raised snow structures in the paper. I carved the tracks in the snow into a linoleum plate and ran the dampened print through the press again once the etching was dry. I'm very pleased how the embossment breakes up the white surfaces.

My first children's book

As many of you know, I published my first children's book A Frozen Dream last fall. It is only a small book, but it's a beginning. In a way it was really exciting and in a way it wasn't quite what I had hoped for. I went the route of the so called joint-venture publishing, which boils down to something very similar to self-publishing and I never want to go there again. Oh well, it was definitely a learning experience. However, dispite many frustrations I still like the story and the illustrations.




How did that story come into being? Well, I don't quite remember why I chose to make this story into a children's book -- perhaps because a good story deserves to become a book -- it must have sprung from one of those inspirational moments where you can't tell later where exactly it came from. Anyways, it happened to be me who had a brilliant idea during my first year in the School of Art. As an assignment I was supposed to make a three dimensional piece, install it in a public space, document it for a week -- people's responses, possible changes, damage, decay -- and hand in the documentation. Well, my brilliant idea didn't work out (my dream wouldn't freeze due to nice weather in Winnipeg!) and as a last frustrated resort I ended up documenting my failed idea in a giant oversized picture book. And with that first book that I thoroughly enjoyed writing and illustrating awakened the dream of some day becoming a children's book author. And I'm still dreaming.
Why I chose to illustrate the book in a style that is clearly inspired by Miro, I don't remember anymore. I think at that time (I was still in first year art school!!!) I felt more comfortable borrowing styles from other artists. I don't think I had a personal style yet. I loved Miro's work and it worked for my story with it's simplified shapes of story elements and it's symbolic abstractions, such as the red circle representing the flower and the dream. When things don't work out so well, the flower/dream is on its side or empty of colour. I pay tribute to Miro by calling the protagonist Mirco. Even though it might not be a master piece, I'm glad my book does not just sit in my closet any longer. I hope you get a chance to read it some day.

Here is the press release for my book:
Sure to inspire many children this coming winter season, A Frozen Dream, written and illustrated by Miriam Rudolph, is a uniquely crafted story about a little boy named Mirco and his brilliant idea.

Little Mirco is sitting in his room, bored, as he waits for the freezing weather to warm up enough so he can go play outside. As the icy cold persists, he suddenly gets the inspiration to freeze a dream!

Little Mirco’s friends are curious as they watch him quickly gather supplies to put his clever idea into action. Find out how Mirco plans to escape his wintry boredom in this original winter blues buster.

This wonderful story of a little boy’s astonishing imagination is sure to warm the hearts of children around the world.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dear Friends,

I finally got my first blog. I'm still struggling with keeping my website up to date at all times, and I think this blog will be a more immediate way to share updates with you about new work, possible shows, publications and descriptions about my work in progress. To see all my art work you can always go back to my website: www.miriamrudolph.com. If you're interested in staying up to date with what I do, please subscribe to this blog or make sure you check it out from time to time.
I'm looking forward to staying in close touch with you.

Miriam