I got the news recently that my art was included in Issue 28 of UPPERCASE Magazine! I’ve been excitedly checking my mailbox for the last 10 days. Yesterday, I peered into the box and it was finally there.
“Boston Hybrid” (above) joins Boston’s historic Longfellow Bridge to the city’s newer, modern Zakim Bridge. They meet in the middle in an imaginary scene along the Charles River.
Why? Let’s rewind to October 2015. I had volunteered to be part of a Reader Connection experiment that would randomly pair me with another UPPERCASE reader. It turned out that the person I was paired with is also an artist. That wasn’t too surprising, considering that the magazine is “for the creative and curious.”
My fellow reader’s name is Penelope Harris and she lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Via some email exchanges, we learned we share a fondness for bridges. We both live in cities with many bridges, and we shared a similar recent experience connected to the Millennium Bridge in London.
In the course of contemplating metaphoric ideas about bridges and connections, Penelope suggested we each create a piece of art linking two bridges in our own cities. One older, one newer. They would connect in the middle.
The project gave me the opportunity to use some of the rubber stamps I’ve been carving throughout the year. Using stamped images of rowhouses, a photographed piece of carved rubber, a digital finger painting, and a digital pen drawing, I made the mixed media image you see above.
I worked on a very tiny scale with the drawing of the bridges. I have to add that even though I loved the idea for the project we agreed upon, in reality I found it extremely difficult to fit the horizontal bridges into the vertically-oriented halves of the required 6″square format. For a while there, I wasn’t sure I could make it work. I think Penelope managed this problem well in her own piece by bending the perspective.
In the end, I really liked my quirky final piece and was so glad I had worked through my frustration.
Here’s what our page (55) looks like. Mine is on the left, Penelope’s is on the right:
There were a few other fun connections related to this issue of the magazine. My longtime artist pal Elizabeth Vitale (elizabethvitaledesign.com) was also published in this same issue! Liz lives in South Florida, and when I lived there many years ago we used to get together for art making. We also took a lot of walks together. I fondly remember the time Liz dragged a huge dead tree limb home that she had spotted out on a walk. It sat in her living room as a model for one of her drawings. I also remember the time she was working on a drawing of lobster shells. She would keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer in between drawing sessions, but after a while we joked about how smelly they were getting. She was dedicated to the cause! And she made some fantastic drawings.
Lastly, I was surprised to notice that the cover of Issue 28 features 8 vintage Milwaukee bus tickets. Milwaukee is where I was born and lived the first 19 years of my life. All around, this experience being published in UPPERCASE was an encounter with all kinds of fun connections.
Have a wonderful week!