Monday, April 2, 2012

Robert Frost and John Steinbeck

In the search for subjects to explore in this graphic style I've been developing, I decided on two of my favorite writers, poet Robert Frost and prose author John Steinbeck. I'm deciding on a third, in order to make it a trifecta. Odd numbers are more interesting than even ones, much like people.

Frost used New England as a subject for much of his work. Although I have spent little time in New England, especially in the winter (anywhere lakes freeze over so hard one can drive a car on them is going to be too cold for me), it holds such an iconic place in American culture it seems to belong to all of us, regardless of our geographic origins or preferences. I do enjoy the rare snowfalls we get in Texas, so his invocations of snow resonate with me. I used the snowflake motif as an overall pattern that disappears into and re-emerges out of his dignified white hair.

Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath also resonates, if not with me on a personal experience level, certainly with the current economic and political environment. These days we don't have Nature going after us, in the form of massive dust storms, on top of ill-advised policy repercussions, but the story of institutions giving more value to profit than people and the animosity in some sectors toward organized labor seems very familiar.
The background suggests the tone and color of dust and the oppressive conditions of the Great Depression.

Click on these images to see them larger.

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