Pasadena, Maryland: 2009. Unique artist's book on Arches text wove paper, signed by the artist and dated on the colophon page. Page size: 12-7/8 x 10 inches; 16pp. plus front and back paste downs. Bound by the artist in 1/4 black Hollander's imitation leather with brown cloth over Davey board: hand sewn simplified structure with sewing visible on smooth imitation leather spine, front panel with small original collage on front panel, housed in custom-made box of matching brown cloth which is decorated with small square fabric onlays in various shades of green, gold and tan, spine of Hollanders brown imitation leather spine. Hand-painted and hand lettered by the artist, Elizabeth McKee , the images are accomplished in gesso, Dr. Martin's Tech ink, iridescent pastel, and collage. The Oliver text is written with white gouache and a pointed pen, the Finnigan text with a pointed brush and sumi. Both texts appear on almost every page, furling and unfurling against a painted background of lovely pinks, greens, yellows and blacks, each page spread full of motion rolling forward and backward. The reader / viewer is swept up in the images and texts of the sea - along with the creatures that dwell therein. The artist states that the two center sheets of this book were painted in a Judy Melvin workshop in 2008. The other sheets were painted as the book developed. They include snippets of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem, "I Am Waiting" - illegibly carved into the gesso throughout the book with the title Rebirth of Wonder taken from its refrain, "I am waiting for the rebirth of wonder". The intricate shell formation of the Knobbed whelk, together with the egg strings that the female whelk produces twice a year, are the inspiration for the images - as they are for Mary Oliver's poem.
Elizabeth McKee has studied and taught calligraphy since 1971, here in the united States and in Canada, Japan , Bangladesh , Japan, Kenya, Uganda and Russia . Her work is in the collections of the late Queen Mother, the City of Ottawa , The National Museum of Women in the Arts as well as private collections around the world. Item #10476