Thursday, September 30, 2010

spill in the gulf region

In 1956, Flora mocked up a proposed illustrated series about his fascination with Mexico. The storyboard, entitled Footloose in Mexico, consisted of vignettes drawn from his residency and travels south of the border. On the back of the heavy artist's board draft was handwritten, "Sketches for a magazine that never got off the ground." The identity of the failed periodical is unknown. No descriptive copy was included, just dummy lines for text placement; hence, the significance of figures such as the above are left to the imagination.

The images have never before been published or circulated. We'll post more details of the draft work in the future

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

sittin' (& hangin' & swingin') in a tree

Untitled, incomplete tempera and pencil drawing, ca. 1950, found in a sketchbook from Flora's Mexican period (1950-51). The ghostly shadows in the periphery reflect bleedthrough from an image on the reverse side of the page. No finished or refined version of this work has been found.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mount Adams ascension

Mount Adams ascension, one of a series of woodcut prints the young Flora rendered for the Union Central Life Insurance Company of Cincinnati's August 1941 publication, Life Association News. The images accompanied an article entitled "Where to go ... What to do ... While you're in Cincinnati." These woodcuts have not been republished since their first appearance seven decades ago. The location of the original wood blocks is unknown.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

night-sky moonswinger

With the anticipated October reprint (by Enchanted Lion) of Flora's 1957 kiddie book The Day the Cow Sneezed, we're focusing on the re-emergence of the Flora children's market. We're planning an open edition (low-cost) fine art print of Cow's playful cover, and we're proofing the above image for a planned bedroom-suitable print. The overalls-clad night-sky moonswinger appears on the back cover of Flora's 1972 Atheneum-published book, Pishtosh Bullwash & Wimple. When the proof proves proven, we'll announce the print's release. The book is not currently scheduled to be reprinted, but Enchanted Lion hopes for a long-term reprint schedule covering the entire Flora catalog.

Last year we issued a limited edition fine art print called Ferris Wheel Fireworks, depicting a spectacular two-page spread from The Day the Cow Sneezed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flora Mambo font

New from P22 Type Foundry:

Based on playful hand-lettering from the 1955 Jim Flora Mambo For Cats RCA Victor album cover, the set includes "Flornaments," consisting of 72 miniature figure icons (dingbats) from Flora artworks. Samples:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

pink & black cats

untitled tempera & pencil on paper
found in early 1960s-era sketchbook

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Henry Ford in Cetara

Henry Ford in Cetara, rough pencil drawing found in 1991 sketchpad. Cetara is in Italy. There's no refined sketches and no indication the sketch was developed into a finished work.

Flora traveled widely and artfully chronicled his globetrotting. This sketchbook contains no other images of Italy, but does contain a letter handwritten in a Mexican hospital while Flora was being treated for "over medication and loss of blood." On the preceding page was a journal entry titled "A Bum Week in Guadalajara."

The faint lines in the background are from a drawing on the reverse side of the paper.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yee-Haw Industries studio tour

We're honored to have worked with the fine folks at Yee-Haw Industrial Letterpress, producing Flora limited edition woodcut prints (including the 1951 tour de force Railroad Town and the 1957 LP-sized Jugglers) and letterpress notecards and calendars.

Printmaker Brian Baker with Jugglers edition print (left) and vintage block (right)

Co-proprietors Julie Belcher and Kevin Bradley, along with the Yee-Haw staff, are committed professionals and we consider them friends. We're working with Yee-Haw on new projects, including a 2011 letterpress calendar based on a 1954 Flora woodcut entitled Sheffield Island, and more woodcut limited edition prints.

David Trawin of writes:
Last year I had the chance to check out the Yee-Haw Industries studio space/storefront in Knoxville. They were generous enough to give me the grand tour. Take a look.
Flor-riffic details:
Yee-Haw was fortunate to work with the estate of Jim Flora to print original block carvings made by the legendary artist. [ed.: below, Serenade, 1947; only proofs currently available]
[Kevin Bradley] showing drawers full of Jim Flora samples:
N.B. The above giclée proofs were produced by printmaker and Flora co-archivist Barbara Economon of for planned fine art prints.