inspiration

Larry Evans Books

I've mentioned often how the Larry Evans maze books influenced me as a kid. His first two books were  published in 1976 and 1977. I was 10-years old. The introduction said to not solve the puzzles with pen or pencil, so I was able to run the mazes over and over again. I would practice drawing my own mazes. When learning perspective, I would attempt rectangular tube mazes similar to the works in his books. Hose mazes, landscape mazes- I have been drawing mazes ever since. 

My original Evans books were lost, probably to my younger siblings. Recently, as I was finishing my first book for Chronicle, I thought it might be fun to see those early books again. Once I shipped my final work, I hit eBay to see if I could find those books from my childhood. 

eBay finds of the books I grew up with. That’s my pencil work in the background.

eBay finds of the books I grew up with. That’s my pencil work in the background.

Evans professionally made architecture renderings and most of his mazes were ruled with strong one-, two- or three-point perspective. Needles to say, it was all manual pen and ink. No computers. How badass is that?

Evans professionally made architecture renderings and most of his mazes were ruled with strong one-, two- or three-point perspective. Needles to say, it was all manual pen and ink. No computers. How badass is that?

Evans did a few landscape mazes like this one. These were a huge influence!  I have since met a collector of Larry Evans originals. He sent me some photos of the works in his collection that included pieces I've never seen.

Evans did a few landscape mazes like this one. These were a huge influence!
I have since met a collector of Larry Evans originals. He sent me some photos of the works in his collection that included pieces I've never seen.

If you want to read a cool article about Evans's publisher Troubador Press, I linked it to a post here-->

The book 3-Dimensional Mazes is also available at the Open Library —>

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

In April, I visited the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida. Winding paths through palm gardens and monumental sculptures- it’s perfect. I took many pictures... Norton’s towering Gate sculptures loom out of the foliage or are revealed around bends of the path.

This summer I made a maze based on the gardens. Here is a detail.

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You can see the full puzzle on my Twitter!

Watercolor and Ink

Still playing with ink and watercolor.

I'm really into the artists Cinta Vidal and Sadi Tekin right now. Vidal paints beautiful multi-perspective buildings and interiors. Like my cube mazes, but intimate and fully realistic. Tekin is a very clever illustrator with great line work and often gentle colors.

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So here, the maze is simple, but I wanted the paths to be on every visible side with the steps connecting them (Vidal). I also tried to use the least amount of pigment to emphasize the lines and space. (Tekin)

I quickly added the labels digitally for posting with one of my favorite photo apps, Halftone.

The Story of Troubador Press: An Interview with Malcolm Whyte

I have mentioned before how the Larry Evans 3-Dimensional maze books in the 1970's started me drawing mazes when I was a kid. Check out this great 2013 interview with his publisher, Malcom Whyte of Troubador Press. Whyte discusses Evans, the other artists he worked with, and running an indie publishing house back in the day. It is a good read.
The Story of Troubador Press: An Interview with Malcolm Whyte - 2 Warps to Neptune

Troubador building at 126 Folsom Street, San Francisco. Supergraphics painted circa 1971-1972 by Gompers Saijo. (Photo: Malcolm Whyte)

Troubador building at 126 Folsom Street, San Francisco. Supergraphics painted circa 1971-1972 by Gompers Saijo. (Photo: Malcolm Whyte)

Neat Plant

This very cool weed sprung up in the yard.  Let's take a picture for later!

"A note must be made upon the drawing of the turn-over of the leaf. The old draughtsman followed the rule in the accompanying diagram. They broke the nearer outline into two, one overlapping the other as it were, leaving a small passage between them as if the leaf were very thick. This is a very valuable convention and practically indispensable to the decorator."  Richard G. Hatton,  A Handbook of Plant and Floral Ornament  (Dover, 1960), 40. Republication of  The Craftsman's Plant-Book , 1909.   

"A note must be made upon the drawing of the turn-over of the leaf. The old draughtsman followed the rule in the accompanying diagram. They broke the nearer outline into two, one overlapping the other as it were, leaving a small passage between them as if the leaf were very thick. This is a very valuable convention and practically indispensable to the decorator."

Richard G. Hatton, A Handbook of Plant and Floral Ornament (Dover, 1960), 40. Republication of The Craftsman's Plant-Book, 1909.