Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Notan Press

Notan Press was started in 1988 to publish my limited edition artist books. I find that life presents a series of lessons and one of the things I learned was that I do not like making multiples. For me the pleasure is in the initial creation and exploration. After years of limited activity, Notan Press starts a new life in the virtual world. Inspired by the the possibilities of the web for sharing knowledge and creativity, I am offering selections of my work, both old and new, for free.

The name, Notan Press, is taken from the Japanese design principle based on the interaction of dark (no) and light (tan). When I first encountered the concept in a design class with Brenda Lowen-Siegel at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, I was intrigued. My appreciation deepened when I took a weekend workshop with artist/calligrapher Jenny Hunter Groat. For Jenny, notan extended beyond the page and into life. From her experience with Zen Buddhism and Jungian analysis, she saw notan as more than a design principle; it spoke to her of the importance of acknowledging and balancing light and dark, positive and negative, in all aspects of life. The workshop with Jenny occurred in the year that had brought the death of my mother and the birth of my first child. Her ideas touched me deeply and I, too, came to embrace this view.

A calligraphic interpretation of the connection between lettering and Jenny's thoughts on notan is available as a pdf.

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