Site Notes

This website is designed to be manually operated, using the arrow links on each page. It's an experimental (or perhaps quaint) conception meant to encourage the art of doing one thing at a time. The internet is an amazing development in human history. Earlier media evolved slowly over many centuries. Books have covers, title pages, tables of contents, chapter headings, even an order and direction in which the text is read; all of which were worked out by experimentation and gradual consensus. The internet is going through just such a process, but at a greatly accelerated rate. There is much to learn from the graphic forms we have inherited. Many web pages are a bewildering tangle of competing images, advertisements, and mystery-meat links; and coherent sequencing has not always been an obvious priority. All of us are shaping the internet with daily usage; we have an opportunity to infuse it with clarity and elegance.

frothy creek water

This site makes deliberate use of typographic conventions and navigation links that resemble the sequence of a book. Both the content and the presentation are a mix of media representing several centuries: the typefaces on each page developed from medieval handwritten letters, the materials of contemporary watercolor (including the paper) share a similar heritage. Acrylic paint is a twentieth century invention. The web pages themselves are structured using HTML (HyperText Markup Language!) and all of the photographs are digital images. The main focus of what is being presented is painting, an activity perhaps better suited to the nineteenth century.

Looking at paintings on a website may actually not work; speed and impatience seem to be built into the web, or at least how we have come to use it. I've noticed in visiting many artists' websites that if the navigation is too convenient, I'm inclined to flip through dozens of images – possibly years of work – in seconds without taking the time to really look at any of them. The contemporary artist David Hockney has commented on how time is embedded in a painting: it takes time to do a painting, so it takes time to see a painting.

The term "sauntering" comes to mind. A friend once told me that an earlier meaning of the word referred to the pace at which one walked while on religious pilgrimage. Think of this as a website for sauntering, an experiment to see if the internet can accomodate stillness as easily as it accommodates speed. This approach is not meant to discard the remarkable potential of the web for displaying many kinds of information simultaneously, it's an attempt to avoid the numbing, multi-tasking overload that can make us all so crabby.

So for this site I recommend using the arrow links at either end of the image captions, which are more conventionally book-like. The Portfolio link at the top toolbar of each page will link you to something like a table of contents for all the work on the site. Each section begins with an information page; you can skip the reading and go directly to the images using the link at either the top or the bottom of each information page. You can jump to another section at any time using the Portfolio link. All links are the color of robin's eggs. One last thing: like many sites, this one will look better if you minimize the toolbar in your browser window. Some browsers have a button for this in the upper right corner. If not, you can go to View in the browser's main toolbar.