Monday, May 11, 2009

The stable at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora, NY drew me in from the first time I saw it. Two ancient trees, innocently planted generations ago alongside the barn, have grown ro rhw point that the stable has buckled in the middle, causing the clapboards to unseat and the window lines to follow the curvature of the earth forced up by the roots below.

I love that my print reminds me a little of the warped lines of Charles Burchfield's watercolors, that it exaggerrates the buckling in the wall. Originally I was upset that the print seemed darker than the photograph, the trees in particular. But two years later -- and seeing it side by side with the photograph, I like the mood it invokes.

It also echoes what has long been my philosophy: Tenacious as we may be, intelligent as we think we are, nature ALWAYS wins.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The First Official NCP Card

Although NCP has existed for more than two years, it wasn't until this year that the first official NCP design went to press. This Valentine's day card, designed for my wife, features a teakettle with two teabags, the labels being hearts. As a production card, the words "Tea for two" will be printed on the front, with "Let's Steam Things Up" on the inside.

All designs begin their lives as hand-printed woodcuts, sold as limited edition fine prints. The production cards will then be used to make screens and will be screenprinted on quality card stock using non-toxic inks. Cards are expected to retail at $2.90 ea.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Buffalo Collection

In 1998, my wife and I packed up all of our posessions (and the cat) and moved to San Diego, CA without ever having been there. It's a long story, (one I plan to tell in my long awaited memoir "What the $%#@ Are We Doing? AAAARRRRGGGHHH!", coming out soon from Masochistic Moron Press). Two weeks later we returned -- homeless, jobless, penniless...joyless, clueless, hpeless...a whole lot of lesses, and lessons.

But on returning, as I mounted the skyway on a trip to see my grandmother in the Elmwood Village, I made a vow to myself that I would never let Buffalo push me away again. Rather, I would dig in and make this city, warts and all, mine.
Ah, youth. That was over a decade ago and, frankly, I've been a little slow with the revolution. Of course, in those days I saw myself as a future novelist. It would be four years before I began a new tangent with printmaking. I've been a lot more successful with the printmaking.
But, despite it's faults, I'll always be committed to Buffalo, particularly it's architecture and design (yeah, yeah, the people are great, blah blah). So here are a few prints of local flavor.
#1 Here is "Buffalo Breeze," a print I designed for my friend Jim Tamol, former Blasdell resident gone all Floridian, to celebrate the purchase of a new sailboat. Unfortunately, I can never remember his address, and though I have had a copy all wrapped and ready to mail to him for three years, this is the first time he's ever seen it. So there it is, Jimmy! Pick it up on your next pass thru town!
#2, of course, is Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House, which is finally reopened for tourism.

Tribute to Kalie, Our Founder

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge our friend, Kalie, who was not only our belove pet (read: Family Member), but also the inspiration for the name of our little company. We lost Kalie to cancer in March 2007 after nearly twelve years of joy and fun. She is deeply missed, but we try to keep her spirit alive here in the NCP offices by following her example of Moderation, tenacity, independence, creativity -- and plenty of naps. We love you, Kalie Belle!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Behind The Scenes

On January 3, 2007, Napping Cat Press was officially born In Buffalo, NY. In the spring of the same year, went online, featuring a full display of woodcut prints created between February 2002 and early 2007, a five year body of work that had netted several awards.

However, Napping Cat Press itself was created with the sole intent of turning art into commodity, the commodity being original, hand-printed greeting cards. The journey has been long, the obstacles at times seemingly insurmountable. But now, nearly two and a half years after the concept struck me in the middle of the night, Napping Cat Press is approaching the unvailing of a new generation of stationery gifting.

Yes, "Stationery Gifting". Copyright 2009, Jeff Dean. All Rights Reserved. (Aww, but you can use it.)

So, as we approach the culmination of more than two years of designing and planning, hemming and hawing, you are cordially invited to check in to this blog to get behind-the scenes of the designs, inspirations and work that is driving Napping Cat Press.