19 November 2008
Edgar Meyer by Cindy Woods
About 4 years ago, when I was so sick of sitting in front of a computer I considered just giving it up, I discovered an online web site that gave me an opportunity to begin to "reinvent" myself as an illustrator and an artist, a site called Illustration Friday which offered a weekly illustration challenge. Back in the early days of that site, there were less than 100 submissions each week (now there are 700 or more) and the community that formed was very strong, friendly and intimate. One I-Friday participant whose brilliant work I noticed right away was Cindy Woods of Richmond VA, and we struck up an online relationship that has lasted to this day. Among other things I owe to Cindy, it was her insistence on the value of blogging that pushed me to start Woodblock Dreams. We've met in person on several occasions and she's as wonderful as her art.
Cindy is in hospice care now, in the final stages of a battle with cancer. A few weeks ago I received a package from her and inside I found two beautiful books, an art book of the works of Munakata Shiko and the book pictured here, Chapbooks of the Eighteenth Century. The reproduced woodcut illustrations in these chapbooks are crude but totally delightful, and I'm using them as a reference and inspiration for this new series of pilgrim prints. Once again, Cindy's kindness and generosity have sent me off on a new journey.
I wish Cindy all love surrounding her as she embarks on her own new journey.
You can see a whole lot of Cindy's work on her Flickr site.
Added 11/23/08 - Cindy passed away on 21 November, peacefully and surrounded by family and friends. She will be missed by many many people, those who lived close to her and those who knew her only from her online presence. Godspeed, Cindy.