19 November 2008

Cindy Woods

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.


Beth Z said...

How brave she is to sketch everything. I can't say I had her strength to do that when I cared for my dad. So much pain, so personal. I'm grateful for you that she has been such a good friend to encourage you to keep on and be strong, sustain the strength to produce and work and not give up.

Thanks for the post.

mizu designs said...

Thanks for the link about Cindy's work. I have that very same Munakata Shiko book and it's very precious to me. I agree with you that IF is a wonderful community and a great weekly event. Isn't it wonderful who we can find online these days?

Woodward Design said...

I am so sad to hear that Cindy is in hospice care now. I have always admired her work... whether it be her solutions for IF words or her life sketches. Thank you for sharing...

- amanda woodward

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Oh, sigh.....all possible blessings and wishes for a clear and easy passing. I sat with my mother last year, 'round this time.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Thanks for this post Annie.... she is an amazing woman. I wish she could feel the whole online community holding her close. Our collective sadness, helplessness and unheard wishing is a virtual tidal wave of warmth aimed in her direction.

Annie B said...

Cindy was indeed a brave artist/sketcher. Amanda W, nice to hear your voice. I remember your work from those early I-Friday days as well. Diana, I'm sorry about your mother. My father also passed around the winter holiday season, so this time of year carries that tinge of sadness for me. Belinda, it sounds like that "tidal wave of warmth" being sent Cindy's way really did circle back around to her. I want to believe that. And I do.

Ronda said...

Thanks so much for your kind post. I know that Cindy greatly admired your work and found you a delightful person.
All my best to your readers who have commented and to everyone out there who are part of that tidal wave. I can assure you that Cindy felt it!

Steve Emery said...

Oh my. I have visited "Learning Daily" and learned myself from Cindy's drawing. I've prayed for her in her struggle with cancer, which I sensed (without real information) was not going in Cindy's favor. What a brave and astonishingly beautiful human being - we were all blessed that she shared her thoughts and her vision with us on-line. Before blogging, I doubt I would have had an opportunity to know her.

Thanks for posting this tribute.