Dirk Hagner, “To Paint the Portrait of a Bird”

Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, CA

To Paint the Portrait of a Bird
12 x 20 x 1.5″

Artist Statement

Because I arrived at making books from being a printmaker I find myself to be a book artist rather than a book binder.

As an artist I have chosen printmaking as my medium. I get excited about ink and paper. The textures, the subtle build-up of sheen in successive ink layers, the gentle dimensionality impressions leave on the sheet, the feel of the printing blocks, the sounds and scents—it’s the whole mix. It is seductive, challenging, often surprising, and always exhilarating.

Printmaking and book arts share the same birth mother. Artists books can beautifully showcase a suite of prints; types enrich the work graphically. Sometimes the work is type driven, which I often think of as mark-making. Books substantially aid me as printmaker, provide context, impart rhythm and a pulse, and provide a tangible dimensionality not commonly found in printmaking alone.

In employing traditional and exploring new methods of image and book making the results connect us to our past and keep it relevant. It allows us to speak with a contemporary voice grounded in the human experience.

This Project

This book is the book art interpretation of Jacques Prevért’s poem “To Paint the Portrait of a Bird.”