Gordon publishes 'A Wee dod of Paint'
In 2019, Douglas Gordon was on his Art Across America trip when he saw an exhibit on art and poetry at the Museum of Encaustic Art. The exhibit featured artists who had painted pieces inspired by poetry and poets who wrote pieces inspired by works of art, and it gave him the idea for a book.
“Because the two do merge nicely,” Gordon said.
He's spent the past few months working on that idea, selecting 12 pieces of his art and then asking himself “OK, what do I see in that?” and creating poems for them.
He recently completed the book, titled “A Wee dod of Paint,” and now has it available for purchase on Amazon. He said he's also looking into publishing it on Barnes and Noble and Apple Books, for those who would prefer not to buy it on Amazon. And he's also working on an ebook. He hopes the ebook will be ready by July 13, the date of his father's birthday.
As well as being available online, Gordon said he will soon have a few copies at the Arts @317 in Shawnee, at an art show in Norman on the second Friday in July, and at an art show and book signing on the third Friday in August at the Arts @317.
As well as full-color pictures of his paintings and his poems, Gordon includes a glossary of Scottish words and other terms readers might not be familiar with. He also teased Easter eggs, with more to be added, that mention several artists with ties to Shawnee.
“In the epub, all the artists, it's sort of like an Easter egg,” he said. “I'm going to have a couple more, that's all I'm saying.”
He said his favorite part of publishing was “the creative process and learning about the possibilities,” while his least favorite was uploading the book and having to make changes to the formatting.
“I put it up the first time on June the 7th, and between June the 7th and last Tuesday, I don't know how many revisions I made, but when I finally put it up, the final version was 'A Wee Dod of Paint 42,'” he said. “Forty-two being the meaning of life from 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.'”
Friends, wife helped with book, Gordon says
He said he had some help with the book. He recruited various friends for editing. Vernon Hatley Photography helped with the cover design. Beth Benton Hatley and Daniel J. Lay each wrote a forward for the book. His wife Holly Gordon helped check his proof copy for final edits.
“She went through the proof copy to check for headlines and all the poems being the same,” he said. “Because when you write close up, sometimes you can't see that.”
He also said Darrell Carter helped him design the Frontispiece illustration for the book.
“In olden books, they used to have a Frontispiece right next to the author's name, and it might be a picture of the author or it might be a drawing of something that happened further in the book,” Gordon said. “So I just thought I'm kind of old fashioned, let's bring that back.”
He added that Carter is also designing a book plate for him, so that he can personalize it and send it to those who buy the book overseas.
Point of book 'to get my art seen in more places,' Gordon says
During an interview Thursday, Gordon said the book had sold five copies in the United Kingdom and almost 30 in the United States, adding that within the first two days of it being released, it made the top 30 of the individual artist books.
However, he said, “The whole point of the book wasn't to make money, but to get my art seen in more places and then to show other artists what can be done, where they can get together.”
He likes the idea of collaboration between artists and writers, because, he said, “not all artists can write and not all writers can create art.”
“I just encourage other writers and artists to do the same,” he said. “Collaborate.”
This isn't Gordon's first venture into writing. He worked as an advertising copywriter in Scotland, a news reporter in Canada, and has written feature pieces for newspapers in America. Though he's never published a book of poetry before, he said, he was a writer before he garnered an interest in art.
He also said this won't be his last publication.
“I've been bitten,” he said. “I've already got potential titles for my second and third book.”
He added that he's also considering teaming up with an artist he knows in Canada to do a children's book.
Gordon's website says he is a contemporary visual artist and visual storyteller who mainly creates abstracts to allow others to interpret what they see and feel when looking at his art. He works in mediums that include digital, acrylics and encaustics.
“My work is known for bright and bold colours and movement;” he said on his website, “these are inspired by my life growing up in Scotland and Canada.”
Gordon is currently living in Shawnee with his wife, Holly, who also does some painting. The two ran Studio 112 ½ on Main Street for two years, where he said he “couldn't do any of it without her.”
“A Wee dod of Paint: wi some words thrown in” by Douglas G. Gordon is available now on amazon.com.
For more information about Gordon and his work, visit douglasggordon.com