Artist Statement: The Quaint Cottages of Silver Lake

By Esther Frank-Doyle and James Reynolds
Pen and ink / Digital illustration

The concept of “Quaint Cottages” is inspired partially by the turn of the century mapmaker Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler. Thaddeus, who was most famous for his birds eye view maps of Upstate New York, often included small vignettes and sketches of monuments and import buildings as they existed at that moment. These sketches into the past can give us insight years later into what many of our slowly growing rural downtowns looked and felt like in their heyday. They show large billowing awnings shading overflowing storefronts full of posh tomato squeezing victorians on holiday. They show the crooked clapboard siding and faded old shutters you’ve been meaning to replace for ages. As someone who appreciates historical pen and ink illustrations, these maps are a treasure trove of trivial anthropological information and technical illustration skill. This idea of taking a snapshot of history, and creating something artistic through the process really appealed to me - so I looked for a collaborator.

Esther Frank-Doyle is a local graphic designer that has provided her design and illustration skills to organizations and events around Perry and beyond. After seeing her work, I had been looking for any reason to collaborate with her on something as I felt our styles were complimentary. After a brief meeting, we agreed to scout Silver Lake for any cottages that really stuck out to us in some artistic or interesting way. These cute lakeside homes were then developed into illustrations, 12 of which were used to make the poster and art currently on display at the Silver Lake Brewing Project.

When we were finished, the timing was perfect to team up with the Perry Public Beach project to use our work as fundraising material. If you feel left out and think your cottage is quaint enough to be illustrated - with the right donation to the Public Beach Fund we can make these wild dreams a reality.

—James Reynolds

>> Browse the work online
>> View at the Hole in the Wall Restaurant

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