Stephen Alcorn

JANUARY 15, 2010

  I’ve had the pleasure of being directed to a recent website feature on my good friend, brilliant artist and illustrator, gentle and cultured soul, musician and songwriter, political activist, author and fellow upstater, Stephen Alcorn.  The article/interview is a very generous opportunity for Stephen to stretch out and talk about his life and work, and display a full course sampling of his enormous career output. 


  I’ve found in the past year that my body craves more sleep than I would have ever predicted.  Stephen is one of those people who I suspect never sleeps, or if he does, it’s not for long.  He’s quite intense and obsessive in his work discipline, and as he states in his interview, and as I have found from personal dealings, is his own harshest critic.  Whenever the burdens of deadlines and being creative get too much for me I think of someone like Stephen to make me feel like I'm a slacker and not doing enough.  It's a good kick in the ass.


  What I also like about Stephen is that he’s a true believer- by that I mean he truly believes in the basic goodness of humanity, and sees the work he does as a reflection, and commentary, on that basic goodness.  He’s remarkably old-fashioned, still happily married to his sweetheart, fellow artist, Sabina, from his youthful, Tuscany days, has two great daughters who are making their own marks in the world, and lives in a beautiful 19th Century house with a great studio/barn in the backyard.  He’s enjoyed a long career doing classic woodblock printing, and painting.  His work is published internationally, and his credits are too many to catalogue here.  The great Patti Smith has used his engravings as backdrops in recent European tours.


  His studio in Cambridge, NY, was definitely a huge inspiration to me for what I had in mind as a workspace in the period of time Terri and I were still looking for a change of location from Jersey to upstate New York.  There’s nothing like utilizing an old, structurally sound, barn for a studio.  


  Enjoy the link to the article.  If you are familiar with his work, it’s a great read.  If you are unfamiliar, well, get familiar.  http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1870

Bob Marley from the Modern Music Master series.
Muddy Waters. This along with the print of Mississippi John Hurt adorn our living room.
Mississippi John Hurt. Along with Muddy part of the Modern Music Masters series.
The Painted Bird
The Happy Reaper
Heeding Stephen Kroninger's commentary I have added to the selection. Thanks.
Frederick Douglas
"Slave Ship"
"Cruel Pursuit"
Lion from "Bestiary"
Turtle from "Bestiary"
Larry Campbell, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire.
Reacquainting myself lately with one of my first literary favorites, Hermann Hesse and listening to an audiobook (unabridged) of DEMIAN. Stephen's insightful portrait captures very well that lyricism.