Am I making this up as I go along? Well, sort of. Although each panel design has been laid out on paper in advance, they’re all works in progress until I set them in type. Even then, I may reprint it if I don’t like it enough.
Since I’ve completed two panels, I should probably discuss the field backgrounds a bit.
Each one of the panels is based on a specific part of the four-part poem, and each panel’s background field uses design elements to reflect themes from that part of the poem. As an example, the recurring theme for Panel 1 (shown above) is “Four (gray*) walls, and four (gray*) towers, overlook a space of flowers.” It’s easy to find several instances of the “four towers” surrounded as they are by what are commonly referred to as Fleurons (aka “printer’s flowers”).
*As I’ve previously mentioned, I first printed the panel with a gray background – and found it too monochromatic. I then reprinted it with a green field to suggest the “Long fields of barley and of rye.”
Panel 2 is intended to evoke a blue mirror, referencing the line “And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue.” You will also notice that some elements carry over from panel to panel, which is a function of both design and intent.
Please check back for the final two panels and how I finally arrange them on a wall – right now, that is very much a work in progress.