Backroads Journal

Wandering into 2012

One more year is past and we are well into 2012.  Looking back on last year I am overwhelmed by the incredible experiences I was able to enjoy.  I set out in January of 2011 with a goal of publishing a book that put into words and images my life-long love of wandering the Flint Hills.  That goal was accomplished in late October and the last three months have been a whirlwind of book signings, marketing calls and filling orders.  The sales have gone well and I have been surprised by the number of people who have told me how much they enjoyed reading my book.  For me the book was a labor of love and a personal statement from the heart, but it seems that there are many others who have the same feelings as I do. The notes and comments I have received make the efforts so worthwhile.  When I began the project, I envisioned a book that would appeal to those who know and love the Flint Hills.  I have been surprised and pleased at the number of people who have expressed a new interest in discovering the Flint Hills for themselves on the backroads.  

Now, here I am sitting at the computer screen wondering what 2012 has in store.  Where will this printmaking journey I have been on for 5 years take me this year?  What I truly enjoy about my chosen pastime is that I never know where it will lead me.  It seems that each year there is a new challenge or a new process to work out.  The past year brought some incredible new experiences as we ventured into relief prints, the realm of publishing and book signing events.  The year before last I was experimenting in solarplate printmaking.  Before that I was learning the art of copperplate etching and trying my luck at some major out-of-state art fairs.  This past year we stayed close to home doing Kansas art fairs and showings, but through the pages of my book we have been able to reach an ever widening circle of friends.

So, what is beyond the next bend in the road?  Do you ever really know where the road is heading?  My intention and my goal is to follow up the Flint Hills book with a companion book and prints extolling the beauty and experiences to be found on the rest of the Kansas backroads.  We will be heading out to the four corners of the state to find what makes natural Kansas unique.  Along the way, we will be expanding the number of outlets for the Backroads Press products and trying some new, as well as some tried and true, art festivals.  We are bringing out a line of notecards based on the art of the book pages and looking at some lower price-point Giclee prints.  I hope to expand the number of events we attend, whether it be art fairs, book signings or travel talks, but I am always looking around the bend for those new opportunities.


I hope to do a better job of adding journal entries on the web site and writing about the interesting and scenic places we find on our wanderings.  This is planned to be a year of Kansas discovery. Maybe we will see you out on the road somewhere. 


May your all of your journeys this year be happy and enlightening. 
Stephen Perry
Backroads Press