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See What I'm Saying? by Jim Westergard  

In See What I’m Saying? wood engraver Jim Westergard puts his artistic talents—and his wicked sense of humour—into play with equal effect, offering a series of visual interpretations of some of the more quirky words and phrases that pepper the English language.


Human beings rarely say exactly what they mean. The English language has evolved to embrace a dizzying array of linguistic tools that invite playful minds to introduce ambiguity and innuendo—and hilarity—into common parlance. In See What I’m Saying? Jim Westergard does just that, illustrating idioms with a series of exquisitely detailed engravings. Through these images, Westergard will insist you ‘keep an open mind’ and admonish you not to ‘turn a blind eye’ to the origin and evolution of colloquialisms. His visual interpretations are truly as ‘rare as hens’ teeth’, as he might suggest himself—or he’ll be ‘a monkey’s uncle’.


2019—ForeWord Indies Book Award,


2019—eLit Awards,

Excerpt from book



A person who is called ‘pig-headed’ is stubborn and contrary, doesn’t co-operate, is inflexible and won’t listen to reason. A bull-headed person and a pig-headed person, together, would make for a very entertaining barnyard.


Jim Westergard was born in Ogden, Utah in 1939. He was educated at a variety of colleges and universities in California, Arizona and Utah where he completed his BFA and MFA at Utah State. Westergard taught at Metropolitan State College and Northern Illinois University before moving to Alberta in 1975, where he taught at Red Deer College until his retirement in 1999. He became a Canadian citizen in 1980.

Jim Westergard has been creating prints from wood engravings since university days in the late 60s, but had never completed a book-length collection until the original limited letterpress edition of Mother Goose Eggs. The first engraving for this project was finished in 1999. Then, after a four-year struggle which included an unexpected hernia operation and reprinting the press-sheets a second time with helpful hints from Crispin Elsted of the Barbarian Press (Mission, BC), Mother Goose Eggs was finally bound and released in a deluxe edition of eighty copies in 2003.

Westergard continues to create wood engravings on his cantankerous old VanderCook SP-15 proof press which he has affectionately named the ’Spanish Fly’. His recent titles include Oddballs (Porcupine’s Quill, 2015) and See What I’m Saying? (Porcupine’s Quill, 2018).

For more information please visit the Author’s website »

The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.

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ART / Canadian

ART / Techniques / Printmaking

ISBN-13: 9780889844124

Publication Date: 2018-09-25

Dimensions: 8.75 in x 5.56 in

Pages: 114

Price: $18.95