24" x 24" (image), 30" x 34" (paper)
Watercolors on Stonehenge paper
The block used for this print is a piece of pressure treated pine plywood I picked up at Home Depot. I chose it for the wonderfully bold pattern of grain, and did my drawing in response to it, and so I was thrilled when the grain appeared so boldly in the printing process. This beast took over two hours and a heck of a lot of paint to print just once, so it's a lot like painting.
I had been meaning to do a colorful white line woodcut of an ammonite fossil ever since I made a little 4" x 4" white line sketch of a colorful spiral back in September. I'm rather satisfied with these results, and look forward to doing another large white line woodcut on this type of block again soon.
Fossils are a source of endless fascination. And why wouldn't they be? They are traces of the past, embedded in stone. I can't get over the fact that these animals died out millions of years ago, yet I have the fossilized remains of one sitting on my desk and have seen countless more in museums and in photographs online.
A paleontologist carefully scrapes away rock to uncover impressions of the dead, while I carefully carve into a once-living tree to create an image inspired by that ancient past. The grain - the evidence of a tree's seasons - needed to be visible, embedded as saturated striations across the surface of this image. In this language I will write my love letters to the shadows of corpses. These stripes are lightening bolts I will harness to enliven its remains.
Even if only in a window on a page.