Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Wise Old Owl: Process and First Proof

A lot of artists who blog tend to share photographs and explanations of their process as it goes along. Generally I have not done that with this blog, opting instead to frequently feature the works of other artists that have evoked certain thoughts and feelings or otherwise inspired me.

I break my usual habit today by featuring photos of the process I went through creating the first proof for the handmade book (which is currently still in-process) A Wise Old Owl. The reason for this exception is that I ran a fundraising campaign for Words On Woodcuts Press featuring copies of this book as a reward. Posting photos of the sketches, final drawing, carving, and first proof of the book on social media provided a means of continuous promotion including hashtags and a link to the campaign page. I'm living in an age where we artists have many methods of directly reaching out to an audience, and anyone familiar with my work and press knows that I've spent a number of years attempting to "raise my platform" using these contemporary resources (in between my teaching career and raising my kids - whew!)

Anyway, I'm glad that I've decided to share these photographs with my audience as it has compelled me to more deeply reflect on how I translate what I see (and think about my subjects) through several stages of sketching, transferring, carving, and finally printing. Viewers might notice that certain shapes in some of the animals are echoed in the plants or rocks immediately around them. I place them that way sometimes intuitively, sometimes deliberately, but the emphasis on these visual relationships doesn't really come out until the final print, and even I don't know exactly how it will appear until I pull off that first proof.

Okay, I've already written too much. I'm starting to participate in an activity I intentionally swore off years ago. Forget all these words words words. Just look at the art. See what you see.

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