Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Ready To Go" by John Tate

Image posted with the permission of the artist. More of John Tate's photo-realistic, black and white woodcuts can be viewed and purchased on his Etsy Store. 

I wrote two short poems in response to this one:

Dense, metal bodies
Leaning against the climate
Still, yet, poised to fly


We are all made of atoms, and
All atoms made of particles
Said to be elementary.
Sometimes when I look at things like
The skyline of my city at dusk, the
Shape of my daughter's foot, or
A really, good beef stew,
I want to worship those particles.
I want to line them all up in a row, and
Follow that path just over the blackened horizon.

Addendum: When I contacted John Tate to get permission to post the image on this blog, he also gave this explanation of his unique process:

Years ago, when I was doing my graduate work, a printmaking professor of mine referred to what I do as "digital woodcut". 

The process involves taking a photograph of something or bringing a montage (I used to do woodland creatures) into Photoshop and rendering the image in Black and White, then bumping up the contrast, then cross-hatching it. The next step is transferring the image to the woodblock. I then use a dremel tool with a cut-off wheel to make anywhere from 10,000 to sometimes as many as 40,000 cuts. The block is then sealed and printed.
I found it's the only way to get the kind of detail I wanted out of wood. They are best viewed, like an Impressionist Painting, at about ten feet away. They almost look photographic at this distance.

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