Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heart grows fonder

So nothing like a swift kick in the heart! A poke in the eye....?

Art is so subjective and personal that it seems unrealistic to judge it....but the life of an exhibiting artist is just that, judgement.

The artist makes something, loves it, cries at it completion and then shows it to someone else. That person in turn either says "I love it " or " I don't get it " or simply " I don't like it".
Where does that leave the artist? Is what they just made nothing, or something no one can relate to, or simply bad. Should they believe the outside perspective or ?

Then you have the factors that are at play....Did the person really look at it? Do they not like that color today? Does it bring to mind some horrible childhood memory....or do they simply not know your name or what is involved with the process.

My rejection letter left me raw....I wanted to be juried into this group badly. I wanted to start my spread into the Los Angeles basin. Instead I was faced with the feeling that my process was not a familiar one, or a traditional one. Solar plate has only been around since the 70's and so the desire to use it as a tool for a more traditional method of printmaking was clearly a sign that the method of making solar plates was not a familiar one to the jury.
Solarplate is pretty cut throat, the exposure time is a one shot deal. I do not make test strips to check for timing, instead I take the whole enchilada out into the sun and let magic happen. I guess on exposure and timing and when I return indoors with my plate it is not until I start the water bath do I know if I made a good plate or a dud. There are no do-overs or lets just put it outside again deals. It is done and if it is bad, there went 10bucks.

In response to the letter, I went crazy (a little for real) and made three large plates on a very tricky day. It was a "peek-a-boo" sunshine day...so there was no consistent sun and I went out with a $15 "one-shot-is-all-you-get" plate.

I made three very pretty images, I think this will complete my show images for September.
I also took photos of the whole printing process for those of you who have been asking about how I make these images....nothing like a little hand of the artist...so there LAPS!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I can see what they are saying , but I mean at least spell my name right, please.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Magnolias and memories...

I just finished signing my first "large" edition for our upcoming show in September.

The print makers have each created an edition of 10 images to be boxed together and sold as a limited edition portfolio to be offered at our show. My print is called Magnolia.

I am quite happy with my image and feel much like I did after hours and days in the darkroom printing..."I need to print these again". I wanted to reprint the series again, for a third time and figured that it was time to walk away and just let them go.

The perfectionist in me constantly battles with the "let it be" free-spirit...I often find myself balancing the two gingerly.

I am also quietly reflecting on my life...it is know to many that I have walked a bit of earth looking around. Some of the places have a mighty dark past...heck, what place doesn't these days. I think it was triggered by the horrible loss of the Air France jet over the ocean. It has left me feeling everything....intensified.
I went with a group of people 17 ago, to China to study Political Science and Anthropology. One of the many places we visited after school classes were out was Tienanmen Square. We were the first group our instructors had taken back sine the "bloody crackdown". This was an emotional trip for the instructors and for many of us that had watched this all play out on TV just three years before.

Like many I wanted to take a picture of the square, it was HUGE and vast and historic.
Our trip included the government assigned Chinese minders, lovely people but watchful and curious of what we were interested in. We were monitored everywhere by them.

It became very clear, very quickly that were were not allowed to speak of what had happened.

I silently made note of the replaced tiles as I walked around in the vast square...thinking about those who had died and those who were to be forgotten.

I think is something in the universe tonight, that I find myself sitting down and signing the edition of my Magnolias (the symbol of fidelity*) on the very evening I am reflecting on my memories of Beijing on thanksgiving day 1992.
*fidelity: accuracy, truthfulness


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