15 February 2006

12 Petals


Today I added the petals. Finally there's a reason for these little birds to be hanging around that old knot - maybe something sweet is in there.

Getting these close colors to be different enough to be distinguishable has been challenging. I feel like I won't know if the color balance is right until I add the final birds block, because the colors change relative to one another every time I add a new layer.

Lately I've been thinking about concept and not-concept in art. I've been watching Marissa Lee's printing blog and have been amazed at how differently we're approaching the same craft. Marissa's prints are lovely and I admire how abstract, spontaneous and experimental they are. She says that her most successful prints are ones that she doesn't think about too much beforehand. My work, on the other hand, is almost the opposite.

This morning I had a conversation with an illustration client that helped me understand why I approach woodblock the way I do. The client and I were discussing a sketch I had sent for an article about end-of-life decision making and we were going back and forth about whether the central figure should be looking straight ahead as I had drawn it or looking downward. I realized that for 20 years I've been having conversations like this with clients, and I've learned that I need to be able to explain and defend every gesture, every color choice, every element of a drawing. I don't know if this is an obstacle or an asset, but I can't fathom how to make an image without being that deliberate. Maybe watching Marissa's blog will give me a hint.


Anonymous said...

It is not the knot
But the birds that flutter by it
That draws me closer

Beautiful Work,

Annie B said...

Yes. Visual haiku is where I want to go. Thank you for your poem.

Kathy Kroll said...

I love it. This has turned into a mandala. I'm almost wondering if you need to print the birds. Their outlines make them appear ethereal. Sorry, this is your art!!!!

Mike Lyon said...

Better and better -- you're actually in CONTROL this time, it appears! Good job!

-- Mike

Ellen Shipley said...

Gosh I was thinking the same thing about not printing the birds. I'm sure you're happy to hear how you should do your art. ;->

I'm more like Marissa -- spontaneous. I admire people who plan out every aspect. Even when I think I'm planning it all out I inevitably change something along the way. Just can't help myself I guess. ;- j

Jenn Worsley said...

Very interesting, what you say about defending decisions as an illustrator. I think this is a really valuable frame of mind for art, actually--one that is neglected nowadays!

Very nice print!