15 February 2006
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.