26 July 2008
Cast of Characters #3- Border Patrol (reduction)
In my research for this print I was surprised to find out that the first patrols along the U.S./Mexico border in the early 1900s began largely in an effort to apprehend illegal Chinese immigrants, not Mexicans. In 1882, Congress had passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in reaction to the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the American west to participate in the gold rush or to take jobs building the railroads. The Chinese Exclusion Act act provided a moratorium on Chinese labor immigration, required any Chinese who left the United States to obtain certificates for reentry, and made Chinese immigrants permanent aliens by excluding them from U.S. citizenship. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first significant restriction on free immigration in U.S. history and the first time a law was aimed at one specific ethnic group. The act wasn't repealed until 1943, which I notice was a year after the internment of Japanese in America began. America may pride herself on being a nation of immigrants, but every new wave of people seems to suffer discrimination.
Since 2003, the Border Patrol (officially established in 1924) has been part of the Department of Homeland Security, part of a new agency called U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The priority mission of the Border Patrol, as a result of the 9/11 attacks and its merging into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States of America. However, the Border Patrol's traditional mission also remains: the deterrence, detection and apprehension of illegal immigrants and individuals involved in the illegal drug trade.
I created this Border Patrol character using the reduction method. Here's the progression:
I used this small brush, called a hanga bake (McClain's calls it a tebake), which is good for applying pigments to small areas. The block is inked here for the first skin tone.
First skin tone.
Carve away hands.
Second skin tone.
Inking the block for some hair.
Carve away skin areas and print the block in green for jacket:
Forgot to photograph block again, but I carved away more of jacket to make some detail and printed again in darker green:
Carved away jacket area and printed binoculars in two stages: