It's been nearly 2 months since I added the final black layer and a lot has happened in between -- mostly moving to a new house and studio. I thought that maybe I'd come back to this print after these few weeks and see it differently, but I still don't like it. I don't like the colors (too red white and blue) and I also don't like the black lettering that says "God said: Death to the Faggits (sic)".
That lettering is taken directly from a letter that was sent to the Episcopal Church Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 when openly gay priest Gene Robinson was elected bishop. I have to admit that carving the lettering was very therapeutic. There's so much emotion in the way the text was written. It was written with what was apparently a ballpoint pen, the lines thickened by scribbling the same lines over and over again. My hands literally shook as I carved -- I could feel the anger and hatred in the letterforms as I carved this person's handwriting and it was frightening to recreate it.
I'm glad I did that carving. There was something powerful for me in facing this person's hatred and letting my own hands recreate it. I felt like I was defusing a bomb. But I don't like how it looks. It's too much. It doesn't need to be there in this print.
So out it will come. I have 16 new sheets of nishinouchi ready to go and I'm going to print these blocks all over again. But first, I have a wedding to go to -- my nephew Chris! See you next week...
Added later: I'm getting some feedback that the "death to the faggits" text is strong & powerful and that I should leave it in. What do you think?