08 April 2011

The Space Between

Six of One Opening

I don't often write on my blog when I'm in "the space between," which is what I call the time between finishing one print and starting the next. Truth is, I always have a backlog of ideas for work, but choosing which idea is next or allowing a brand new fresh idea to push in front of the others is never easy for me. These woodblock prints take so long to do that I feel like I have to choose carefully. Do I have enough enthusiasm and curiosity about the idea to get me through the long process? Am I emotionally connected to the idea? Does the time feel right, or is the idea still half-baked? All these questions arise during the space between.

And as you can see in the way I phrased those questions, my prints germinate in the form of ideas, not images. Often there are images in my mind along with the ideas, but my work is heavily idea-driven.

The group show I'm in right now at August Savage Gallery, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, touches on this topic. Called "Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other," the show explores the serial nature of printmaking through the work of 12 printmakers. Although not about technique, the show includes some drawings and plates as well as series or groupings of prints that illuminate how printmakers develop ideas and images. Because I don't often repeat imagery or re-work plates, I was at a loss at first about what prints to submit. But then I realized that there are a number of Pilgrim prints that include an image of the Mayflower, so I submitted those prints plus the Mayflower blocks I worked with as well as a few test proofs. I was happy with the story that those prints and plates told.

The opening was this past Tuesday and I really enjoyed being inspired by other work as I dwell in my "space between." Here are some photos from the opening. (Apologies for the unprofessional photos -- the lighting was not great and I was using a cell phone camera.) The show is up through April 26.

Julie Lapping Rivera
Woodcuts by Julie Lapping Rivera

Joyce Silverstone
Monoprints by Joyce Silverstone

Anita Hunt
Etchings by Anita Hunt

Neil Brigham
Linocuts by Neil Brigham


Bette Norcross Wappner -- said...

You phrased those questions well in the 'space between'. Your works are successful in portraying your ideas and enthusiasm. Thank you for that.

Melody Knight Leary said...

Annie, I love your phrase, "the space between", to describe that lull between projects. As I look over my sketches and idea files, I too ask the same questions and I'm always surprised that an idea I was once enthusiastic about no longer seems worthy of my time. Then there's the problem of having too many ideas and not knowing where to begin next. It's encouraging to know others struggle with the same issues. I always enjoy reading about your creative process and derive inspiration from both your work and your words.