22 December 2007

Happy Holidays


Thank you for all your visits and comments this year. Wishing everyone the peace of deep winter, the promise of a new year and the eternal wonder of now. Happy holidays and safe travels to all. xo Annie

18 December 2007

What Is Art

Aardman Animations, the studio that produces the work of award-winning British animator Nick Park, produced a show for CBS called Creature Comforts which was unfortunately pulled after just 3 episodes. In the show, ordinary Americans were interviewed on various topics and their responses placed into the mouths of a variety of animated animals and insects. Below is a 7-minute clip titled "What Is Art?" Please take special note of the Printmaker!

16 December 2007

Bethlehem Final Print


"To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
Carl Sagan, 1996, on a photo taken from deep space.

This afternoon, tucked inside my studio with snow swirling outside the window, I finished the Bethlehem print. Just in time for Christmas.

I tried to write about my complicated relationship with Christianity, the religion of my childhood and of my ancestors, but I think I'll just let these pieces (Bethlehem, Mecca, Lumbini) speak for themselves. Like Carl Sagan said, looking at our world from a distance brings human follies down to their actual size. In this turbulent time, with religious extremists all claiming to speak God's truth, I like remembering that Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha, all of whom must have been great beings to have legacies so enduring, were once babies. They had mothers. They were human beings who lived in real places on this planet. That much is indisputable.

I used blues for this print because I associate the color blue with Jesus' mother Mary. The blue and white also looks wintery, the season I correlate with celebrating Jesus' birth. The image is 11" x 28 1/2" and the edition will be somewhere around 25 (I used 30 sheets of 13" x 30" Rives heavyweight).

11 December 2007

Repeating Pattern


I think this is the first time I've carved a repeating pattern. There were some patterns in "Locusts In Babylon", but those patterns didn't repeat like this one. I found that carving this pattern went pretty quickly. It was easy to get into a rhythm with it and just go. I still have some more clearing to do and then I can print.

05 December 2007

Carving the Border Block



Each of these three Birthplaces prints will have a border and a symbol at the top for the religion that began with the birth. For the Bethlehem print I've chosen to use the earliest form of the Christian cross, called the "Greek cross." This cross, with its four arms of equal length, predates the Latin cross. While the Latin cross represents the crucifixion, the Greek cross was an abbreviation for the name "Christ" and also represents the four directions, implying the spread of the gospel.

What I especially like about the Greek cross is that this style of cross is said to date to ancient Babylon, that cradle of all civilization now known as Iraq.