Sunday, November 17, 2013

Long time and a light touch

Well, it has been quite a while. I've been meaning to post something for a long time now but time seems to keep getting away from me. I prioritise other things and my creative pursuits gather more dust in the corners of my study, and my mind.

But I feel the time has come for a little spring cleaning and dust removal. I was kicked into gear by the wonderful Brooklyn Art Library and one of their projects. The Print Exchange. 500 printmakers from across the globe create a run of 12 prints. 2 for the library, and 1 each for 10 other print makers. How exciting, I could not let an opportunity like that slip by.

So, to my first creative project in quite a while. Hopefully it is the beginning of many more. Reduction lino printing. I love printing. I don't really know what I'm doing most of the time but I really enjoy it. Maybe it is something to do with having to think in reverse, or the process of simplifying an image.

The theme of the exchange was "On the drive home." I ride home most days. And I think the pace of it, slower and by a more scenic route than driving, let's me see more of what's going on in my town. And I admit, after signing up for the project I paid extra attention to my rides home. The seedpods and leaves that had fallen on the bike path, the houses and shops I ride past, other people using the path to walk their dogs or carry their groceries home.

I thought of and tried at least one other idea... but ended settling on what I saw a lot of over the winter. The headlights of other riders. And I'm talking about some seriously heavyweight head torches... the lights they make nowadays are blinding.

I turn in a bit of a rabbit... blinded by the lights, but unable to look away. And left dazed for few seconds after the rider passes. They are a blindingly bright puddle of light that moves along... and when it's gone all you are left with is the white spots that are slowly fading as your vision is restored. And you have no idea who is behind that light, they are anonymous... sometimes only their breathing, a glint of light off glasses or stripey mittens gives away some sense of the person.

I now have a bright white head torch. I wonder what part of my personality sneaks past the light's beam.

One day I think I'm going to do a course in printing, because I really felt hampered by my skills (or lack thereof) with this project. the final print wasn't as slick and smooth as I had in mind, but I was still fairly happy with the results. I managed to think 3 layers ahead! Ánd I completed my first ever print run. That was very exciting! I like the original photo very much too... maybe because it is slick and sharp and dark.

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