Monday, September 9, 2013

Tool Marks

Full scale mock up of center section of Tipping Point 

I'm currently working on a woodblock with many abstract elements.  Assuming that the abstract parts would be easier to carve is simply not the case.

Tentatively titled Tipping Point, the piece is a composition of watery imagery; coral, sponge, musical notation from sea chanties and fish combined with maps of coast lines and a depiction of an incised bone from 8th century Tikal showing a long sinking canoe containing various deities. This is a picture of the night sky and the canoe is the Milky Way, sinking below the horizon as the night progresses.

In fact this rather large (2' x 7') work in progress is a bit of a bear to carve. My progress in the arcane discipline of woodblock printing has been full of starts, stops and diversions.  It's taken the better part of ten years to get to the point where I'm disciplined enough to see the possibilities beyond creating in a keyblock style where I create an outline and fill in the colors.

Typically in the collages I create the subject of a piece is a combination of drawn, painted and scanned imagery.

In this small piece the original ink drawing is simply glued to the block and the white (non-image) area is carved away.  Larger and more complex pieces like my current work in progress requires more steps but are handled in similar fashion with paper layers pasted to the block and carved.

Without the keyblock as a guide I started with a block containing several main elements and proceeded to use it in the manner of a key block to determine the position and registration of future overlapping elements.

This photo corresponds to the black area in the center area of the top photo.  Currently I'm working on the yellow area that wraps around this dark detail.  The source for this portion of the piece involves map imagery morphing into fish imagery, both positive and negative.

Compared to more realistic areas (those areas requiring more recognizable or specific imagery) this section allows a certain freedom in making tools marks and their characteristic shapes.

Almost complete; with some clean up required and the paper guide still attached.
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