Sunday, July 1, 2012

mini 47

Miniature #47 - June 25 - July 1, 2012, 2.5 x 3 in, block print on paper
I used up my "emergency week," the one "by" built into the project, a couple of weeks ago.  I was traveling, the project is nearing completion, and it would have been inconvenient to post (can we guess where this is going...) So this week, I had a real emergency - I'm fine, and so is Sunny, but there was an unexpected situation that required immediate attention and time/energy/$ (also known as an emergency - 'Doh!') I started working on the mini later than I would have liked, and, naturally, decided the piece needed not one, not two, but three, tiny, labor-intensive blocks.  

Reflecting on the project, I feel it's been a good thing because it's helped me try new techniques and hold on to my studio practice. It's proven to me that I can always make something, but lately, I've been asking myself if I'm I making the work that I most want to make?  What would happen if for the next project, I adjusted my life to fit my art instead of the other way around?  (I've also been thinking that the tiny press deserves its own side project.)  So, to make a long story short, I decided to go for it and made all three blocks. 

Why cathedrals?  I'm sort of a Cathedral groupie, and last week I saw the Chagall window in Reims Cathedral. Seeing it, I feel like even if something were to happen to it (forbid) or lots of people look at it for only a second, the world is a more beautiful place because it exists and Chagall's a great artist because his work makes the world a better place. (Can we tell that I'm a huge fan?)

here's a candid shot of me scoping out Ackermann's work
 Thanks for the picture Tammy! (taken with permission)
Why three?  I was also really inspired by a studio visit with Franz Ackermann. I hate to name drop, but I want to give credit where credit is due, and his work and studio were awesome, and he was also an incredibly gracious host. I got to see amazing work, hear one of the best explanations I've ever heard of the use of neon paint, and ... there was coffee!  Seeing his process, I was inspired to take the photos, even if I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for yet. I ended up taking all these pictures of industrial and artistic repetition.

I've been thinking about it, and I think I'm looking at industrial/mechanical reproduction vs. repetition as a form of devotion because, to me, the only difference is spiritual; so, maybe contrasting the two is a way of trying to find the soul (as in, one can't see it, but can miss it when it's gone). So I made two blocks and hand printed them (which is ironic because it's already a process half-way between the reproducible and unique.)  As I was printing, I kept hearing in my mind one of my favorite lines "a feint within a feint within a feint" (and yes, I did just prove, beyond a doubt, that I'm a big sci-fi nerd).  Three is such a pleasing number (as in tricolon or tricolon crescendo), so in the wee hours of the morning, I added the third, super-tiny block.

Can we guess which is my favorite?
approximately 1 x 5/8 in (Awwww)