Monday, September 7, 2015

Phase 8 - make the right choice easy(er)? - continued more

A busy week in Artlandia...
Lady Fortitude (Strength) - 2 .25 x 3" vine black ink on kozo paper

It feels like the sun is setting on a year filled with much learning and the work made, and still...miles to go before I sleep.
It looks like the coming year will
kick off with a beautiful crop of
Honeycrisps - surely a good omen?

The work on the tiny-tarot continues with new plates this week: The Charioteer and Strength
The Charioteer - 2 .25 x 3" vine black ink on kozo paper - I'm proud of this one - getting the horses in perspective almost exclusively with line weight was a challenge (I also like the bugs) 

And here it is with a quarter for scale (the bugs were made possible
 thanks the new more powerful lens I got for my magnavisor
 - facilitating uber-tinyness! Yay phase 8!)
I also made my favorite yet - Lady Fortitude.

I suspected that this was a beautiful plate, but was concerned about whether I'd be able to proof it well enough to get an accurate idea of what the final print could look like.

Phase 8!  I approached it as "What would I do at Zea Mays?" I cleaned off all the tools and surfaces completely, gathered my ink and additives and just started proofing changing one variable at a time until I got a good proof. (I also numbered the proofs - an idea whose time had come!)
As we can see - it took a few tries 

The most common depiction of Strength is a woman wresting a lion - and I have to say, that doesn't seem like strength to me, more like stupidity (also, fighting with a (big) kitty? No, no, no.) So... I did a little digging and remembered this one from the Mantegna Tarocchi (which is up there with Master P.W.'s cards and the Visconti-Sforza deck as my favorite(s)).

Strength from the Mantegna Tarocchi
Two decks of 15th century, Italian engraved cards
I like this much better because "Forteza" to me isn't just brute force, but more like a strength that endures - translating more as "Fortitude." I think the image of breaking then holding the column is a better representation with the lion, the symbol for bravery, as a companion instead of in opposition - much better.
Putting my kitty-observation skills to good use for the lion and trying to capture the tension and more subtle expression of the face and hand. And! In studying these cards, I learned something interesting - who else loved and copied some of these cards on his trip to Italy?
...Durer - makes me feel like I'm on the right track :)

pushing the micro-focus beyond it's capabilities 
I also had more opportunity to think about and work on Phase 8 - make the right choice easier -with the photography this week.  Another thing I added to this card was a little mouse - trying to show that meekness also has it's place in Fortitude, but when I tried to photograph camera just said "No - no way, I am not focusing on a millimeter-scaled mouse."
I kept trying to figure out how to photograph it (unsuccessfully) until it occurred to me that instead of trying to photograph it, I could scan the whole print [slaps forehead - doh!]
 ...still hard to capture to uber-tiny-joy of this, but closer!
It wasn't all super tininess though...I also kept working on the life-scale piece. The flying rats are now suspended :)  It's closer, but I'm still trying to figure out how to best hang these so that they move on their own...

And in para-art:
Enjoying the late-blooming flowers from the yard, the sites of Hudson, and a bonus cute kitty photo because I really can't help myself from spreading the feline adorableness :).