or not so much…
My printmaking class started this week so I’ve been thinking about what images I want to create. Since I am in the “advance” class – 40B, I can pretty much do what I want. And you must have picked up by now that that kind of artistic freedom can be kinda paralyzing for me. Last semester we learned the following printmaking techniques: drypoint, collagraph, woodcut, and monotypes. And with each new assignment/technique, we were given a theme as a starting off point for our image. I played nicely within the given parameters and was pushed, learned a lot, and made some cool prints.
This time around? I need to write a brief proposal of what I plan to do this semester. What do I plan to do… what do I want to do? I know I want to make more monotypes. That’s kinda a no brainer. I definitely want to do another woodcut! Collagraphs were fun to create, but unless I have a flash of inspiration, I’m not that concerned with making another one. And drypoint… meh. Unless I come up with a really cool drawing, I could skip that too. Inking those plates is hard yo!
But since I knew today would be lecture for the 40A students and I didn’t have any other ideas fully fleshed out, I decided to work on the second drypoint I had started last semester. I never really got the plate to a finished state and I didn’t want to leave it hanging like so many knitting projects. So I was working on the plate when Nick (the instructor) came around the room to check in with everyone and see how their ideas/drawings were coming along. I told him my plan to finish last semester’s drypoint while I work on some ideas for new prints. He nodded and then asked me if I had considered combining printmaking and photography by printing a plate onto an actual photo.
Flashback to a year ago when Randy (my photography professor) suggested I combine my hand-painted negatives (Cliché verre – so like monotype printmaking!) with photo negatives when I do my Independent Study for Photography: Alt Processes.
And here I sit, 4 hours later, with my head spinning trying to figure out how to put these two things together. The same spinning wheels Randy had set in motion. And I still can’t quite see it. It’s not the technical “how” that is stumping me – that is easy – but what does the end result look like? What photo? And how do I change it with the print if the photo is already “complete”? Do I need to take new photos? (The answer is yes, but that has nothing to do with this specific problem.) Do I need to look at it is as a double exposure? Graffiti/vandalism? Adding elements? Blocking things out? ugh!
And I loath and love this place of complete frustration. I know that I will chew on this problem like a dog with a bone. I will lose sleep over it and make myself (and those around me) crazy until I figure it out. But when I do – it’ll be good!
“Raven” – collagraph