I guess its been a long time since I have updated this blog.....Too long! But I will now try and remedy that. I have been working on prints. Both new ones and also finishing up some that I started last year and hadn't completed.
I'll start with one that remains unfinished...at least for the time being. Above you see my initial drawing for the print. It is an image of what we have been seeing far too much of these days....a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale entangled in fishing gear.
And here you see a NOAA Fisheries photo of the real thing. I don't know what became of this particular whale, if it somehow shed its entangling gear and survived, or not. But I do know that many entanglements end up with whales dying after many painful months of being entangled.
Here you see the engraving in progress.
Along the way, I decided to depart from my initial drawing and add the figure of a man, also entangled in the same gear. Maybe a kind of modern day Ahab? Above you see the man penciled in on the copper plate. It seems to me that we humans, who are soley responsible for pushing the right whale right up to the very edge of extiction, will ultimately share the same fate as the whales. If we can get our collective act together, we may survive into the future along with the right whales. If not, we too will go the way of the dinosaurs. I believe that our fates are entwined. As the Native American leader Chief Seattle is purported to have said: "Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
And here you see the printed engraving. I have printed it a number of times, making small changes along the way, but it is not printing consistently, and so for the time being anyways....it remains unfinished. Rather frustrating! But now, on to the finished prints!
This is another I began last year but just completed. Cat and Mouse ~ drypoint ~ 4" h. x 6" w.
In another print you will see below, I was inspired by the incredible activists on Jeju Island, South Korea, whom I have written about previously on this blog. Some of these activists have been trying to prevent the destruction of forests where the government wants to build a second, but unnecessary, airport on this relatively small island.The activists know that the government's real, but secretive, plan is for this second airport to become an Air Force base. They have been struggling to protect their forests and restrain the ever-increasing militarism of the US and South Korean governments. They have done extended hunger-strikes, tree-sitting, and many other creative, non-violent actions and protests.
Three of those amazing activists in the very early days of their long hunger strikes. Still smiling!
Activists climbing in trees and remaining there to prevent them from being cut down.
And an activist attempting to stop a worker from cutting trees by grabbing the chainsaw and covering it with her body. One very brave woman.....
Here, the copper plates for the new print, which is a triptych, are alligned on the etching press bed. Ready to print....
Jeju Forest Protectors ~ drypoint ~ 6" h. x 9" w.
The struggle continues. And many, many people, including me, continue being inspired by these activists, and their efforts to protect life......
Another new print. This one, the.....Dance of Life ~ drypoint ~ 6" h. x 9" w.
And this photo is of a drawing from a page in my sketch book. Its the initial design of my most recent print.
The work on the copper plate has begun.
As so often happens, I found that I was not quite happy with the drawing, and decided that I needed to make some changes. This involved taking a sharp scraper (seen to the left of the plate in the photo above) and scraping out the man's left arm and eventually the entire figure of the woman and some of the grasses.
Following the scraping, the plate needed to be brought back to a polish in those place where the scraping had occurred. Then I drew the basic outlines back in.
And here is the finished print.... Life Force ~ drypoint ~ 8" h. x 5" w.