Monday, June 13, 2011

Love In The Park

This print took me roughly a year to complete. I started it in February 2010 in the strange twilight time of ‘after University’ and before ‘Working life’. I think it was my one big hope to keep on creating as I had done previously so I sort of clung onto printmaking during that time. Also I used the print as a procrastination tool against sending out even more CV’s to people who didn’t want them.

In its beginning stages this work seemed to be one of those images that grow naturally with very little effort involved. It happens once in a while. When I say little effort I mean I got most of the composition down in two to three days of solid work instead of weeks to months of fiddling. Maybe because of that, or because I had gotten a job by that time, when it came to aquatinting (applying tone/shading to the outline on a print) something horrible happened. Horrible. So I took the rest of the year fixing it. Fixing it involved me scraping back layers of metal, re-aquatinting, not being happy with the result, going back and scraping it off again etc.

I learned a lot, and I’m thankful to people who gave me advice, complimented me endlessly and who took the time to teach me how to burnish, scrape and spit bite properly, particularly David and Quillan. I don’t think there is one point in any artistic career where you can stop learning. There is a point where you can start teaching, I think you can get a little uppity or a bit complacent when you reach that point…I certainly did. A small knock down is good for you once in a while.

So is sticking to your guns. Many times during the year people tried to console me by telling me to stop and just move on to the next thing. Or that it was good the way it was. When you know something can be better, when you are actually aware of what the potential of something could be, I don’t think you should stop trying. It negates all the work you put into it in the first place. I was really proud of my composition and my line work and I wanted to be just as proud of the aquatint. I got it to 90% satisfied (you can never get the full 100) and editioned it with the help of Jess Edwards and David. I’m really happy with the final image and I hope you like it too. This work is called Love in the park. 

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