Thursday, September 2, 2010
New Moon. New Project.
I love this from Edward Abbey, an American author noted for his advocacy of environmental issues: “It is no longer sufficient to describe the world of nature. The point is to defend it.” As an artist and naturalist, I tend to make nature centered artwork. I’m passionate about making art and about understanding and enjoying nature’s gifts and I’m also dedicated to advocating for my passions. I believe that a single person, making even a small gesture can make a big difference.
I have a plan that I hope will draw attention to my artwork and speak in defense of nature. I’m calling the project ArtSparks, taking my inspiration from the flash mob performance art movement. The project is too small to make a flash (and one artist can’t make a mob) so this is just a little spark. I’ve made 104 little pieces of art and I am giving 100 of them away. These will be random gifts to people I know and to strangers I meet. The works are each 3 1/2” x 2 1/2”, archivally matted to fit a 5” x 7” frame. Each one is an original intaglio etching that I have hand colored with watercolor. I have made 26 each of four designs -- cattails, a rabbit, a turtle and a bird’s nest. Each is an image commonly seen but often overlooked or disregarded. The 26th piece in each edition will be framed with the printing plate (struck through to retire it) and kept in my archives -- love this tradition!
Etchings are original prints, not reproductions. I’ve made my plates with solar plate -- steel-backed, light sensitive, photopolymer printmaking plates designed to provide a safer alternative to traditional etching and relief printing. After exposing with sunlight, the plate is developed with water. Very green! My line drawing was done on transparent film and the plates exposed and developed. The resulting plate is incised with my line art. Each print required inking the plate, cleaning off excess ink and pressing it onto paper through a press -- no two original prints are ever exactly alike. Each impression was painted with watercolor accents and matted for presentation.
I will ask very little in return for these gifts except that the recipient take a moment to enjoy the art and acknowledge the fragile beauty of our natural world, committing to defend her if possible. The work can be framed and kept or I would encourage the recipient to re-gift the artwork if he chooses. I would love it if I get an email telling me about whomever receives the gift. Like tossing a message in a bottle into the sea, the communication is not completely successful until there is a response.
If you receive one of my etchings, I’d love to hear from you so please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org with “I got sparked” in the subject line.