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Friday, February 20, 2015

Deep Cuts

So, I guess I'm neglecting the idea that, if you are going to blog about visual media, you should include a few pictures. When last you stopped by, we discussed my humble beginnings, but I offered no pictures. Well, last night I stumbled on a box of old prints, and I found a trove of early prints. I was even shocked to find that one was dated 2/19/2002 -- exactly 13 years ago. So, here they are, in three acts:

1: Amy, 2002. This is the first woodcut I ever made. I used a printout of a heavily contrasted photo as a template (everything now is hand-drawn, but this was a great way to begin in the day). I do still love it because it was my first print, and I think it came out pretty good, given the rust exacto knives, cheep pine wood, and fabric paint I was working with. At the same time...Good Lord! Sorry, honey.

#2: Maybe it was to make up for "Amy," but my second, using the poplar wood, was a giant Valentine to Amy, hand colored with diluted acrylic. I was heavily influenced by the Arts & Crafts style, which you can tell because I just wrote it. If you notice, my font, which I drew up all by myself, incorporates hearts into each letter. The penis-topped-asparagus is actually thick-stemmed rosebuds. Pervert. This is just a proof. The original, hid somewhere in a drawer, is on a very cool paper that had leaves and flower petals in it, which I got from Hyatt's downtown.
#4: So, then I used another modifed photo printout to create a block of my brother, the architect William C. Dean, Jr, AIA, SOB. I remember one specific thing about this block -- I did almost the whole thing with a #11 Xacto, and my hands haven't been the same since.

#5: This print is actually from early 2003. I believe I was still using poplar, but was by this time using Speedball oil-based inks. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robie House in Chicago.I actually have one of these hanging in a beautiful frame my wife made arounf the same time. I had been printing for more than a year at this point, but was struggling with inks and colors, and rhe effects of printing color over color (nothing's changed!). I'd recently read a suggestion to add Vaseline to the ink to help it flow. It worked great, but often left halos around the images. Can you spot the glowing error in this print, which nearly left me in a spiral of despair? Look at the capstone on the front wall --it's red, when it should be dark gray. I only noticed it halfway through! Originally, I was disappointed in this work, as it was a lot darker than I had envisioned. Now, I can't imagine it any other way.

So, there's a brief look back. I hope to have some fresh work soon, but I hope you enjoy these little snippets from the past. 

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