So I have a stack of ‘started’ gelatin prints that have been gathering dust and ennui for a long time. Every time I get back to printing, this stack haunts me. It’s easy to toss into the ‘recycle’ pile really muddy prints, but some, too many, intrigue me in their fine details. I could stare at them for hours, but from any distance, they don’t look like much. So here I am, finishing things.
I have a small stack of tiny pieces. This one is only about three inches long. I let the gelatin print suggest the shapes and feral dogs turned up. The style is no coincidence. I’m designing and carving stamps for a letterboxing meet-up, and the theme is Mayan Ruins. So I’ve been looking at a lot of Mayan artwork. And by coincidence, also reading a fictional account that is rich in details.
With the stamp designs (not shown), 2 are copies of Mayan art. I decided to take the time to draw them freehand, not because I thought they would be better, but so that I could learn something. Taking the time to use eye and hand to reproduce something lets you absorb the information in a way tracing (which would be faster if you just want a reproduction) does not. And I’m fascinated by ancient artworks. For me it is the similarities, not the differences, that catch my eye. Maya to Egyptian to Celtic to Teutonic to Native to, and well, maybe the things that pop out of my head too. But this can be shaped by looking, seeing, thinking, and doing. I may post my stamps later in the week under the heading of Letterboxing Spoiler Alert, as there may be some letterboxers who would rather be surprised in October and I feel obligated to warn them before I post those carves. I’m in the act of carving them today, but today I’ll post some miniature finished prints from my stack or mixed media as I’m finishing with pens, coloured pencil and metallics.
Look carefully at the right side, and see the Mayan king.
This one’s called swimming through stars.
Gears, Wheels and Flowers suggested themselves here.
And these two prints just need me to declare them finished without further embellishments by me. The blue jay is stencilled, the leaf is a collograph and decorative orange background on the right hand piece is foam plate.