I remember stars, appearing in their billions in the night; I, staring up, wondering…how many and where do their pathways lead. The skies were dark, then, a blue-black deep velvet full of diamond points and wonder. It was in an era still celebrating the first man on the moon, when the wonders of science were boundless, and its consequences left unconsidered, when forests were trackless and unknown, before satellites had mapped every square inch of the planet and anything was possible and nothing impossible and my father still walked by my side pontificating on all he knew of science, a considerable amount considering university was never an option for him-- he worked as a tradesman. But he wondered at the universe and its billions of stars, watched Star Trek with pleasure as he critiqued its absurdities, spouted Carl Sagan mantras, stood in awe of the Aurora Borealis, purchased a lake front lot in the Canadian Shield, built a cottage from bedrock to rooftop, went fishing and filleted his catch, proud to provide natures bounty and mourning the loss of piscine life in equal measure. All this wrapped up in my memories of gazing up at the stars on a cold winters night.
Stargazing is a 9”x12” image on Stonehenge paper. It began as one of those amorphous gelatin prints that I so treasure I hesitate to complete them. I had this one in my pile for quite a long time. I finally decided to develop it further. I started to sketch in with pencil but quickly realized that risk can be an integral part of a piece of art and picked up violet permanent ink. From the first mark to the last, there was no going back, no edits, changes or erasures to be done, as I worked it triggered so many memories of dark nights under starry skies.
There are faint silvery details that refuse to be scanned. In fact, these is one of those pieces that doesn’t show very well on the internet. In real life, the silver marks come and go, from virtually invisible to become important compositional elements. Hopefully the photo’s give a hint of that.
Of course, it’s available on Etsy, along with a companion piece, Stargazing Two (which was a little less complicated in execution)