Spent the morning recarving the Islamic tile pattern, but not without first looking over my studio journal. I couldn’t help but notice that some of those images and combinations have a life and energy that is lacking in my work lately, and it immediately brought to mind Professor Jim Coates quoting David Ireland: “You can’t make art by making art.” A koan for an artist to be sure. You could also say that art is the byproduct of the attempt to make art, but not necessarily the direct result. That in fact trying too hard to make Art with a capital A, can rob it of its soul and stop short of its potential.
All these secondary thoughts are my own and not necessarily the fault of Prof Coates or David Ireland.
This print is more or less what I was trying to do today, although in retrospect I’d like to reverse the image, which will work just fine with stamping the figure directly onto the paper instead of using the gelatin plate to transfer as I’ve done here. You can see the difference in the figure below. The carved linoleum plate of the figure below is stamped onto the paper. Above, the same plate is stamped into a gelatin plate and the ink smears a bit when I press the plate into the gel.
Also, on the scrap above the pattern is printed over rather than under the figure. Below are 2 images from my studio journal. Probably from about a year ago, perhaps I should date the pages from now on. There’s something here that reminds me of Louise Despont talking about making the “mistakes that need to be made.”