April 20, 2008

Broken Traditions

Last week, at work, I sold two of my prints: Field Flowers and Tree Spirit. It was a fluke, two different people stopped by my workstation, both on different days, saw my prints hanging there and, after a bit of chat, said: I'd like to own one of those. Cool. Quite cool. Now the only problem is that I was supposed to mat them both today but didn't. That means I'll be scurrying to get it done after work and dinner and dog walking and lunch making and what ever else gets thrown at me at the end my typical work day during the week. But I suspect that both people will be understanding.

I didn't get around to doing any artwork today, in fact I had to squeeze the carving and printing of the Firebird block into yesterday's schedule, somewhere between washing the floors and baking cookies. Today R and I went to a rally. No, we're definitely not activist types and this is pretty much the first rally I ever went to of my own volition. We went in support of something that's been a Canadian institution for as long as I can remember: CBC radio and the CBC radio orchestra.

CBC radio has been the only radio station I've listened to day in, day out, from morning until night for the last 20 plus years. It's the national station of Canada, publicly funded and commercial free, and it's one of the reasons why I've been proud to be a Canadian. It's earned my loyalty because I've always heard something different there, something that made me think and grow. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years, things have been changing. The programming is moving away from its classical music core, shows I've loved have been replaced by triter programs, the producers are pandering. Recently, it was announced that CBC radio orchestra, the only remaining radio orchestra in all of North America, will be given the axe. 70 years of tradition and the future dreams of young aspiring music students slashed with the stroke of a pen.

So we went to the rally. All 200 of us or so (ok, not a huge crowd by any means but hey, printmaking is a niche group too right?), and we wore our pins, and we listened to a few token politicians give some speeches, and we saw young university music students with their signs, and we heard the words of the relatively small handful of people who took the time to go try effect a change. Neither of us has much faith a change will come though. I don't even think we'll make the news, given that our competition for new items today was the annual 420 rally at the Art Gallery, the Sun Run (10,000 people), and the Sikh Vaisakhi parade (100,000 people). But at least we know we tried.

On the plus side, yesterday's printing went pretty well. I made a mask for the block again, for the leaves above the fields.

The mask was a bit tricky to use but worked well enough:

I did realize, about a third of the way into printing, that it's actually quite dumb of me not to have used two separate blocks for this piece, like I did with my Wabe Sabe Pine. I really should have used one block for the bird and the tree and a second one for the fields and all the rest. Why the hell didn't I do that this time? It would have made things so much simpler! I sure hope I've learned my lesson now.

Nonetheless, the print is now beginning to take shape:

The red in the leaves won't actually show much in the end, it's only there for highlight and I'll be overprinting it with blue eventually. I was originally planning on using a rose colour on the leaves but decided that the red might be fine. One less step that way.

1 comment:

Eraethil said...

Sure is fun watching this develop. Each layer is a new surprise. :) Its great how each piece of art starts to take on a cohesion partway through its development.