October 13, 2008

Giving Thanks (aka: Turkey Day)

We interrupt Printmaking 101 for a brief digression...

We're celebrating our Canadian annual day of thanks, Thanksgiving, and I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's colouring my approach to food and how I prepare it. Not that the book is a total revelation, I've been convinced for many years that what we put into our bodies to nourish them has a relation to our health and well-being. And I'm already a label reader, I stay away from processed foods, I opt for foods that come from my own region, in season, I don't buy strawberries in January or asparagus in August.
But reading this book reinforces those concepts some more. As a result, I gave even more thought to where the food I put together for Thanksgiving came from, and just who was involved in putting it there. And, even if the only sacrifice this year were those peeled little baby carrots from California (local regular carrots took their place) it felt right to be more conscious about the decision I made.

Our feast: potatoes from the garden, a medley of veggies grown by local farmers (bought at the farmer's market) and seasoned with my own herbs, and a "happy" turkey: free range, no meds, no steroids etc. The turkey was one of our few departures from a vegetarian diet and due mostly to peer pressure. I think R and I would have been happy enough with a stuffed squash but don't think my dad would be. I was assured that the poor bird received humane treatment and wasn't one of those beakless, medicated, half-crazed beasts of the mass production farm, but still. I guess what it comes down to for me is if I'm going to eat meat, I should be prepared to actually kill the creature who provides it and I'm just not convinced I'd be able to do that. It's easier to just evade the issue and keep our meals vegetarian as much as I can.

Anyway, that was yesterday's news; today I printed. First, Eve and the Serpent, which is finally beginning to take some shape:

I added some transparent medium to the ink mix to allow for some of the earlier layers to come through a bit and I'm pleased with the result.

Second, Dragon Maple, which is not looking like anything new happened. You have to look really hard to see the darker red added today. Next week will hopefully be the big AHA moment for that one:

It's still a bit ragged around the edges because today I found it easier not to use a mask, but the next layer will take care of the fuzzies.

So it's been a very productive weekend and, yes, I gave thanks for so much: for Family, for bounty on the table, for the time and the ability to do my artwork, for good music to warm the soul, and for a warm house to hold us all. What more is there, really?

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