Oh, little blog-- where did the weeks go?
Strap yourself in, I have lots of ground to make up for!
I have long maintained a love/hate relationship with living in a four-season climate—meaning I hate it in the winter, am over the moon for the first days of spring, take full advantage of the summer, and mourn with the changing trees in fall.
This time around winter has been crazy busy-- normally this season drags by in the snowy north, filled with cold mornings scraping the car windows, white knuckle drives to work, and daily musings about why on earth I live here. I'm happy to say that this time around, winter was a complete blur. I hardly noticed the snow, and barely had time to miss the sun until I realized last week that it was suddenly beginning to make appearances!
At the risk of sounding a little hippie dippie, I will say the act the printmaking-- the many, many steps that lead from start to finish, keep me sane. There's been a lot of attention paid lately to flow -- the art of being so fully immersed in one's work that focus, joy and concentration is at an all time high. It’s almost like meditation in a way, but with the focus on your work instead of yourself. I find this flow in printing constantly-- it’s a way of making that is simply set up, through the act of being process driven, physical, repetitive, and problem solving in nature, for this level of absorption to take place.
There are lots of reasons why I fell in love with printmaking and enjoy teaching it. Flow is central. Printing is also unique in that its history is just as much trade and craft as it is fine art. It operates within a set of rules, uses a wide and enticing variety of tools and materials, and follows a sequence. As someone who has always struggled to say “this piece of art is done” I love printing because it decides for me. You make decisions early in the process and live with them at the end—that resonates much more clearly with my personality. In fact, I have kind of brought that process over to anything I make. If I make a sign I draw out four or five plans first, making all of the choices—color, font, text size, before I start. By making all of my choices right away, I reconcile my imagination with my somewhat Type A personality.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you find yourself in a creative slump, or think you’re not that creative to start, give printmaking a try. If you’re in the area, consider giving it a try with me. :)