I am beginning my first sabbatical. My posts will document my process and creative journey. I am exploring three different themes in my imagery, sometimes incorporating more than one into a single image.
One new emerging theme focuses on pattern, repetition, and variety – in nature and in the way we learn. I am looking at leaves and root systems as subjects – reflecting on time spent with my daughter, collecting leaves, rocks, and seeds. Also, I have been observing her cognitive development while drawing with her. At four she appears to have an innate visual understanding of pattern, repetition, and variety, which has inspired my own imagery.
Roots (above), a black and white edition print represents this theme. They are proofs printed at different stages in developing the image. Roots is still in progress. I intend to work back into it to bring out a greater range of value and more linear qualities.
Falling Leaves (above), also represents this theme. The leaves are more abstracted than objects in my earlier work because of the emphasis on pattern. This print remains in progress as well.
The second theme revisits imagery I have worked with in the past, but with a different perspective. I am looking at x-rays of hands damaged by rheumatoid arthritis. This work comes directly from my personal experience with the illness. Recently, I had to come off of my medication for rheumatoid arthritis for an extended period of time. During this time, I lost mobility in my fingers. My inspiration comes from the process of relearning how to use my hands.
Movement (above) represents this new theme. It is a black and white edition print that serves as an example of my success working with spit bitten aquatint. It demonstrates the control I am gaining as I continue to refine my process.
The third theme comes directly from my personal experience with illness as well. In 2007, I came down with a severe case of pneumonia due to rare complications I had from a medication I was taking for rheumatoid arthritis. The medication was Enbrel (Etanercept). It caused my immune system to fail rapidly. My right lung collapsed and I was given a four percent survival rate. I was in the ICU for five weeks, four of which I spent in a drug-induced, paralyzed, comatose state. More specifically, the work is inspired by memories/dreams that I have from the coma.
This gourd (above) is my subject. It represents me, near death. I am placing it in ambiguous landscapes that serve as a metaphor for the memories from my coma.
This unfinished, wooden box piece (above) represents this theme. The two images show the process of developing one of these pieces. I am combining printed (intaglio and liography) imagery with painted imagery on carved wood, through the use of layering and collage.
Desert Dreamscape (to the left) is a mixed-media drawing on top of a monoprint. It also represents this theme. I often use drawing as a means to figure out how to approach new imagery in edition prints.
This unfinished print (to the left) represents my approach to this theme with the intaglio process.