Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sketches for BarenForum.org Print Exchange 42

This Year's Inspiring Tennessee Skyline

as i signed up for the barenforum.org print exchange i thought about what i would make a print of to fit the Chu-tanzaku (3x9") paper format. I remembered the big orange full moon that greeted me on my return to Tennessee (just like last year) and thought that it might make a good focal point. Then my mind's eye saw it as it was rising above the tree line across from my son's front porch...perfect! The dark treeline silhouetted against the dark blue night sky with that big round orange ball rising above.

so I stepped out the front door with a ballpoint and my trusty composition pad to sketch the treeline. As I looked on it I couldn't help but notice the dead tree emerging from the martini glass shaped opening in the treeline and remembered how I thought a few days ago that I would have to draw that tree...PERFECT!

This is the sketch of the Tennessee treeline I did from my son's front porch with my original placement of the moon. As I sketched in the morning light I of course no longer had the full moon of a week ago to reference, but I do have the creative imagination needed to draw it from memory. As I did so I had a spark of something...what if I made a collage of simplified shapes and moved the moon around withing it to determine the best placement within the composition.

This is a construction paper collage I did playing around with the placement of the simplified tree silhouettes and the moon. I finally decided I like it best with the moon in the original location. But I am toying with the idea of randomly "chine colle"ing the moon on each print in different areas of the sky and of course the black treeline will be printed at the same time. I also like the idea of the dead tree breaking the top edge of the night sky; if I do this I'll cut the sky down by about a 16th of an inch so the top branches break out a little more dramatically.

Chine Colle is a printmaking process where thin paper is sprinkled with rice paste or other natural adhesive then fused to a damp paper substrate by passing it through a press. I'm thinking that circles of a nice orange mulberry paper would make a great moon fused to a midnight blue paper -- I even know the perfect fine art paper for my substrate...

Fabriano Roma Paper comes in may colors, one of them being a dark gray blue, it's expensive (about 12 dollars per 18" × 26" sheet) but with the smaller paper format in this exchange I can get a lot of prints from each sheet making it more reasonable financially than if the project was one of the other larger formats.

last years Tennessee skyline in July inspired artwork. A pastel drawing that I still intend to do a collage or chine colle version of, one day...

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