I started another still life drawing. I thought about a linocut. I bet I’ll be thinking about a linocut for a while until I finally get fed up with myself and go buy a linoleum panel. I have a really cheap Speedball press that I’ve never figured out. I should give myself a project in order to work out how to use the press. I have occasional visions of myself selling enough of one print to buy a better press and then just making linocuts and selling them online. Keep in mind, that I have never actually made a successful edition of linocuts, so currently there is no audience. I see other people doing it but then again, they know what people want- animals and flowers. I don’t know that there is much of a market for cubist-inspired vanitas linocuts.
It has been a quiet week and I have enjoyed every bit of that quiet. Saturday was our now-annual trip to the Nashville National Cemetery to put flags on all of the tombstones with other local Scouts troops and packs. There are about 35,000 veterans buried in the cemetery, which always looks daunting, but someone how we get a flag at every marker in about an hour. I found a marker for a man that was born in 1901 but listed as a private for WW2. If he was an ordinary civilian that signed up, he’d have been over 40 years old when he enlisted. It’s hard to put myself in that headspace. I turn 45 this week. I’m not sure what would have to happen to get me on a boat headed for Europe or the Pacific right now.
Other than that, I got a batch of books from the library for summer reading. None of them are “fun”. I am playing around with some Surrealist drawing techniques both for teaching and for myself. Hopefully, for me, it’ll lead to some collage work. We made cyanotypes at the house, but they faded quickly upon drying so I need to research the best kind of paper to use to see if we can get anything worthwhile to develop. I know they aren’t mean for permanent display or anything, but it’d be nice to keep them in a box.
Times like this remind me of a studio visit 15 years ago when I said to someone, “I think I’d like to make a lot of works on paper and slowly pick at 10 paintings a year rather than feel like I have to make thousands of paintings to justify my existence as an artist.” Maybe that’s what this year is going to end up teaching me.
“Is forty-five the midpoint, the hinge point of a life? In the past I have gravitated toward transcendence. I’ve sought weightlessness, unboundedness, continuity, have followed the wish to be outside of time. I have wanted to escape or deny the body; I have loved art that defies limit, that reaches for a scale beyond the human.”
Mark Doty- Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy
The Book of John
Leningrad - Anna Reid