Friday, February 12, 2010

Geographical Divides, a collaboration of NV printmakers

This is something that I’m working on currently. Geographical Divides is a collaboration project dreamed up by our very own conspirators Anne Hoff and Candace Nichols. The plan is simple, 14 NV printmakers start a print, send it to their assigned partner, partner does something and sends back, original printmaker prints. Everyone receives a portfolio with all the prints and the exhibit goes a-traveling all over the place.

Sounds like FUN!!! I couldn’t resist and was honored to be invited. This is a copy of an email that I just sent my partner, Lynn Schmidt from Northern Nevada:

Here is the GRAND PLAN!!!
This is the BRAINSTORM
I wanted to do something with our idea of the dichotomy between rural and urban.
So I thought of maps and how our respective cities are representative of that concept. Cities in the desert are sort of like islands in the ocean, separated by a vast expanse of impassable terrain.

I dug up some topo maps and fell in love with that “spine” and decided to use as a separator, symbolic of the rugged desert ocean that lies between us.
After some serious “photoshopping” I came up with this design. The left is the printout, the right is our block. The design is already reversed so our cities will resemble their proper orientations in space when they are printed. The image is vertical as in the first picture, by the way, I just didn’t rotate the pictures.

Now, here’s the grand plan! ARE YOU READY??!
Today I am going to reinforce the design in permanent marker, this “sets” the concept on the block and gets me ready for carving. Then I will stain the block and let it dry to make it easy to see the carving.
NEXT! Comes the jig saw…
See those two areas representing the cities? See the roads crossing them?
I am going to cut all those 8 “city” pieces out and scramble them so that our designs will either be in the north or south free to co-mingle with each other in a random way. You will get four and I will get four. They may end up together or separated, north or south.
Your MISSION, should you wish to accept it…is to design and carve four little scenes representative of our overall theme: rural/urban.

The pieces are about 4-5 inches wide or smaller and I will mark which way is UP on the back so you can orient your designs accordingly. Obviously working small will restrict detail and they really can be very simple, in fact preferably so. For example, one of mine I will carve a simple native American symbol representing a map/route, another will be a figure of a woman cross legged taking in the desert, another I may do a little skyline of the Strip merging into mountains, etc.

Once I receive your pieces and carve my pieces I will assemble the puzzle and print.

The background will be very light topo-like. The “spine” I will develop more in a three state reduction to resemble a topo map and its wonderful markings (I may have to carve a separate block). Our pieces will print over a very light background of yellowish/green. Once I get your pieces back I may carve some additional lines on them to integrate them with the background so they don’t look separated from the rest of the design.

Sounds crazy, I know, but these puzzle prints WORK! And they ROCK!

Any questions? Comments? I’m warming up the jigsaw…vrrrm vrrrm vrrrrrrrrm…

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