Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last week at the Valley of Fire, it's getting HOT!

I've been visiting the Valley of Fire weekly to keep up with my show. This year the lizards seem to be in great health and, early in the morning, come out in the open to sun themselves and enjoy the morning I suppose, just like the rest of us. When I first get there and snap some quick pictures, the thing that strikes me the most is the absolute silence. My feet crunch the sand and the only sound when I stop is the breeze russling through the pods in the various bushes, now beginning to dry and drop to the ground.

This guy was about 18" long and must be in the welcoming committe, right at the visitor's center parking:

This will be the last week my work will be at the Valley of Fire. Below some pictures of my little display area.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Progress on the Geographical Divides

Please see for all the other prints and artists.

My topo/puzzle idea came to life when I received Lynn's puzzle pieces. We had talked about keeping the individual images simple and I was pleased with her choice of imagery. Lynn will be pleased to know that the rat transplant went without a hitch (perhaps she can further explain that one!).

Just to refresh, we had gone with the theme urban/rural and how somehow we work things out with natural things when we live on the edge of a city (as Lynn does) or smack in the middle but with an acre of desert "elbow-room" as I do. On a bigger scale, of course, every city in Nevada deals with the issue of sprawling into the habitat of the few and hardy creatures with whom we share our beloved desert.

In any case, with Lynn's images in place, I started sketching in PhotoShop again. I wanted to keep the topo colors and somehow bring out the positive concept of sharing among urban/rural, rather than some of the more negative connotations that come to mind. I decided to add some urban elements since Lynn's critters pretty much took care of the rural part, and after some mulling and browsing, settled on semaphores (traffic lights for US folk :-). The "traffic lights" I picked had a hint of primitive symbols and, rendered in the topo colors, blend in quite nicely without losing meaning. Caution and courtesy, please, when urban and rural meet...

The computer is really a luxury when it comes to "sketching" and I don't use it often enough to develop my imagery. When I do, I find it most exciting to change imagery, save stages, tweak elements of design here and there, change color!

I even changed the "paper" several times to see what the image would look like printed on various choices. Here is the almost-to-be-final image. I need to let it gel for a couple of days and then it should only be about another week or two for carving and printing. My Valley of Fire show concludes next week and I should be able to dedicate myself to this project fully and finish printing by the second week of July.

The sketch, reversed as it will be in print, a little messy in PhotoShop but will clean up and simplify nicely when printed because the woodcut process tends to do that. I think the colors will work well to represent both the topo features and the red/yellow/green of the traffic symbols. The "city grids" will probably also be finer and cleaner in line when cut on wood.
Comments welcomed!