Sunday, February 12, 2006

A dialogue with the image

At a cetrain point during the drawing component of the making of an image on an etching plate, the image seems to start asserting itself. It begins to take itself so seriously that an artist may begin to believe that they are having a dialogue with it.

In different works the dialogue starts at different stages. It a bit like having a young baby who communicates very little when it is just born. As time passes it grows and starts to communicate with its parents and those around it. Eventually it grows and matures enough to become an independent being. Etchings for me are a little like that, at some point in their creation they will begin a dialogue with us and we as artists will believe that the visual space that we have created on the etching plate, or drawing (or whatever it is that we make) is as real as is the view we see each morning from our bedroom window. As we continue to work on an image it will become alive in our minds and we will believe in its existence as a living three dimensional entity; (even though we know the two dimensional world is really flat.)
The image of the etching included, is an early state . By this stage the etching is telling me how it believes that I can help to make improvements to it. This first state did not have the tonal richness that I had imagined the image should have, so I re-grounded the plate and added new lines for further etching. This process of re-grounding and re-etching the plate may happen as many as four to six times on the larger plates like this one.