Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Working on the plate

As with most etching plates this plate evolved very slowly. After taking a series photographs of different views of the mango trees and printing these out in black and white, I began to draw lines through the ground into the plate. As a rule I never begin an etching until at least sixty percent of the ideas have been resolved in my head. This plate was no exception. As I drew, I kept the image of John Martin (depicted in an earlier web log) in the back of my mind. It took some time to position the trees in the foreground correctly so that the path would meander successfully from the front of the picture plane into the centre of the image. After a while I became a little more confident about the overall structure of the elements within the image.

I had originally planned to have a figure walking from the foreground into the picture plane but in the early stages of the image I didn't know what form the figure would take. I did know that I wanted it to have a solitary or lonely feeling to it. In the third week of working I realised that the figure must relate closely to the sentiment of the etching which was of a search or a journey along the path leading into the spiritual world of the image. I then decided that a male figure with a tatoo of part of a William Blake image on his back, would be suitable subject to place on the path.