May 10, 2013

Autumn Clematis in Springtime

        Outside on my side fence my clematis vines are once again shooting up.  While they're still getting started I have to go out and train them along the fence where I want them to go, and their leaves are still tiny, delicate tendrils.  But inside, the autumn clematis is in full bloom in the block print I finished yesterday.
        This is another door.  Although the impetus for it came from my book in progress, I always figure there's no point going through the whole process of carving an actual block, and printing actual copies unless an image will be attractive in its own right, independent of its role as an illustration.  In my story this door will open a portal to the Cleveland Heights house of a wizard named Tobal Salceda, the owner of one copy of The Extraordinary Book of Doors.  As one of the other characters observes of the image, "This doorway doesn't look particularly evil, actually," and that was what I wanted to show: an ordinary doorway, a pretty doorway, a welcoming, attractive doorway.  And I wanted it to stand alone as a piece of art even for those people who never hear of Tobal Salceda and The Extraordinary Book of Doors.  (As if any such benighted people will exist once my story is finished.  Ha ha.)
        In my goal of making more Dog Art I first planned to feature an elderly dog snoozing on the front step.  But I felt that the right kind of dog for that would be too big in the picture and become a focus instead of a detail.  So I fell back on yet another
cat.  So much for branching out. 
        I did have fun carving each individual autumn clematis flower, bunching them closer and closer until I had carved out everything at the center of the froth of white.  I had a little more trouble with the leaves, trying to balance a mass of dark with the need for texture and detail.
        Now that the big spring show is over, perhaps I'll be able to focus a little more on the writing again.  Although I do have several more ideas for block prints rattling around in my head, too…

[Picture: Autumn Clematis Door, rubber block print by AEGN, 2013;
carved block, photo by AEGN.]

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