February 6, 2020


        My most recent pieces are a little series of variations using the same block.  The block was my sample piece for at least a year.  Every time I taught a class I’d use this scrap of rubber to demonstrate how to use the carving tools.  It was a sample for the “Not a Zentangle” project with which I have students start.  The idea is just to try out a variety of different patterns to get the feel of carving.  Because I would carve only a few lines and patterns each time, this block lasted me for a long time!  But eventually I filled in the whole thing, declared it finished, and printed it, just to demonstrate printing.  I then started fooling around with the printing, combining multiples in various ways, and I decided that I rather liked it.
        Theoretically any square or rectangular block can be printed in four different spinning patterns: one with each different corner as the center point.  (You can see some square blocks printed this way here.)  My block, however, is not a proper rectangle, because it was just a scrap of rubber trimmed from something else.  It has two right-angled corners, and each of those could be used as a center point, but another corner is missing, and the last is weirdly lumpy.  I experimented with different ways to arrange the block to get rotational symmetry around those two corners that don’t really fit together.
        After staring at all my variations until I couldn’t see straight, and asking my patient family members which designs they liked best, I finally decided on three versions to print.  You’ll notice, if you look carefully, that even the two square corners are no longer the central points of their rotations.  I decided that each pinwheel should have a small space in the middle, to make them go together better.
        This is the first truly abstract art I’ll be showing.  I’m curious whether my audiences will like them at all.  I find them quite joyful!

        ANNOUNCEMENT for all those in the greater Boston area: this Sunday from 2-5pm will be the opening celebration of the eight-person show in which I’ll be featured at Gallery Twist in Lexington.

[Pictures: Variations rotating around 4 “corners,” rubber block prints by AEGN, 2019;
Pinwheel I, Pinwheel II, Pinwheel III, rubber block prints by AEGN, 2020.]


Pax said...

I really like the pinwheels, Anne. To make multiple copies, though, it must be very tedious. Is there some tricky way to make a copy of, say, the 3 horizontal designs without having to ink and place the little block twelve times?

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Nope! =)