Furst Otto von Bismarck, Silver Gelatin Print
For several years, I have worked on portraits of Newfoundland dogs. I hoped to permanently document the gorgeous giant faces of these toddler-like animals who have a life span of less than a dozen years.
I also did a series of wood engravings of Newfoundland dogs. As children, many of us dreamt of a magical bond with an animal. Children's books are full of stories where animals can read our minds, communicate with us, or rescue us in time of trouble--stories like Tarzan, Dr. Dolittle, Lassie, Scoobie-Do, The Neverending Story--all unfortunately, fiction. We dream of animals as our heroes, protectors and best friends. What makes us want this bond so badly?
My work dealt with a relationship that is so real, so profound, it only exists to the dog and his human. Any Newfoundland owner will tell you. But most humans tend to see animals as inanimate objects. And folks tend to not want to look deep into the eyes of a 165 pound giant dog.
I have recently turned my attention toward another kind of documentation. I am turning colorful, energetic scenes from other countries into pure line. I have always had an attraction to beautiful lines, and for years have found myself watching people, tracing their hand movements or the turn of their head. These scenes were played out by people who wanted to be seen, and yet, they have created something for us that they did not realize. I have been exploring a new technique with solar plate intaglio where the image is drawn on grained glass and exposed to the emulsion coated plate. The etching produced with this method yields an image that is lithography-like. It is a wonderful surface to draw on, and the lines reveal the very skeletal structure of that unusual moment in time. May 2005
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