Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Lines Written on Ashes

   A break from packing before bed.  This apartment is burstingly full of mostly empty boxes stacked into precarious towers.  Yesterday was my last day at work and tomorrow morning we are catching a plane to Paris for a funeral.  Whatever I do or don't do, everything in all directions seems to be ending, changing.  
   So, today while clearing out some shelves, I had a little test print fire to get rid of all the accumulated printing experiments of this past while.  When you are working on an etching every now and then you have to pull a print on cheap paper to see how things are coming along.  I sometimes go through more than twenty stages of test prints before I get things how I'd like them to be.  So, naturally, I had a lot of test prints sitting around that I don't really need and can't afford to move to some place new, and then, it's been cold in here lately.  Some prints had vermilion-coloured ink and they were the loveliest when they caught fire.
   Someone told me that when they were young, their family had a tradition of sending letters to St. Nicholas at Christmas by setting their letters alight in the fireplace, and as the ink burnt up and the letters glowed, the words magically travelled to The North Pole.  I was thinking about this today as I added more papers to the fire; who are these pictures and letters going to?  Where are we going to?


  1. Cool images! I'll be following you wherever it is you land.

  2. If moving to another place makes one burn old accumulated tests, it is time for me to move !!!
    I hope Paris brings you good things too.
    And where do these prints go when burned? To the Intaglio Angel, my dear :-)
    All your hard work to be transformed in something better that will return into your hands.

  3. so it is Paris
    you will find
    another side of yourself
    in Paris.

    have fun.

  4. An elegiac post, evocatively conveying complex situations and ideas. Brava. Beautifully done. Out of chaos comes creativity.

  5. Such beautiful images. Good luck on your journey. x

  6. I think when we offer up pictures like this as a sacrifice they go into the universal heart, becoming part of mankind's invisible inner treasure. But that's just me : ) I love the colours!

  7. Thanks Valerianna, I'll be very happy to have you along!

    Barbara, I'm very glad to know about this Intaglio Angel! If that angel is anything like that one in Koppelman's print that you mentioned, I'd be very happy indeed to send my things there. Test prints really do accumulate don't they? It is sort of hard to let go of them, even though they are not exactly right. I like your idea that they are a sacrifice for something better. And Paris was nice, despite the sad parts. It is still beautiful and it still feels like home.

    The Wild Magnolia, actually, as it happens, I found myself in Paris for a little more than three years before moving to Scotland. ;) It was funny to be there again, sometimes it was as if I hadn't left at all and this life was just something I dreamed up.

    Clive, thank you for your kind words. I should have been chanting that last part as a mantra, I think!

    Thank you Claire!!

    Hita, that's such a lovely thought! I love the idea of a shared, invisible treasure. The colours are great, but I wish I'd have thought to take pictures a little sooner while I was making that fire... there were some incredibly beautiful things that happened when the inks burned.

  8. Wow. They are beautiful like that. I am going home to Scotland very soon. I'm sitting in the airport looking through your posts. It's nice. Maybe some selkie will find your prints and hang them on her wall. Although I'm not sure if selkies have walls to hang things on.
    Take care,

  9. Oh my, what stunning images. And all the more beautiful for their impermanence. One touch and they would disappear.

    Thank you for sharing! xx

  10. That's incredible.
    Good luck with the new directions, you seem far more centered than I would be, I envy that.
    Your maquette for Clive is simply stunning, I really truly love it.
    Take care,

  11. beautiful images...i'm sorry it's hard, now, but i know you're going somewhere great! to wonderful discoveries!