Monday, 18 February 2013

Pas de deux



   Last week, after much dotting and dashing, came a magic moment.  After the strain of turning the press wheels, the pleasure of lifting the heavy felt printing blankets, and the peeling back of the thick, damp cotton paper from the copper plate, there appeared a finished print.  Etching, unlike painting or drawing, contains a singular moment of wonder in its process: after weeks of building line on line, and gazing past the glare of the copperplate to search for signs of progress, one moment at a press delivers a finished piece, only hinted at before.  (Of course, this does not often happen the first time a plate goes through the press; usually, there are tests and revisions to be made.)





In this etching, which is the second in what will be a series of five etchings on a theme of "double" (the first in the series is here), a twosome passes heedlessly over a sleeping landscape wearing clothes stitched with roses.





The title, Pas de deux (literally steps of two), of course refers to dance and works well with the movement implied, but I had originally passed this over and thought to call this "Le couple".  I thought it was important to have a title which clearly suggested making one thing from two; a word for 1+1=1.  But it was a boring title.  And as I thought about it the obvious hit me, and I realized that "pas de deux" could also translate to "not of two".





Perhaps I shouldn't mention it, but the germ for this idea came from a conversation with my husband in a pub a long time ago.  He or I said something about not really enjoying "being in a bar alone", forgetting that by being together, we were quite evidently not alone.  But of course, there we were, ostensibly no different from a couple getting to know each other a little ways away.  Perhaps because of the long time we've known each other, perhaps because of moving to places where we've known no one, or because we just talk too much, sometimes, sometimes, I feel like a four-armed, four-footed thing.





This print took a lot longer than I'd expected, but happily it is because I started working on the other prints before completing it.  So hopefully there will not be such a big gap between the second, third, fourth, and fifth prints as there was between the first and second!



12 comments:

  1. the images and story are beautiful, thank you for sharing!

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  2. Oh yes, I recognize that magical moment when you pull your first print! This is beautiful, Jodi, so much patient and eye-straining work making all those fine marks. I love the closeup details of the trees and the roses on the dress. It is full of mystery, myth and magic.

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  3. Jodie I think your putting time into all these lines has created a very lovely symbolism of strength and ease for all couples who sometimes "feel like a four-armed, four-footed thing".

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  4. This is extremely beautiful, you know Jodi, really so Whaaauw incredibly good work. It makes me happy that someone like you creates such prints. I love every detail of the image, but also every detail of the process. My warmest blessings for you, really !!! (I've quit blogging, but you can still find my site :X )

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  5. this is wonderful !
    May I ask you how long have you been working on and what's the size of this print?

    Beautiful work!!

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  6. oh, it is amazing! every little line in just the necessary place, and the fluffiness of the clouds! their expressions pull at me, and i love the big, soft mass of their oneness. the double-meaning of the title is a great "aha" moment :)
    oh, and i love the prickly trees tugging at the sheet, and the roses--everything! wondrous!

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  7. Beautiful, Jodi... I love how the cloth has caught and broken a tree, such a small and real moment. I also remember a comment you said your husband made about all those marks you put yourself to. Yup, you sure do, and the textures are wonderful.

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  8. Thank you everyone so very much for your lovely, generous words! It is so good to hear this has resonated with you all.

    Artisjokken, I should have mentioned the size, sorry! It's 20 x 30 cm. I started working on it way back in November, but there were a few things that came up and slowed down the process somewhat.

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  9. lovely characters! and so calming atmosphere :)

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  10. I can't stop coming back to your site to look at this image - it moves me deep inside ♥. The characters remind me of my grandparents and I can't think of a better way to portray a union then being wrapped in a blanket together whilst trying to dance - it's perfect!

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