Sunday, July 06, 2008

Emily Dickinson Series

It always feels good to be underway into a new body of work. The new series is Yet Eloquent Declare: The Emily Dickinson Series. Center images of a manipulated photograph of flowers or other plant material are surrounded by a line from one of her poems. I find that the actual work somehow springs forward after a long time of experimentation and exploration. When I look back, I can find the influences that led up to it but not a specific chain of thought that led directly to it.

Last year's trip to Korea inspired me to bring color back into my work after about fifteen years of browns and grays. The palaces and temples in Seoul were a stunning celebration of color in a way that I am not used to seeing here.

The Emily Dickinson images grew out of a long-time interest in mandalas and rose windows and playing around with flipping images in photoshop. The core image is one-sixteenth of the complete one. Four are flipped and put together to make a square and then four squares make the final image. The lettering is done with my Pentel brush fountain pen and scanned.

The words came from a renewed interest in collecting quotes, something I did constantly during my calligraphy years. Lately I have felt a desire to put words and hand lettering back into my work but as an element in the piece as opposed to the main presentation. I had the Emily Dickinson line "The wondrous nearer drew" somewhere in my new quote collection, and it became part of the first of the series. I have gone through the Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by Thomas M. Johnson and have found about thirty lines to use. The series is bringing me closer to the work of Emily Dickinson and to the natural world around me in a new way.

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