I have very much enjoyed becoming a more active member with Alberta Printmakers this year. They are comprised of amazing artists and supporters who are super inclusive and encouraging. One of their yearly fundraising efforts is the Not So Mini Print Exchange and Exhibition. It is an international call and artists submit an edition of 10 prints. Of that edition, 8 prints get given to other artists and 2 go up for auction with the proceeds going to fund further A/P projects.
My piece, The Fox and the Crow, was a return visit to an old theme that has been popping up in my work for about a decade. It's based off of a fable by Aesop - in it a crow has a tasty morsel of cheese in her beak. A sly fox decides to convince the crow that her voice is beautiful and that he wants her to sing. As she starts to caw and croak, the cheese drops to the ground and the fox runs away with the cheese. This has always been interpreted by me as a stark warning about flattery and other wasted words.
I have a hard time receiving compliments, I tend to be very awkward and uncomfortable when this happens. This is a long standing thing - hence the reoccurring fox and crow theme that I relate to on a deeper level. This strangeness about compliments was recently pointed out to me and I started to process a little bit about why it is hard to hear those things (haven't totally figured that out). I do like receiving warm feedback (especially from those that I really respect their opinions) and I decided it was time to put the Fox and Crow theme to rest. It was the subject of a print I did a long time ago that was rushed and I was dissatisfied with the end result.
This version I am much happier with. I printed it using 3 different blocks (the large red rectangle with scalloped pattern, the blue circle/floral blocks (used twice) and the final fox and crow block. I played around on my Chandler & Price treadle letterpress with very diluted pigment and tried my best to get nice registration and clean edges. It turned out well. I agonized over the composition for quite some time because I couldn't picture the placement very easily in my head - but at the end, I think it reads well. I feel like I am making slow art these days. Hopefully the flavours are that much more developed because of it. I also feel like I'm starting to make peace with some of my hesitations surrounding kind words about my work.
Come and check it out and all the other amazing pieces at:
Not So Mini Exhibition
December 6th - 21st, 2019
Find out more here.