It’s only the second week of April and already my body feels that summer is in full swing. I’ve spent two weekends in the bright sun at Vantage and I’m headed, in just under an hour, towards Smith Rock.
I’ve been struggling to find a way to bring art back into my life– I don’t write poetry with any regularity, I’m not reading theory or novels, and I haven’t been focused on visual work in a long time. In short– I’ve been in the climbing gym a hell of a lot, I’ve been working to help start SheRocks and I’ve been (gasp) working at my job. Other people find ways of keeping at art, but I’ve let it slip. That is, until recently. Sometimes it just takes one person to look at you a different way and call you something you used to hear regularly to reawaken. I’m not sure how exactly my art background came up when talking with G at first, but it did, and then it didn’t stop. We ended up spending a day climbing at the gym and then working on art together and I stumbled into my next project– an attempt to combine rock and art.
I’ve been doing block prints for a long time, but never for anything serious. I usually contribute a design for the beer labels when I brew with B, and I make my sister’s holiday cards, but I can’t really remember the last print project I took on for myself. This summer– I’m going to document my climbs. I’m still working on the parameters, but for now, every weekend that I go climbing I will make a print based on the location. My end goal, at the moment, is to combine all the prints into a hand bound book at the end of the summer.
There are a couple of things that really excite me about this. First, it’s going to be a challenge to work with the same location multiple times. The basalt columns of Frenchman Coulee are beautiful, but if I go there a few times, I don’t want the same column image. Second, I get to play with inking to bring out additional details. Third, I know, logically, that I had a lot of adventures last summer. It still feels like I barely got outside. At the end of this summer I will have a stack of prints that are irrefutable proof that yes, adventure happened. I’m writing the location, date, and the company I was with on the back of each plate, and I might add the text to the images for the final presentation.
Anyhow. That’s my plan. It’ll change, I’m sure, but that’s the plan so far.
Here are two of the images from the series so far, rough test prints.