I LIKE MAPS, BECAUSE THEY LIE

Map

Flat as the table
it’s placed on.
Nothing moves beneath it
and it seeks no outlet.
Above—my human breath
creates no stirring air
and leaves its total surface
undisturbed.

Its plains, valleys are always green,
uplands, mountains are yellow and brown,
while seas, oceans remain a kindly blue
beside the tattered shores.

Everything here is small, near, accessible.
I can press volcanoes with my fingertip,
stroke the poles without thick mittens,
I can with a single glance
encompass every desert
with the river lying just beside it.

A few trees stand for ancient forests,
you couldn’t lose your way among them.

In the east and west,
above and below the equator—
quiet like pins dropping,
and in every black pinprick
people keep on living.
Mass graves and sudden ruins
are out of the picture.

Nations’ borders are barely visible
as if they wavered—to be or not.

I like maps, because they lie.
Because they give no access to the vicious truth.
Because great-heartedly, good-naturedly
they spread before me a world
not of this world.

Wisława Szymborska Winner, Nobel Prize | Map: Collected & Last Poems,
translated, from the Polish, by Clare Cavanagh & Stanistaw Baranczak

Milk River TR

Milk River T&R :: Edition of E.V.15

EXPLANATIONS

I put down a second color, a transparent orange-red, on ‘The Island’ edition. I’m considering titling it ‘Surrounded by Water’. I don’t want to explain my maps, my visual responses anymore. There isn’t always an explanation! And next week Lent starts, as well Chinese New Year of the Dog, . . . this is a good time to touch that door knob that hasn’t an explanation.

“There isn’t always an explanation for everything.”

Ernest Hemingway | A Farewell to Arms

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Surrounded by Water. Second color from stone lithograph matrix.

SEEN THROUGH THE VEIL OF THE SOUL

Second matrix for ‘The Island’ edition. Drawing with rubbing crayons and an alcohol tusche.

“If I were called upon to define briefly the word Art, I should call it the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul.”

Paul Cezanne

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Layout in conté crayon and gum arabic
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Painting out non-image areas with gum
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Alcohol tusche
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Rubbing crayon application
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Ready to etch. 12 drop nitric acid etch.
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Etched stone. Gum buff and ready to roll up.

DIFFCULTY IN THE PRESSROOM


“Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.”

Edgar Degas

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The big stone ‘ALOYS’ is named in honor of Johann Alois Senefelder

Alois Senefelder
Johann Alois Senefelder (6 November 1771 – 26 February 1834), the inventor of stone lithography.

LOOK, AND LOOK AGAIN

‘The Island’ edition, stone lithography matrix #1.


“Look, and look again,
This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.”

Mary Oliver

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Hansa, Primsrose & Warm (Chrome) Yellows + Litho Varnish #7 and Tint Base. Proof run on newsprint with layout.

AS THE ROUND EARTH ROLLS

Back on the press, back to the practice and process of making; the Gift of creativity. I say back because it has been a rather challenging and stressful year in this regard. I’ve been unable to give the attention and care to this essential practice in my life. Life had other plans for my attention this year and now I’m in that wonderfully dark night time of year where the stars are bright . . . and here in the intermountain west the nights and mornings invite me out on a cold run in the hills or along the river. Finding a way back to this grand show, this edition arising from the shinning mountains of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks . . . and all the beauty of open space that is currently under siege, under development, under disrespect.


This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls”

John Muir | John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

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Relief Matrix and Flocking from Generosity & The Way Across | Edition #109

SURROUNDED BY WATER

Starting over, cutting my losses of time and materials . . . but regaining my artistic voice and control of the edition.


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An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

IN THE SHOP & ON THE PRESS

Emerald Green and some Tint Base . . . but I had to stop the run because the blue ink wasn’t completely dry and was causing some, too much, scumming.

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Edition papers ready for more ink!

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Emerald Green

PRINTING & MAKING


Checking the registration on ‘The Island.’ Editioned the water base in [ Imperial Blue + Litho Varnish #7 + Tint Base + Setswell ].

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I made a relief matrix from cardboard. Gaylord Lake will be printed on the chine-collé in a clear tint base or varnish.

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Proofing the varnish matrix of Gaylord Lake and the island.

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ALLEY LIFE

The edition “The Island” will have a chine-collé with relief matrix over the lithographic layers. I’ve started to draw out the island and Gaylord Lake on the matrix.

The Island copy 4

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Out & About south of the river today Noteworthy Paper and Press has reopened their newly located & renovated gift and print shop and it is wonderful.

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MIXING INK

Mixing ink and trying to make some sense of the world that surrounds, penetrates and encompasses me while editioning one of the three water matrices for ‘The Island’ edition. Imperial Blue + Tint Base + Litho Varnish #7 . . . . each their own spatula inky !

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“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”

F. Dostoevsky | The Idiot

IN THE PRESSROOM

I etched another water based toner tusche for the water layer on The Island edition. Then mixed some Emerald Green ink in a couple of transparent ink draws. And lastly finished making two new scraper bars. A beautiful autumn day here in the pressroom, the alley, the valley.

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Plate matrix for ‘The Island’; water layer #3

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Emerald Green with Tint Base for ‘The Island’ forested or base matrix

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Ink draws for ‘The Island’ forested areas matrix

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New 20 and 25 inch scraper bars for lithography

IN THE SHOP TODAY

There really aren’t a lot of events as magical as water; and a lithographic wet tusche is just that, magical and amazing. I spent time mixing inks for the base plate of ‘The Island’ today. Edition of ~16 using 6 aluminum, relief & a photopolymer matrix with chine-collé.

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What the thunder has to say

I find, after all these years, I am a believer—
I believe what the thunder and lightning have to say;
I believe that dreams are real,
and that death has two reprisals;
I believe that dead leaves and black water fill my heart.

I shall die like a cloud, beautiful, white, full of nothingness.

The night sky is an ideogram,
a code card punched with holes.
It thinks it’s the word of what’s-to-come.
It thinks this, but it’s only The Library of Last Resort,
The reflected light of The Great Misunderstanding.

God is the fire my feet are held to.

by Charles Wright


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Edition #109 Generosity relief block proof on Kozo with flocking.

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Edition #109 Generosity relief block proof on Kozo printed in varnish on draft of print.

Process & Progress

I used #4 and #5 Korns crayons to draw the shimenawa on the aluminum plate matrix. I under etched the crayon drawing using just gum but did put TAPEM on the non-image areas. After an initial rollup, hopefully successful, I’ll re-etch the plate with a stronger etch.

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Topology

You might conclude that my “maps” are fictional imaginings or inaccurate by today’s mapping paradigm standards … but this is not at all true. I spend a good amount of time to insure that they are topologically accurate. Not only are they responses to real places where I have stop’d to see and to experience but I also consult other materials both historic and current. In the case of the current edition all the passes that I can identify as supporting human crossings are marked in their respective topologically correct location. The matrix that depicts the shimenawa wrapping of sacred space also indicates a correct topology of the access corridors into and out of the space. It is likely that this is why so few people understand what I am doing when I construct a mapping response to a place. The response is not a typical map in the modern sense of the term. Below is the mylar draft showing the shimenawa and access points. This process of making a response takes time, care, and, I believe, is an original map making (a rejection of modern gis-gps-cartography).


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Shimenawa :: the wrapping of sacred space. Mylar draft for the edition #109 ‘Generosity.’

Sacred Space

I read somewhere that Calder worked every day in his studio. I wish I could say the same. Somedays I suffer such depression it is difficult … everything is difficult. I thought today that I would see the ‘divide litho’ run completed on the ‘Generosity’ print but I was slowed by a scumming plate and I stopped the run to re-etch the open areas. The first print went fine, just the plate scumming during subsequent inking.

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So I proceeded with the layout for my initial idea of a shimenawa; used to indicate a boundary to something sacred, thus there be a sacred space called Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park! This is indicated in a stylized manner on the companion print ‘The Way Across’.

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There are places, like this, that must be wrapped by shimenawa. We are such a selfish species. In her “Memorandum to the Animals” Amy Leach says “If you are concerned about the devastation of your genetic type and you do not see your name on the Keep-Alive List, you might think about clumping some vegetation together into rafts on which to rescue yourselves… Anyway, we need the space for our works and wonders. Many of you are being superannuated because we must give priority to our machinery, our televisions and computers and refrigerators and cars, trucks, airplanes, combination microwave/convection ovens with auto-time zone adjusters. We will still bring a few of you with us, especially those of you with rumps and ribs (please refer to the Keep-Alive List). But we are not going to waste time holloing for the bush babies, waiting for the mayflies to drift in and the kiwis to materialize. We are certainly not going to stand around until the tortoises figure out what’s going on.”

Mixing Ink

I spent some effort today mixing the ink for the continental divides matrix (I transferred the relief print onto a litho plate) on the ‘Generosity’ edition. I had anticipated flocking the wet ink but decided instead to use of stiff black, Graphic Chemical Crayon Black, mixed with Litho Varnish #5 and Hanco Master Palette Fire Red. I’ve got to stop this seemingly endless matrix making. Now I want to add a border to the edition as I am not using the ‘The Way Across’ border on this print. You can see the ink draw on the lower right on the mock-up below.

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Herman Melville | Moby Dick

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May 4th 1970 Kent State Massacre

Warm weather and working on several editions right now both maps and prints. I hope to get a complete font of lead type for the letterpress someday. It would be nice to start on the book of birthday poems book. I’ve yet to come up with the plan for the illustrations. A series of block prints would work well with the poems; maybe one each decade 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s … Meena the Cat and I have been spending together time. Aside from the head bumping, nibbling and kissing that happens around 5AM we are having a good time together. She stays close by. In 1970 I was nearby the Kent State Massacre; 13 seconds and four students murdered (Agnew’s words). This present moment changed it all for me.

May 4th 1970, The Kent State Massacre
An emotional Governor Rhodes, yelling and pounding his fists on his desk called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries ”…They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America…..” and then the Kent State massacre … the shootings of unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio …The shootings were ordered by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, agitated by an undercover FBI agent. Twenty-nine guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.


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on the press again

This week I’ve been back in the pressroom working on the changes to the Generosity & The Way Across edition. On wet ink (a soft black on Kozo) gently brush on the flocking pigments then remove from the non-inked areas. Working proof to evaluate the changes to the matrix in the Comeau Pass area.

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YA) The River Again

Here is a proof of the print “River Form” without the collage paper(s). I am still considering a delicate lithograph layer under or within the river form that details the rivers Clark Fork and Bitterroot coming together west of Missoula. The pinkish tint is due to the indoor lighting, but you can see the effect of the varnish tint without pigment, with the gold flocking of the golden mean, and the black outer border.

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then… You can’t make them change if they don’t want to.” Andy Warhol
The River

YA) The River

Work on the ‘River Form’ print continues. It’s a large matrix and takes some time to proof and develop. I am considering a lithograph layer using a water tusche that will show through the varnish of the river form and tint the piece. Although the print right now utilizes only one (relief) matrix, the matrix was inked in two colors and gold flocked (on the golden rectangle) thus the appearance of three separate colors. The green tint comes from a sheet of green Kozo placed beneath the proof (showing stronger beneath the transparent litho varnish), and the water forms on the right side from another sheet, again placed beneath the proof. Both of these sheets are to visualize how might the lithograph tusche develop the edition. I’m thinking of “YA) the river” but that can wait.

River Forms

We drink the same water

River Form” is a large relief matrix that I’ve yet to edition. Cut from Sentra a decade ago it depicts the Clark Fork meanders on Kelly Island west of Missoula, Mont. embedded in the ‘golden mean’ and irreverent property ownership. What remains of a place when it is defined by place names of dead white Europeans who never set foot, by pavement covering the soft earth underfoot, by lawns of strange grasses infested with poisons, by houses made from plastics and set on rectangular grids imposed on the land and fenced with signs saying PRIVATE … ? Ink selection trials, litho varnish, gold flocking and black, on Kozo and chine-collé. I have no love for the destruction currently being wrought of this beautiful earth. The earth is not private … we all drink the same water.

ink selection


“Water is good, so is thirst; … shadow is good, so is sun; … the honey from the rosemarys … and the honey of the bare fields.” Antonio Machado

Waters Beneath

The Parsonage, I am told on authority, has been experiencing an unusual amount of flooding in the basement. The Colville River (and the Chewelah Creek system), more or less a drainage ditch on behalf of the valley wheat farmers, is quite high. Water is really an amazing force; THE element that gets larger when colder. Think about this little detail for a minute. This expanding and contracting accounts for much of the dynamic forces that shape the planet, crushing rocks. One night when, as building and grounds manager in a Catskill resort, as a winter flooding was coming down the Panther Kill I was awoken by a deep low sound I’d never heard before. In the morning I discovered that massive boulders, some 20 and more feet tall, had been carried down the creek in the flooding. Well, water changes things. The basement flood at the Parsonage in Chewelah reminds me of the Derby Street community that sits atop a buried east bay creek in Berkeley. High waters bring flooding to their basements as well. Derby Street II Waters Beneath, a multi-matrix lithograph, is a response to the waters in motion beneath us.

Derby Street II Water Beneath