the Weather Report
All the Best in Gossip, News, and Weather :: a blog by Steven & Meena the Cat.

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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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.

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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