stopping with eyes wide opentoMake™ Press & Editions

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

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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.

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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.

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I DO NOT NEED TO EXPLAIN

Work in progress; drawing on the stone and two test proofs posted on the bulletin board in the alleyway. YA) It is even more difficult to reveal yourSelf.


“ … I do not need to show my work, and I do not need to explain it. If the work doesn’t talk to you, just relax. Do any of you have to define yourself? It is very difficult to define yourself. It is even more difficult to reveal yourself.”

Louise Bourgeois | Statement, 1989

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Drawing on the stone; Gum block out, Korns medium rubbing crayon and #3 Korns lithography crayon

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™

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THE IMPORTANT THING

YA) ’Making the unknown known.’ Must listen, stop and carefully listen, discard the baggage and see the unknown, known the unknown, experience the Other. . . .
Recently I’ve not been successful on the press and after another difficult & stressful day of disappointments Meena the Cat came into the pressroom, got on my shoulders, and nuzzled, kissed and comforted me as I was cleaning up. We go on with the practice, the effort, with making the unknown known.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

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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.

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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.

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MAKING MISTAKES

Working on the edition ‘The Island,’ a five-colour/matrix stone lithograph from the large stone ALOYS. It will bleed off the bottom of a full sheet of Somerset Soft Velvet White. It feels good to be back working in the pressroom. Making mistakes and suffering is indeed an essential part of being a living member of the human tribe. ‘Not to undo suffering’ . . . but ‘to make it inform our lives.’ So I made some mistakes in the process of this edition, and it wasn’t happiness or easy . . . neither is life.


“My argument with so much of psychoanalysis, is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, or a sign of weakness, or a sign even of illness. When in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know, have come out of people’s suffering. The problem is not to undo suffering, or to wipe it off the face of the earth, but to make it inform our lives, instead of trying to ‘cure’ ourselves of it constantly, and avoid it, and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call ‘happiness’. There’s too much of an attempt, it seems to me, to think in terms of controlling man, rather than freeing him.”

Arthur Miller


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Lithography drawing materials

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Shop Mix Black proof of ‘The Island’, Edition #123, Matrix #1

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Stone Lithograph matrix #1 for ‘The Island,’ preparation for edition run.

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The Island,’ edition #123 edition notes and ink mixing. Primrose and Hansa Yellows with Tint Base and Litho Varnish #7.

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‘The Island’ matrix #1 notes.

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THE REASON THAT ART IS VALUABLE

It’s cold today -9˚F with a headwind, and it was cold on my run along the steaming river. Upstairs we note just one more winter share market until spring. While downstairs work on the lithograph “The Island” goes slow. We’re listening to carols today, Christmas Eve Day and wrapping a few last minute gifts for each other.

“The reason that art (writing, engaging, and all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.”

Seth Godin

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Water Tusche on Stone Lithograph; inked and etched but not editioned

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Meena the Cat goes for the sun and goes out

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At the Saturday Winter Market; from our winter share



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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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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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.’

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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.”

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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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