Happy Winter Solstice! I've just finished a copy of a print I made in 2004 called 'Pictish Adam and Eve'. The print (left) was an etching but only made it to an edition of 5 as the 'creve bites' (I believe that's what they are called) weakened the etched lines and many of them collapsed, making for a very ugly print of missing lines, mottled tones and embossing rather than ink lines. This was caused by me using a needle to scribe the lines and having too many lines close together, weakening the 'proud' areas of the plate.
Someone was very interested in acquiring this image, but since the last print of the edition was sold in 2006, I decided to redraw the 'print' for them (right). I'm happy how it came out and I like the idea of a drawing mimicking a print rather than the other way around (a stigma that burdens printmaking). Even though I was constantly sharpening my pencil every 4 or 5 lines, I couldn't get the incredibly fine detail that is seen on the etching. I'd be happy to make single etching prints just to get the fine lines.
To accentuate the etching-look of the drawing, I added toned lines around the frame of the print to show where the edge of the plate is and also random lines and marks on the backdrop of the image to mimic the nuances of the original plate tone.
Here's Matthew in front of Caravaggio's The Inspiration' and 'Marytrdom of St Matthew' at the San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, 2008. I got into the habit of walking into whatever looked like a church, to see what treasures it held. This one was one of the best surprises.
The paintings are lit by a simple lighting system that is activated by depositing a euro coin. I kind of prefered it in the dark as it probably gave a more of the impression of the figure coming out of the darkness / cavity deep in the picture plane. Frank Stella loves these paintings and uses them to illustrate his ideas of Working Space in his lecture series available in book format now.
It was, of course, hats off in the sacred space.

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