OK..So I realized that I should re- visit printmaking.
I really enjoyed and explored litho, etching and mono-printing in college, but the requirement of a press has kept me from the medium for 20 (or so) years.
I signed up for an intaglio class with a former colleague and have been busy ever since. Intaglio is a process of printmaking where one draws on a metal plate and in such a way that the line becomes a groove into which ink can be rubbed and then pressed onto (into?) a piece of paper (like the way dollars are printed.) This can be done by etching (using an acid bath) or engraving/drypoint (where the lines are scratched or carved into the plate.)
We started with linoleum printing, which is a little different because it is a relief print, meaning the ink sits on top of the plate (as oppose to within the carved lines.) Both processes have required me to think in different ways that have led to exciting outcomes.
The lino-cuts led me to make these super graphic, Kline-eque images, while the intaglio has supported the meticulous crosshatch line drawing qualities. Altho the lino-cuts have produced work I would like to explore, I feel the need to focus on the intaglio prints since those require the special press to process.
I am working on a series of olive tree images which I find both touching and humorous. In La Mirada (where I live) many (most?) homes have an olive tree. I have become interested in the variety of ways homeowners deal with this beautiful, but messy, tree. Some people let the tree become overgrown, but many do their best to shape the tree into what they believe is a pleasing, controllable shape, with mixed results.
The shape of the olive tree is a direct reflection of its owner. The history of its prunes, clippings and shapings say as much about it's look as its DNA (the old nature/nurture conundrum.) This has given me an infinite supply of source material while I re-learn and explore the incredibly beautiful medium of intaglio.