How do I decide? Sometimes consciously, usually intuitively, I reach for different elements to "sound" out the theme. Years of printmaking have placed the some of those conscious decisions in my hands leaving me free to improvise and explore. I can play with the contrast between the ink in the lines and the ink tone on the surface of the plate I can use different papers and add different elements.
Lately, I have been "using my left hand" so to speak, by using water based inks which have a different drying time and consistency than the oil based inks I used for years. It means more "mistakes" or as I sometimes like to call them "surprises", as what I thought would happen and what happens are two different realities. But come to think about it, isn't that a part of dialogue too?
This week I continued to play with the 3 x 3" plates that I made at Zea Mays. The same plates are inked with different colors, printed on different papers, combined on top of each other, next to each other or sometimes whimsically tickled with a inked feather and a bit of handmade paper. Like a nest builder, I choose and gather my materials and weave them into a dwelling place.