Posted by Dave Bull at 12:49 PM, May 6, 2007
After another day's work, we've come this far ...
I had mixed feelings about how much of the image I should show at this stage, but decided 'what the hell', why not let them see it. I think that people will have varied reactions; I've already had experience here in my room of people seeing it and saying "Eh? Is that it?"
The subsequent conversation goes something like this (this is imaginary, but you get the idea) ...
Dave: "Yep. That's it. But remember ... there are many things that you can't see there yet ... none of the beautiful deep colours in the water, or the multiple layers of vegetation. So of course it looks boring still."
Guest: "But just a minute; don't you remember telling me a couple of years ago about 'the line?' You were adamant that even before any of the colours were applied to a print - when nothing was visible but the outlines - that the 'heart' of the image was already present!"
Dave: "Yes, of course I did ... and I was telling you the truth! But remember that we were talking about ukiyo-e. For prints in that genre, the line is indeed the most important thing, and all else can be considered almost decoration. But this is not ukiyo-e, this is more along the lines of a shin-hanga print. I'm not about to pretend that the 'line' ... the core image ... in such prints is not important, but it absolutely plays a more subservient role. (And indeed, in some cases, the outlines are printed so lightly that they may be almost invisible.) Shin hanga is not about 'line'; it is about atmosphere ... light ... and depth. And none of those things are present yet."
Guest: "Well I don't know .. Of course I'm trying to see it that way - I can imagine the blue water, the green trees, the grey rocks ... But even so, it still looks pretty boring."
Dave: "Hee-hee! Yes, I can tell you - the photographs of the river scene that I took on a recent trip down there are coloured pretty much just as you describe ... and yes, they are very boring. But when I sit down with my brushes and barens, it will be my job to pick up where 'boring' reality leaves off. I don't want to 'give away' too much yet, but as you see this block coming clear bit by bit over the next few days, try and see the scene at 4:30 on a summer morning ... the sun has just poked up over the mountains off to the right somewhere ... Atmosphere ... light ... depth ..."
Guest: "OK ... I get the idea. We're waiting!"
The thread continues in [River in Summer - 3] ...