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[River in Autumn - 1] Design considerations

Posted by Dave Bull at 7:50 PM, August 12, 2008

Well, the Seacoast in Summer print is history ... and the prints are now in the hands of the collectors.

That's six out of the twelve complete, so the series is now half-way done. It has taken fifteen months, about 25% longer than my initial estimate of one year (two years for the entire project). When I did the financial calculations for this series, I estimated around 100 collectors, and a total time of two years. I have at present 77 collectors for the project, and when this is combined with the time slippage, my income is thus running at about 60% of the estimated amount. Things are definitely a bit tight at present.

But ... I'm a light eater, and with my younger daughter now graduated from university and fully independent, I'm getting by. I said that I estimated 100 collectors, but I have been making 200 copies of each of the prints; I intend to have this set available in my 'catalogue' for quite some time to come. If previous patterns are anything to go by (my Surimono Albums, etc.) orders will come in one by one steadily over the coming years.

Anyway, six down, six to go - time to get started on the next one!

It'll be Chapter Four - the River in Autumn. I kept the work on the previous print secret, but I see no reason not to share the construction process of this next one. Here's the quote from the accompanying text:

... but here at the riverside, with the light from the fire flickering on the underside of the tree branches overhead, I am not thinking of such things. Surrounded by the darkness which starts just a few metres away at the edge of this small circle of light, river gurgling away unseen just in front of me, hot chocolate in hand, I stare into the dancing flames, 'never still for an instant, in constant motion, yet never changing', just like the river itself. I wonder what I must look like seen from a distance, say from a long way down the river. A tiny oasis of flickering light; a small tent, a motionless figure sitting beside it ... all around the deep dark night ... And such a magical transformation in mood created by just a tiny pile of wood chips and a single match.

Kind of designs itself, doesn't it!

But ... that same thing could have been said about the previous print, the one with the full moon over the sea. In fact I did say something like that at the time ...

"Hmm ... full moon ... deep dark sky ... water ... The print kind of suggests itself, doesn't it." ...

But - as we saw - there was another possible approach.

In correspondence with one of the collectors the other day, he said - when discussing a couple of the earlier prints in the series:

[They have] focus. In taking back an artistic impression of an experience, we can embrace the wide view, or we can zero in on one outstanding element.

And so it is with this one ... a wider view, as suggested by the quote above, or a zoom-in focussed image of some particular element (I wonder which one?).

Opinions welcome. In the meantime, I'll continue to mull over the concept, and play with some sketches and design ideas ...

The thread continues in [River in Autumn - 2] ...


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