Before this book project, it had been many years since my artwork dealt with realistic imagery. My abstract prints and drawings explored concepts of time and chance among other issues, usually in a geometric format. However, I often thought of producing a series of prints using the processes of my favorite medium, aquatint etching, with the subtle light qualities it affords.
When Amy and I began collaborating on Close To Home, the Hudson River was the obvious and natural choice for subject matter. Observing the river during my daily commute from Ossining to New York became an infatuation. The train runs parallel to the river so the view is unobstructed and dramatic. Sky and water sandwich a strip of land, unchanging but never the same.
In making the plates for these prints, I wanted to give the viewer a sense of time and place without being illustrative, so photographs were referenced for landforms while sky and water were my own inventions. In this way, I could show the majestic changes that are so compelling. In the end, I understood how an artist could take one view of nature and spend a lifetime creating unrepeated interpretations.
As a book artist, I am most interested in creating a narrative for the viewer. Books are intimate; they demand a one-on-one interaction with the reader. Because my work is often about intimate moments or memories from my own life, I feel that the book structure is the most appropriate form for my work.
Relationships and memories are the primary inspirations for my books and prints, particularly those I share with family members. Memories are often just fragments of images combined in our minds to create an entire picture. In many ways, my own memories about my family are just flashes of moments that I’ve blended together over time. Most of the imagery in my books is derived from photographs, emphasizing the notion that a fleeting moment can be captured and remembered.
I often print books to better understand my family members and the relationships I have with them. Close to Home is no exception. While reflecting on the word “home,” I was not able to disassociate my twin sister from my thoughts, and therefore, she became the subject of my reduction relief portraits.
Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012