"…in the tension between light and dark is the power of the universe."
—Peter Matthieseen, The Snow Leopard
…and, I would add, without the darkness of night, we would not see the stars.
I first discovered the sensuous blacks and subtle grays of the Mezzotint when I was in my early twenties. At the time, there were few people practicing this archaic engraving technique, which was invented in the 17th century, but was nearly lost with the advent of photography.
This extraordinarily time consuming process, while laborious to some, is meditative and highly satisfying to me. Using only the pressure of my hand on the scraping tool, I can imbue simple still life objects - drapery, tools, a shell - with a reserved strength and beauty that I obtain in no other medium. Light and shadow have the power to transform the seemingly immutable. Somewhere along the way psychological states of mind reveal themselves, and our outer and inner worlds connect.
The following five images are from the artist's book A Kerosene Beauty a collaborator the poet Jane Hirshfield.
I find passageways and arches, with their light and shadow shapes, visually beautiful and metaphorically rich in their associations, as in-between or transition states, filled with ambiguity and openness. The following seven images are from the artist's book Peruvian Portals, a collaboration with the poet David St. John.
The following five images are from the artist's book Arch, a collaboration with the printer Jack Stauffacher.