Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Celebrating {Tim Merrick}

When I first trained as a printmaker, demonstrating absolute control over the the process was a primary goal. Like a lot of us in the last 25 years, printmaking has changed its mind. Nowadays you are both free and responsible to make up your own rules and goals in your printmaking work.

It’s sounds easier than following a strict rule set, doesn’t it? Set your own goals, decide on your yardstick, create away. And truly the first blush of freedom and creative juice is a gas, and then you realize you are on your own. You. The very person you know who maybe procrastinates, is forgetful, lazy, distracted, confused, undisciplined. And you think, wow, how is this jerk going to get this done?

That’s what I love about Tim Merrick’s work. Tim is technically a great printmaker and while his work is traditional his plate material is not. He uses pieces of his grandfather’s salvaged copper roof to etch or scratch images on. When Tim is drawing on a copper plate he doesn’t know how the image he draws and the dings and dangs of the old roofing material are going to work together once he inks the plate. He lets it happen, he trusts it will work out, that he will be able to work with what is inherent in the material and himself and make good. He trusts that the plate marks from the salvaged copper and his drawings will dance well together, celebrating both the material and the artist’s flaws.

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