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September 2, 2007
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Beyond Measuring, Action by rabid-potato Beyond Measuring, Action by rabid-potato
Looks like I'm not dead after all.

This is the first print I did for my senior studio printmaking class, a class that thoroughly kicked my ass but I would take again in a heartbeat.

I've been doing a lot of work with secrets and the idea of hiding secrets in plain view, codes, and personal mythology. To that end I've been using a lot of alchemical symbols and ideas in my work, particularly the idea of coding your secrets in symbols that only the initiated would understand.


Thanks to my friend Rebecca for the title, I for one was certainly stumped.
Combination stone lithography, plate lithography, and woodcut with handcoloring, 15"x19", 13 impressions.
©E. Patrician 2007, all rights reserved.
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:iconmallenroh001:
Mallenroh001 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2010  Professional General Artist
way too cool, it has a tarot card feel to it :D
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010   General Artist
Thank you!
You know, I've been messing around with the idea of learning more about the symbolism of Tarot. Maybe I should actually get off my butt and do it, haha.
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:iconmallenroh001:
Mallenroh001 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Professional General Artist
I can't read the tarot to save my life lol, but the symbolism of each individual card is utterly fascinating :)
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:iconmouse2cat:
mouse2cat Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010
It's nice to see your print pop up again in my little deviations tab. I don't think this is your best composition, a little too formal for my taste, but every technical element in it is done flawlessly. The chatter of the woodcut really adds to the litho and that braid is just beautifully carved.
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2010   General Artist
Slowly but surely I'm submitting all of my best prints to #printmaking...I don't want to overwhelm people so I'm just sticking to the one-a-week thing instead of asking the admin to add all my stuff at once.

And thank you very much- this print was actually kind of a nightmare. The two yellow runs are on stone, but the green is on a plate and I accidentally misregistered it by half an inch, and of course I didn't catch it until I put the key on. I was so frustrated and pissed off that I seriously kicked around the idea of just redoing the whole thing. I still have the block and I might alter it and create something new with it someday, but this one has kind of grown on me, misregistration and all.

The formality of the composition was intentional, as I was really heavily into the visual imagery of alchemical textbooks and mandalas at the time, but I agree- it is very static. Part of what I'm working on now is keeping the same sort of imagery and symbolism, but with more flow and movement to the compositions.

You always leave the best comments, seriously. <3
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:iconmouse2cat:
mouse2cat Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2010
In hindsight litho ink is so transparent that you probably could have gotten away with printing your relief keyblock first and then the colors on top. Although if your relief layer wasn't utterly dry it might muck up your stone anyway.
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2010   General Artist
You know, I hadn't thought of that. I know that a lot of the students this quarter are experimenting with relief and litho together, but I haven't seen any of the finished products so I don't know how they're turning out. I'll snoop around and see what I can find, haha.

I like the way the feathers look now too, but oh MAN was I pissed at the time.
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:iconmouse2cat:
mouse2cat Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010
I just know that on the few instances I printed black first and tried to print on top of that with colors, the colors were so transparent that they did not cover up the black AT ALL. I was kinda mad about this at the time but hey. It could certainly keep you registered.
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010   General Artist
That's actually a good idea...I'll have to try it. :O
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:iconmouse2cat:
mouse2cat Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2010
You know I would never have thought that was mis registration until you said something. I like how the green layer interlocks with the black feathers but I can see what you are talking about. If it was all the same kind of registration it would be more straightforward but litho just has to be a bitch.
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:icongremshula:
Gremshula Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Is that ever neat! That's so cool
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009   General Artist
Thank you! :D
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:icontrick-catalyst6:
Trick-catalyst6 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
technically brilliant:D
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009   General Artist
Thank you! It was certainly a piece of work.
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:iconjaxelise:
JaxElise Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008
very creative and thought provoking! i love the patterning
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:iconaeongoddess:
aeongoddess Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007
It's so bold and graphic, even with the subtle textures. Love the alchemical symbols... they're the basis for the tattoo I have in the works, so, special soft spot with me.

Great work.
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2007   General Artist
Thank you! I had a lot of problems and a lot of fun with this at the same time, but I think it was worth it.
Are you going to upload your design when it's finished? I'm really intrigued. :}
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:iconkitton:
kitton Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
The background textures are a lot of fun and I like how this turned out :) The wings and hair have such cool textures that stand apart but also work together. The colour makes me think of bees... and I love bees!
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007   General Artist
Bees~ :D
The wings were a royal bitch and a half to carve, I can tell you that. XD; I think it turned out all right, though. I'd like to use the block again for another version of this with different litho runs in the background.
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:iconmizutamari:
mizutamari Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007  Student Filmographer
Oh yeah... and the art is pretty!
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:iconmizutamari:
mizutamari Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007  Student Filmographer
OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! *tackleglomps you*
:glomp:
I MISSED YOU!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2007   General Artist
*tackles you back* I MISSED YOU PUDDLE!!!
I'm not quite dead yet!
Reply
:iconmizutamari:
mizutamari Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007  Student Filmographer
No being dead! I will not allow it!
Reply
:icon10minsofmayhem:
10minsofmayhem Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really awesome. It looks like something you'd find in an old book about secrets!
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2007   General Artist
Thanks!
Oooh, that's a great idea- it'd be cool to do a book of art/prints all about secrets and bind it up in old-looking leather and stuff. :}
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:iconmichelleburnette:
MichelleBurnette Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007
What an interesting design, nice work.
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007   General Artist
Thank you!

I enjoyed your gallery, by the way- you've got an interesting style.
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:iconbrendankeeley:
BrendanKeeley Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007
Nice! It's got a great tribal feeling to it, not to mention a heap of quasi-surrealism which really appeals to me. It's simplistic, but that just makes it eyecatching, and the colour scheme is not onle suitable but effective. This moveover to prints was certainly a good step forward.

Oh and +fav, 'case it's worth it. ^_^
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007   General Artist
Thank you~ ^^

A lot of people got a tribal feel from it in class as well, which is totally cool because I'm really into mythology as well as alchemy.

The dark brown key image is actually a woodcut set on top of 3 lithography layers...lithography is kind of hard to explain (wiki's article is pretty good though), but woodcuts are basically like wooden stamps- you carve out what you don't want to show, roll ink on what's left, and run it through the press. I want to use this block again for another version of this print, but I'm not sure what to do with it yet.
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:iconbrendankeeley:
BrendanKeeley Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2007
You're welcome. ^_^

I too have a sort of soft spot for mythology, though I don't especially care for most of the commonplace mythos such as the greeks and vikings. I'm rather into African mythology though, for me, it's something new and different, which hasn't become so enogorated into out culture that it's lost all it's mystery.

Alchemy too is rather interesting. Again, it has that level of mystery to it, which really appeals to me. My knowledge of alchemy however, such as it is, comes largely from things such as Dr Faustus, rather than from actual achemical texts, thought they are something I really should look into.

While on the subject of alchemy, one part which really interests me is the concept that certain objects are spiritually pure, such as, say a diamond, while others are inpure, such as say a toad. However, placing a toad near a diamond will actually contaminate and un-purity the diamond. It's a basic principle at heart, but a rather fascinating one.

Ahh, now woodcuts I do know a lot about. Being a fan of classic literature, I've come across more woodcut images ( boz's works in particular, have a special place in my heart ) than one would think. Not only that, but while I myslef havn't really tried woodcuts, my inking technique draws heavily upon them, and in some ways tries to reporduce their effects in a different medium.
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:iconrabid-potato:
rabid-potato Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007   General Artist
Your work totally gives me a woodcut vibe, I would love to see how you would handle a woodcut- they're a lot of fun and the wood gives you the kind of texture that really makes things pop.

I really haven't done nearly as much alchemy research as I'd like, but I've learned a few tidbits. Did you know that Newton suffered from mercury poisoning for over two years as a result of his alchemical research? If you read his notebooks from that time they're literally nothing but gibberish. I knew the concept of "pure" substances, but didn't know about the proximity thing, that's really interesting! That'd be a great line to use on somebody slimy in a bar: "Excuse me sir, you're contaminating my spiritual purity by your proximity. Now GTFO."

I know what you mean about the more common mythologies- I'm fondest of Celtic mythology myself, and if you talk to people it seems like almost nobody knows anything about it. I took a poetry class this past summer session and when one of Ezra Pound's Cantos referenced Lir and the swans even the teacher was surprised I knew what they were. Have you read any Neil Gaiman, particularly American Gods? He draws on a lot of different mythologies, which I find fascinating and really refreshing when the only mythology most people know about is Zeus and Aphrodite.
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:iconbrendankeeley:
BrendanKeeley Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007
I don't know, I'm not particularly good at woodwork and that sort of thing. Now blue-tac sculpures, that's more my scene... ^_^

A lot of people seem to think my work gives of a woodcut vibe, wich is good. ( since that's sort of what I've been aiming at ) One guy once asked if he actually make woodcuts of some of my pictures, which was a little wierd, but still.

Recently I've been doing a lot of pencil work, with really dark pencil lines ( really dark, they're actually turning out as pure black on the computer ) and they have an even better woodcut look to them. I've not got round to putting any up on DA yet, but I will do.

Can you actually get copies of Newtons alchemy textbooks?

Iv'e read a bit of Neil Gaiman, but not a lot. Mostly just some of the sandman series. I'm certainly impressed with his skill as a writer, and he definatly knows he stuff as far as mythology is concerned. I don't actually find most of the stories themselves that interesting though, it's more the waggish way in which they're written that appeals to me. There's a couple videos of him on youtube, where he talks about HPLovecraft and the necronomicon in a very articulate fasion.

Celtic mythology? Well you've got me there. No doubt those people who move in druidic circles will know all about that sort of thing, but for the rest of us brits, it's sort of a blank slate. Now there's a subject which still has a good bit of mystery appeal to it. I may have to look into this...

You're lucky the teacher knew who they were. ^_^

Also, a lot of norse mythology has been done to death in fantasy literature. When Tolkien came out with middle earth, it must have been wonderfuly fresh, new and origional, but now ever fantasy writer and his dog throws elves, dwarves and trolls around. That's largely why I don't really care for fantasy as a geanra, nothings really new anymore, just Tolkien re-runs...

Yes, that certianly is a good use of alchemical terminology. Granted the odds of me being hit on by some guyin a bar are probably fairly small, but there we are...
An aquantance of mine is alchemical impuirity personified though.
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