Saturday, February 08, 2003

'Wood engraving, patient, deliberate, and carefully thought out, with its routine rituals of engraving, ptoofing, more engraving, reproofing and eventually printing was a reassuring if laborious relief from the quicker and more off-the cuff newspaper work.'

The words are those of David Gentleman from his book 'Artwork' published in 2002. Hand craft processes impose their own discipline on the artist/craftsman and if the work is to have integrity and value the artist has to work sympathetically with his materials and the techniques of his craft.

For a time I became interested in Chinese painting, the initial preparation which this art form requires, the methodical laying out of paper, brushes, preparing the ink to the righr consistency and depth by rubbing the ink stick on the dampened stone relax the mind as preparation for execution of the first brush strokes. Such little rituals become a necessary part of artistic practice.

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