Printing is for the bees

 

The absolute best (and worst) thing about printing cyanotypes is that I’m outside.  Only an alternative process lets you hobnob with the wildlife while your print exposes.  

Today was cloudy again – these weather predictors really need to refine their language.  Partially cloudy really means totally cloudy, with splotches of rain.  A full sunny day is becoming so rare that I offer little prayers up to the weather gods when I’ve coated a massive batch of paper.   Weather aside, I simply had to print in efforts to meet a deadline for this: (link removed because the contest is over and I’m tired of the pingback showing up on their page.)  Not that my actual piece is this rushed – it’s been in the processing line for a while but the final composite still needs finishing.  Deadlines are good – they keep me from letting work fester in the unfinished category for indefinite periods of time. 

This specific piece has proven difficult for me in an emotional sense.  One of the repeated criticisms I heard in college (a few years ago) was that I failed to invest any emotional collateral into my work.  I’m an intensely private person, and the thought of putting my emotional pain out there for everyone to see is extremely scary.  Every step of this piece from concept to technical execution has been emotional exhausting.   Putting this work to rest will provide closure in an oddly satisfying way.   I’ll happily go back to photographing the wildlife  – I couldn’t handle doing this all the time or I would be an emotional wreck.  

After this piece, I’ve decided I really really like printing small.  Even working with a relatively small 15″x15″ print is difficult when you don’t have a darkroom or dedicated workspace.  Not to mention a functioning sink – ours is once again stopped up despite the plumber coming and working his magic last week.  Yay for an old house with a mix of galvanized iron, copper, and pvc plumbing.  Lugging buckets of super blue liquid to the bathroom gets old rather quickly, especially once you spill it on the rug a few times.     

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