" The Revealing Print " -figure stamp drawing c2012w

print drawing by paul rodecker

This print drawing shouldn’t even exist, yet here it is. It was a by-product of need. One of many fragments of paper and scraps. As it was created it was immediately dropped and moved on from.

It was 3 months ago that I created this print drawing. It was made during the process of preparing for a printmaking class my friend Angus Galloway and I were teaching at MOCAga.  

For the class, I created some cut-outs from Bristol paper of various human forms. It was easy to create the human forms, but cutting them out (with an exacto knife) proved difficult and time-costly. The idea was to have the students use the cut-outs as stencils, or to trace the cut-out in pencil and print inside the form, etc.

I never thought of using the cut-outs as stamps, until I spilled some really cheap orange-paint on one of the them. It was completely an accident. I was very irritated when the spill occurred. I was behind schedule, and now I had a mess to clean up.

Trying to stop this mess from getting messier, I grabbed up the cut-out I spilled the paint upon, and quickly placed it down on a random piece of scrap paper. I remember being glad the paper was there because it saved my work-area from getting even messier. The time it took to clean up the the rest of the mess was minimal. I threw away any scrap paper that had gotten orange paint on it, and washed down my work surface.

Once I got re-organized, I realized I was missing a stencil. After searching a bit, I found it in the trash can where I had unintentionally thrown it away. It was still stuck to the scrap-paper I had placed it upon. I realized I had unconsciously put it on the scrap-paper paint-side down. I hoped it wasn’t stuck together too bad. As I cautiously started to peel the cut-out from the paper, I started to see The Revealing Print.

I felt my heart jump with excitement! The resulting print was as beautiful as it was accidental as it was expressive. I was astonished by what I saw, and humbled by the fact I had literally thrown this moment away.

My Art revealed to me what I could not see. I was blinded by responsibility, lack of time, and lack of sleep. In the midst of life's many torments, a delicate little print drawing was born.

The MOCAga class loved the stamp technique and I’ve been using variations of stamping in my Art ever since.

Note: The black abstract drawing parts were added later during a meeting I had to attend. I am thankful for meetings as they give me more time to draw.