Drypoint: Gush

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Gush 4 x 2.5 Drypoint with Watercolor

 In the early 90’s, I traveled to central California to gather with family for a wedding. We all stayed in an unfinished house my step dad was renovating in Los Osos, and the evenings were cushioned with childhood memories and reflections on love, passages and family. My brother Todd (1963-1993) was moved by our sister’s pending nuptials, and we reflected on our views of commitment – forward, as it related to marriage, and backwards, to keep paths to siblings & family intact and well-worn as adults. He wasn’t a writer, but over that weekend, he stopped several times to write his thoughts down. He said he wanted to record the important stuff so he wouldn’t forget it later. I snapped a photo of him sitting crosslegged on the floor of the porch, writing earnestly on a sheet of paper propped on a photo album. I’ve sketched from the photo, and now printed the image as a drypoint with watercolor here. It occurred to me that I’ve recorded him, while he was recording himself, so I won’t forget the important stuff either.  😉  Have you painted scenes from events and people you want to remember? Share links and tidbits in the comments.

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Scribing texture and line-work into the copper plate
Ready to ink the plate, wipe it, and print an artist’s proof
A proof print next to the plate, fresh off the press
A small edition of three drying in the studio
Adding watercolor to the drypoint


 Art Quote

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.

Alice Walker

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10 thoughts on “Drypoint: Gush”

  1. Hi Belinda,
    A very captivating post and drypoint. I find it moving when I’ve painted someone I love or an animal who is gone. Art is so alive and vivid. You’ve captured your brother and brought him to life so tenderly for so many people. The love shines through.

    Thanks for this,

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

    1. Thanks, Kim… it was a very reflective piece to scribe and draw and adjust, etc. Less for likeness and more for his particular “carriage”. Thanks for your note, and welcome home!

  2. Belinda – how sweet and poignant – a brother lost so young! And yes, I recently had the experience of doing just that. We said goodbye to our beloved 16 year old dog Riley last week. She was an ancient yet vital dog who appeared to be evading mortality, but knowing that she would eventually not be with us, I painted her into my journal again and again. Even the last night – when I didn’t realize it would be her last – I got up in the dark, saw her and couldn’t resist doing a simple line drawing of her sleeping.

    1. Oh Mary, I’m so sorry for your loss of Riley. How good of you to sneak her image in the lines and shading and dashed textures of a sketchbook. I know there is nothing that will replace her presence in your home, or the sounds of her meandering around you, but I do hope looking through the history of your stolen sketchbook moments – over time – will help soften the raw edges of her absence. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is a nice work. It’s hard to imagine the scale, until I see the photo with your hand in it. The tight format and scrunched up figure heighten the sense of urgency and tension that is alluded to by your story. The tonal variations are great and the watercolor adds a lot to alter the mood and luminosity of the finished print. It’s a print and painting about writing, recording, memory and family and while it retains a sense of personal narrative it is universal enough (readers/writers/artists) to be interesting beyond just family.

    1. Hi Andrew – Thanks for taking the time to scribe such a thoughtful and complimentary response to this. I really appreciate your input, and I’m so glad to read that some of the atmosphere of the moment came through in the mark-making and pigments. I’m really grateful for your generous feedback. I hope you’re making art these days, and if not with pigments, maybe with spices and marinades in the kitchen. 🙂

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