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2010 East Austin Studio Tour

The natural world is my muse. The complex process of printmaking – from the selection of plate surface to the choice of inks – is inspired by the subject matter. The concerns of our environment, man’s impact on his surroundings, and the future of the planet influence my subject choices.  There is beauty in small moments; my goal is to capture the essence of those moments.

I print at Slugfest in East Austin. You can see more of my work by visiting www.tbondartist.com

My experience creating hand-pulled woodblock prints spans over twenty years—a lot of time for the quiet meditation of carving and the splinters that go with it. I print without machinery, using palm gouges to carve and a simple wooden spoon as my press. I only make one print because in our times of material and media abundance only one is necessary. I work reductively, carving and printing in stages so that each block is reduced or destroyed as the image is produced and created. Each image remains singular, thus sacred, reflecting one experience in time.


The many contrasts inherent in these woodblock prints keep me engaged—the fast gestural line that is carved slowly, a random splash that takes hours to create, the raised rough wood becoming a dark smooth inked line, the obsessive pattern throughout providing both unity and noise.


Through my imagery I seek to obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble and transform my everyday relationships with the shapes and patterns of the world. I seek images which deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms as our perceptual associations drive our entire way of thinking. I am not a symbolist nor a pure abstractionist: I use forms which might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. The images serve as a metaphor between the visual impression of something and the conjuring of its name. Each image is an invitation to explore our ever-changing stream of perceptions and from that experience gain a type of wisdom for which there are no words.


I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."ť My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.

I create dreamy, layered landscapes that evoke the history and memory of place. My recent work is based on travels in the Middle East, where competing historical narratives and cultural memories shape modern life. These works portray a shared landscape, repeatedly divided, and the beauty of a land we only hear about in terms of blood shed. Beneath the divisions of religion, culture or nationality we construct, lies the common human experience.

I discovered printmaking relatively late in life when I took my first printmaking class in 2001. I like the process and the surprises inherent in printmaking. I am continually amazed that I am able to overcome the mess and the dirt that are part of printmaking, but I like the creativity the process brings about. 
I often use my own handmade paper for my printmaking, and I love how the unique characteristics of the paper influence the final print. I am also a gardener, and this is perhaps why I like to use images that appear in nature in my artwork (and in some ways my art is an extension of my gardening). 

While the word spirituality often connotes thoughts of inspiration, in actuality it is not necessarily always positive and uplifting, nor does it necessarily require one to spend hours alone in solitude. Spiritual awareness does depend on an interaction with the physical world, and is a process of questioning and understanding what exists around us. Through their lack of specificity, my current drawings question the environments that surround us. Not only is the physical world relevant, but necessary in developing a spiritual awareness. I begin making my drawings with references of real spaces. As I work, I take away many of the concrete elements that link the image to the actual place. These images have simple compositions mixed with a feeling of tension. I find that a feeling of emptiness creates tension and questions how the space operates. These questions are what I find to be the crucial part of developing a sense of spiritual awareness.

I'm fascinated with the printmaking process, especially the delightful surprises that come the first time a new plate is pulled. I gravitate towards the textural effects of collagraphs finding platemaking is only limited by one’s imagination. My work has been exhibited throughout the US but primarily in Texas, with a second solo show on the books for Chicago in 2015.

I view my work as a collaboration with nature. I make handmade paper with plant materials from my garden. My photographs are also mainly taken in my garden or on hikes. I am fascinated with symbols and intricate patterns that, to me, give glimpses and insights into to the great mysteries of life.

Exhibition Details
WHEN:
11/13/2010 - 11/21/2010
WHERE:
WPA Studio at Pump Project Satellite Studio
CONTACTS:
Chair: Ashley Salinas
Participate
Event Deadline
The deadline for this event (11/13/2010) has passed.