Monday, March 7, 2011

Benday Dots ... and Fail Better, with Sushi Boats

So I had an idea for a monotype. I started to wonder about Roy Lichtenstein's Benday dots, the ones that he enlarged from their comic book beginnings. I thought that if I could print a scattering of such dots, farther away from one another, that we might, perhaps, be able to see the colors between. And space, which, unless you are Vermeer, and so few of us are, is REALLY hard to paint.  So I imagined a back porch somewhere in the vicinity of some cabernet sauvignon vines and some sky and some fluffy white clouds and I tried for a sketch and I tried, then, for a print. Here is a corner of the monotype, run twice through the press, fastened to my drawing board:

 The dots have taken on an ugly thick impasto and are not the lovely, delicate things I had hoped for.  And they didn't take on a life of their own; rather, they just sit there, lifeless inks over ink on paper. I do toss a rather large percentage of my prints, because, sometimes, art fails. Samuel Beckett wrote, in Worstward Ho: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Fail again. Fail better."  So, since I still like the idea, my "fail better" will be a painting of the same idea, and here is the sketch:

Tomorrow, maybe. Today, instead, for a whole different kind of space, we went to San Francisco's Japantown. We ate lunch at the restaurant that apparently started the idea of the sushi boat, Isobune, and people just kept coming in, for the salmon and the eel and the seaweed salad and the octopus and the tempura rolls and the crabmeat ... and later we stopped in at two different stationers and came home with a series of clear plastic file folders because, well, they are so beautiful, and they cost, I think, $2.49 each:

And so it is now time to watch the reflections come up on our windows, as the sky darkens, and "fail better" tomorrow:

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