Thursday, March 10, 2011

Napa, crossing York Creek

The rain seemed to bring out the patterns of the vines. The branches were all trimmed to the same height, the rows were impossibly even, wires and posts ensured that nothing would escape. The grass in some vineyards was trimmed or pulled; in others, grass and yellow mustard blossoms took our attention away from the gray skies and the bare branches. No leaves yet. Mists rose partway up the mountains, peaks still visible, nearly a Japanese print. It was really really pretty.

So, given that this world was so lush, I felt I had to take another run at my Benday dot monotype. I decided to try something I had heard that Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg had each done: re-visit a print and add layers ... not via the press, but by adding oil-stick or acrylic paint ... I have re-worked prints, but never so thoroughly ... so I sanded the interiors of each "dot" and then painted over the sanded circle, following the colors of the wet wine country and leaving the initial blue of the print alone.  The monotype has new life, I think:

The sky, the clouds, the mists, the grasses, the quiet vines, the mustard flowers are all there.

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