This week I’ve been reading Martin Schleske’s The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty and in one of his first chapters he explains the importance of opposites and embracing the whole of each opposite to attain beauty. Everything has opposites. He uses words like familiarity and surprise or serenity and passion or freedom and loyalty. By embracing the whole of each one we actually become more alive and live with a freedom, one that exists in change.
This is something I think that was on my mind when I created the hand lettered part of this piece. The opposites of cracks and light (we may read negative into one and positive into the other). Actually it began in the homily I listened to one Sunday just as quarantine began last year. The priest recounted the words to this song. And I believe his message that day rang true for the rest of the year and rings true everyday for all of us. We were looking at a lot of cracks. But those cracks expose us, our vulnerability and ultimately a way through – a way to love.
And as I hand printed these this week, it flushed with what I was reading – the crack and the light, they are two seeming opposites. One has an often negative connotation, and the other a positive, yet put together we find beauty. Yet further, if we embrace each one – both the crack and the light in wholeness – we are free to love all of it together.
The cracks are the things in life we struggle with, we sit in pain with, we find something wrong in. And often many of us in our first inclination want to fix that crack, patch it up and say everything is ok. But what if we sit with that crack, be with it and get to know it in wholeness. Get to know it, ask questions of it, become more with it and regard it as important. Ultimately, will we see the light it’s trying to let through? I think so.
That light though isn’t visible without the crack. It’s the way through. If we try to fix up the crack or just ignore it (a bad habit I might have) we miss out on the light that is let through and ultimately we miss out on wholeness, on beauty, and on this balance between opposites that accentuates each.
Maybe I’ve gone philosophical on you (I loved philosophy class in college – it was one of my few As) but I’m afraid many of us miss out on the opportunity if we try to either fix up that crack real quick or ignore it all together. How much better can we be individually and collectively if we sit with the cracks together.
So I invite you to sit with the cracks and embrace the light, become whole with both. You can see my process below for the screen print I just released, or check out the actually print below.
Every piece of art and collection begins with inspiration and an exploration of the idea through moodboards, photographs, thumbnails, and sketches.
After I’ve exhausted the ideation phase and have solid sketches I love, I begin to bring it all to life in Adobe Illustrator. As I refine my art there, I print often to see it on paper. I continue to make refinements until I am happy with what has evolved.
This is where I prepare the files for hand printing. Each color is a different file layer that has to be printed out separately. Luckily for this print, it’s only 1 color, therefore only 1 print file, but the negative still has to be created.
The fun begins with the printing process! Some of my work is printed in house on an inkjet or giclee prints are done through a print company. Stationery products are done through a print company. However, my favorites are screen printed by hand by me. It is such a joy to play with paints after creating digitally and I cherish all the prints I get to create.