Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Straight from My Sketchbook

The other day I was digging through one of my many disorganized drawers full of art-related materials, and I came across this:
It's an intaglio print (dry etching--at least I think that's the term. My memory fails me sometimes) of an abstract bunch of windows on a skyscraper. It was inspired by my experiences in Eastern Europe. I lived in several different places--all big cities-- but the view was invariably the same-- miles and miles of old Soviet style apartment buildings. It was fun to see all the different windows in these apartments. Some had bars to discourage break-ins. Some had clothes hanging out to dry. Some had potted plants. Others had windows that looked like they belonged in a bus. There was always someone hanging out at least one window, cigarette in hand.

I would look out those windows and wonder what kinds of people lived behind them. I love the idea that every person's life is a story worth hearing, that everyone has their own personal joys and tragedies, achievements, and mistakes made. I would always wonder, looking at someone, what their story was.

I got to hear a lot of stories, and I loved them all. I really treasure the times I got to sit around with a cup of tea (herbal for me), vodka (juice for me), or vareyniki (second helpings for me!) and just listen. I could write a book on all the stories I heard.

I'm getting off topic, though.

The other night my baby was asleep and my husband went out for a much needed boy's night, and so I was home alone to do whatever. I pulled out my Windows etching and my sketchbook. I wanted to do more on the theme of windows. After a while, I had several similar to this:

Then I refined my sketch just a little, plugged it into Illustrator, as always, and came up with this.

The script, one of my favorites from The Sound of Music, says, "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window."
There you have it. I think I'll try to push this one a little further. I'm 100% positive that the version you see here isn't in its final state. I'm leaning towards adding more windows, and having it be more similar to the Windows etching. Plus the vignette is bugging me. I blame that on Sister Jimison, my printmaking professor. She was always telling us to "activate the edges" of our images. Best design advice ever, even though it is always haunting my thoughts!

So. Windows. Yes. Love them. And now, since my allergies are giving me fits and I can barely stop sneezing long enough to write this, I think it's time to take a Benadryl and call it a night!

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