Marja-Leena Rathje
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printing proofs


It's an incredible feeling that's hard to describe, when I do a print for the first time and it looks great! Whether it's an etching, a collagraph or an inkjet print, it's hard to be sure how it will look until that first proof has been made. This morning in the printmaking studio, I waited patiently for the two large images to send over from computer to the large-format inkjet printer, a very slow process. As I watched the prints come through finally, I felt that buzz, that thrill, that joy of the creative juices zinging through me!

One of the prints, based on THIS photograph, rewarded me with another thrill, that of a surprise! Look at the detail above! I never noticed it on site at Writing-on-Stone Park, nor in the digital photo itself. Only when it was printed large, about 51 x 76 cm. ( 20" x 30"), did this little treasure reveal itself.

Gazing at these two prints temporarily pinned up on the wall, I was able to feel the magic of the place again. I was able to get a better sense of how to develop the pieces further. Working small on the computer screen just doesn't capture the feeling in the same way.

Oh, these aren't finished by a long shot as I still need to do some fine-tuning on these images and work on the additional layers to go with them, but they are coming along well. A good start, a good day.

Marja-Leena | 26/10/2006 | 13 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Digital printmaking, Printmaking


I hope that's an old bird's egg not somebody's skull! Because that's what it looks like.

Hi Cathy, I'm not sure I understand - do you mean that it looks like a human skull to you? It looks like a bird's egg to me, but it is interesting how we all see differently.

To me it just looks like a rock?

Erika - maybe it's an egg-shaped rock.

It looked like an egg to me, though the way it looks to be stuck in mud-covered leaves and twigs makes me think it's more likely a rock. (Was the photo taken at waterline? That could be a clue that it's more likely a rock.) But even if it is a rock, I love the way it looks like an egg fallen from a nest! What a wonderful find in the context of the larger, beautiful, sculptural photograph.

I love the way you describe your joy and excitement in working with on the prints. I can't wait to see them!

MB, with all these questions I've gone back a few times to look at the original digital photo, enlarging it considerably to see it. It looks to me like an egg has fallen against some twigs and leaves, suppported also by the rock face on the right. The Milk River is downhill from here, maybe about a mile or so away. The area is very arid. Maybe it's a rock, but you're right, it's fun to think it's an egg. Glad you enjoyed reading about my excitement!

As MB says, your joy and excitement is contagious. It's also what makes you an artist!

This is being pulled down but is overcoming gravity by suspended animation. Namely, the twig and the large rock-face have captured it by wedging it between them. This is certainly a rock because a bird is a fussy-nut when building a nest for their young. But how did it get there is somewhat a mystery? It's amazing when you take a closer look at your big picture and find a discovery within a discovery. If it were an egg, I'd title it: "The Balance of Life." But then, life itself is full of surprises and is often hard to balance. It's a symbiotic relationship between the artist and the object. In your case, it's a treasure which is brought to life by your talent to expose something that others would glance at and walk by. All of us are fortunate to see what you see, plus the sharing and caring. You have a flair - I can see it in your voice!

Yes Marja . I honestly thought it was a human skull at first. The left side of it looks like a strands of hair. The right side I do see sorta of a face on it.

Patry, you always say the best things!

Roger, you too! What a thoughtful piece of writing here, thank you.

Cathy, as I wrote, it fascinates me what different things people see. Such as when poeple look at my art work, I'm often amazed at the varied responses.

I never thought it looked like a skull (maybe it's Halloween that's got people thinking skulls instead of eggs!). It looks like a tiny egg, but then maybe a tic-tac!

Isn't it just the best feeling in the world when a work goes well! That's why we do it. The combined intellectual and emotional rush is such a boost. In this case the surprise was an additional cherry on the sundae. I wonder if a predator dropped it after stealing it from a nest?

Anyway, I hope the glow keeps going for a goodly while.

Leslee, you may be right that Halloween may be on some people's minds!

Omega, another artist naturally would understand the feeling. An egg dropped by a predator sounds like the best answer!