A bridge allows me to get to work each morning. It ties my ideas to their eventual outcomes. It links the plot line in a novel and lets music transition into new notes. It holds your teeth together. And let’s not forget, it’s from where Captain Picard commands his team to explore strange new worlds. Whether literal, or symbolic, a bridge is a promise of evolution.
With Conviction came out of a collaborative project with the Midwest Chapter of the Guild of Bookworkers in November of 2015. Bridges was the theme and the participating artists were free to spiral outward from there.
I quickly settled on my image, but it took a week before the due date for me to make it concrete. I wanted to make a print, but I did not leave myself enough time. Instead, I painted the original image with watercolor and then worked with my good friend, Photoshop.
My initial effort fell flat. The border I thought I needed provided too much structure and the image felt congested and closed off.
My second attempt was right on. Still oppressive, but in the right way.
Participating guild members sent 20 prints to the coordinator. Soon after, we received a copy of each artist’s interpretation of the project. The next step was to make a house for the prints. My original idea was too time consuming. In my head, the short ends of the box folded out and up into trees. Once they were upright the lid could close, creating a stage of sorts. A filament could be attached between the two trees, allowing for a place to hang the print.
I modified the box to fit the time I had left. The lid is secured by a magnet. It opens to show a plexi “bridge” that the images rest on top of. The bottom of the box is lined with Andrea Peterson’s spellbinding moon paper. It wasn’t my initial vision, but I am satisfied with the outcome.
The best part of this project was finding my print’s name. Working titles included:
At Least There Aren’t Any Bears (my favorite)
Beatrix Knew Those Tight Rope Classes Would Come In Handy Some Day
Worth a try
No Safety Net
Light Rope Walking Across the Void
In the end, I chose With Conviction.
Because at some point, we all need to take a leap of faith.