Visit with Jim – Metaphorical Hope

Today we will visit touch on a trio of prints we are working on mounting and framing.  I put two colors in one Petri dish i front of the camera.  Then I stood back steadily triggering the shutter to capture the three images you see below along with many others.  They are remarkable.

Clearly defined pools of color opposites sat there slowly moving towards each other.  The edge of the ink pools define themselves.  In addition, subtle shadows enhance the definition or limits of the circles.  Simple black and white arcs sprawl across the field of view. The grill from a studio light gently reflects off the surfaces. As with all my photography, it may seem large, there is only a few inches more to the whole picture.   In the first photo, we are confronted with the question: is that line of separation going to hold and keep the two pools apart going to hold or what else will happen?  Will the two colors inexorably touch, merge and join together. In time… we will learn the answer.  

Further below are all three photographs in the sequence.  But for now, please read on. 

The close up of the print above starts to reveal an illusion of three dimensions  created by the inks, glass, light and paper underneath.  The picture above right is a finished print of the digital photograph below. The inks almost appear to float. The edge of the curving ink surface and borders create highlights as the studio lights both illuminate the surface and define darker shadows under the opaque inks. 

This close up brings a more intimate sense of textures. One can wonder is the paper from the original photo shoot or the texture from the finished print.   Truth be told, you are looking at the print of the the plain paper that was placed under the Petri dish.  A conundrum that the plain paper texture seems to negate the texture of the printed surface that you will see further below.  

I love the detail here.  The remarkably peaceful gentle curved nook and arc. The sharp edges belie the liquid nature of the inks as they slip across the glass surface. The fingers of inks reach into each other is a clasping pattern.  I find myself pondering is one reaching into the other or vice versa or are they both equally reaching out into each in a mutual grasp?  While perhaps it is metaphorical, it begs us to consider, are we reaching out equally?  Embracing equally?  Clutching each other together?


This is one of my more subtle, simple series of photographs. The three beg for thought beyond a simple glance,  They yearn for your perspective and prompt metaphoric thoughts beyond the simple – those are two circles of color.  When I bring these out and think about them printed on a dense rag paper, there is an additional humble sense of profundity to them.  

Beyond the inks, there is rugged hardy texture to the paper.  We have tried printing these these on a luster gloss paper.  However, similar to our Galaxy Red Artist Proof, for the Artist Proofs / Limited Edition prints we chose a heavy rag paper which has less sheen, and it rips and tears beautifully.  It is sublime in a way that is hard for me to describe.   To feel it under your finger pads is to understand and know.  This is the texture below viewed at a low angle to create contrast and bring out the tactile surface.


No extra effort was required.   No cajoling or nudge to move the inks along.  The inks simply slowly spread out across the glass.  Touching, perhaps a metaphor for exploring, knowing, yearning, intentional merging.  The sharp divide we see betwixt the two ponds of color in the initial photograph now becomes a nexus, a point of contact, a hint of interdigitation begins. The subtle shadows below persist and help us to understand there is a layer behind, the inks that elevates them from the paper underneath – depth. The underlying paper provides a pattern that contrasts with the glossy reflective glass and inks. 

Still simple,  Still balanced.  Still … still.   The two are now connected and begin to merge.  To what end? To what benefit?  Do you see each as a stand alone picture or a set of three?  Is the first an isolationist perspective and the second image more evolved and so on?   Is there a message behind the obvious: two colors of ink spread out, touch and subsequently below interdigitate?  Is the third a stage of the completion or yet another intermediate step?   We have reflected before that change is never ending, here too…  

The original title is Interdigitation of Opposites – I wonder if it is more apt to entitle these three as Hope. I keep returning to these three and reflect upon them.  Powerful, subtle, complex, simple, metaphorical and many other words come into my mind as prompts to ponder a new direction in my stream of consciousness. 


How would you hang these three in your home or office?  What questions would come to mind with family, friends or guests?   Would the photographs open the door to an exchange of perspectives?   I am eager to learn more from you.  Tell me: What do You See?  This is a question on a sign at our shows to prompt a thought, a moment to consider and most importantly dialogue, an exchange, and ability to learn from each other.  

Have a wonderful holiday season. 

Join me in a fireside chat via Zoom in the evening to discuss any aspect of my artwork.  To qualify, and join a video conversation send your contact information here and let me know what you would want to talk about.  The selected participants will receive a 25% discount on any of my unlimited edition pieces of art.  I will personally sign the piece at printing.  Even more, the gallery is offering this purchase risk free for you. Free shipping, Free return, and no questions asked if you are unhappy with the art work.  You can keep the print for 30 days to enjoy the selection in your home or office. This risk free offer does not apply to metal, acrylic and other specialized media prints.





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