in search of a death color

red tulip anthotype about 12" x 15" made using Barbie's "Nightie Negligee"

Ten days into April without a post. I’ve been playing catch-up with grading projects which means the artist hat that I often wear is put away for the time being while ideas stew and paper waits to be coated.

I think I hinted at talking about a direction for the anthotypes based upon reviewer comments in Houston. I was getting the Adam Fuss read from Barbara Tannenbaum of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Lamenting a not so good start to Fotofest, my next reviewer gave me a bit of wisdom “no artist owns subject matter”. I do want to concentrate on the men’s pajamas to avoid any unnecessary connection with Fuss’ Christening Dress.

So the direction I want to go with these will encourage the accidental and play up the ephemeral. Drips will be introduced to the anthotypes. I will also shift the garments mid-way through their very lengthy exposure. And I may even attempt to create a “death” color, something blackish from mixing plant pigments.

I am interested in trying two pigments from the backyard that seem to co-exist quite well: dandelions (for yellow) and the henbit (for purple). This latest idea will be difficult to pull off. I want to create a two color anthotype but the application of a second color may undo the exposure of the first. Another consideration: the exposure might be twice as long as a straight forward, one color anthotype.

Henbit and dandelions in the backyard


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