Printmaking with the sun
A summer art activity
This is the season in Texas when the horny cicadas start screaming at the volume of leaf-blowers. I’m fascinated by cicadas, their long history in art, and how they make themselves available to metaphor, as in one of the Thirty-Six Stratagems called “Shed Your Skin Like the Golden Cicada”:
When you are in danger of being defeated, and your only chance is to escape and regroup, then create an illusion. While the enemy's attention is focused on this artifice, secretly remove your men leaving behind only the facade of your presence.
An excellent lesson for those of us who use summer to escape and regroup.
I occasionally find a cicada carcass on the side of the pool. Two summers ago, I made sun prints (or cyanotypes) of various dead things I found out in the yard. (I am told this is a form of “nature printing.”) I would make these prints and build collages around them, like little memorials. Here’s one for a little frog that didn’t make it:
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