Print: Red Mt. Texts
Comment: “Red Mt. Texts” was carved in four quadrants
on a piece of shina plywood. It was printed with watercolors on dampened
Block 1 held the light brown background and the red mountain. Block 2
had the blue “tablet” on the right and the words in brown
on the left side. The words are in Aleut, an Alaska Native language, using
the 19th century Cyrillic alphabet that was adapted to this language.
Block 3 has the blue “tablet” on the left, the person in the
upper right corner and the “dots” on the top and right side. Block
4 had the trees; the blue bird and sun on the left, the vertical “text” on
the right, and the color in the round holes in the center top. I then
went back to Block 1 and “reduced” or recarved it to provide
the highlights on the red mountain, the two yellow circles, the two darker
birds and two “wave-like” swirls, and the mountain at the
bottom left. The mountain on the bottom right was carved on an unused
corner of the larger block and printed on paper from an old (but not valuable)
book published in 1805 and glued onto the print. The light blue
behind the red mountain was also carved in yet another unused section
of the larger block.
I usually mount a print like this on a piece of heavy watercolor stock,
but in this case I have hinged it at the top so the reverse can be examined.
I always like to look at the back.
I have no idea what the print is “about” other than red mountain
texts. While working on it, I was sometimes thinking about Gary Snyder’s
great book-length poem Mountains and Rivers Without End.