Annette Haines Plymouth Michigan USA

Annette Haines

'Talkative Tortoise'

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Fairy Tale and Artist's comments ...

Annette Haines - Plymouth, Michigan USA

Talkative Tortoise

The Talkative Tortoise is an Indian fairy tale. I decided to create a print of this fairy tale because of my interest in the animals that I have seen in my travels to India. The story tells of two ducks who befriend a very talkative tortoise. The ducks amaze the tortoise with descriptions of their beautiful mountain home. "We can take you there," the ducks tell the tortoise. Excited, the tortoise asks, "but how can you take me there? I am too slow to walk all that way up the mountains to your wonderful home." The ducks tell the tortoise that they will hold a sturdy stick in their beaks to carry him up into the sky and fly him to their home. But, since he is such a talkative tortoise, the ducks warn him not to speak during the journey or he will fall. This print depicts the moment in which the tortoise forgets and opens his mouth to speak.

I have just recently started printmaking and found it challenging to create an edition of this size that was consistent and good enough to share with other print-makers. I began to realize that, like the talkative tortoise, I had perhaps opened my mouth too soon when I signed up to be in this exchange. It is likely that once the tortoise had let go of the stick that he crashed to his death.

This print, however, does not portray the tortoise's demise, but rather focuses on the breathtaking point at which the tortoise accidentally lets go. Like this newbie printmaker, he is tumbling out of the frame toward something unknown.

Talkative Tortoise was printed in an edition of 35 on Nishinouchi paper with Akua ink.