Normandie, approx 9″x11″ woodblock print, waterbased ink on 98lbs paper. First Proof.
The images of the US assault on Normandy beach have stuck with me from the first day I ever saw them. Visceral and engaging they haunt my mind with ease. To see the stills in motion during the film Saving Private Ryan created a sense of longing inside of me to do something that meant half as much as what the men who sacrificed so much on those beaches had. I could thank Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for sparking that sense of patriotism within me at a young age.
I wanted to capture some of the emotion I have for that day and the images from it in a woodcut. There’s something more to this process than say drawing it or painting it. The cuts have to be felt through the wood and the mindset as you cut all the more important because when you drift, you make mistakes. In this, the ‘mistakes’ are the only additions to the image, a result of drifting into thought as I worked on it. Thinking of the men in the image and if they made it out alive. Thinking to my own friends and colleagues who didn’t through our own trials.
I plan to do a small run of this plate. This proof gives me hope that the rest will come out even better with a little more control over the climate in the room I end up printing in.