* featured in http://bespokezine.com/ -BESPOKE Vol 3, pp 29-32 May 2011
The Civil War had to be fought and Raven wanted a front row seat.
On July 21, 1861 Wilmer McLean saw a Raven perched atop his roof, a rare sight in Manassas, Virginia. Later that day The Battle of Bull Run broke out on his property. Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard needed a building to serve as headquarters and commandeered Wilmer McLean's home. During the Battle an artillery shell hit the house but miraculously, didn’t explode.
A year later Wilmer saw the Raven appear and again a battle raged on the McLean property, the Second Battle of Bull Run was even more violent. Wilmer sold his house and moved 100 mile to Appomattox.
In 1865 Raven watched as Grant was chasing down Lee’s exhausted army. Lee finally decided to surrender and Grant sent an aid to look for an appropriate home to sign the surrender. A large bird had flown just over the aids head, and settled on the roof of the perfect home in Appomattox, owned by Wilmer McLean. On April 9, 1865, General Lee officially surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. The site for his surrender: the parlor of Wilmer McLean's new home.
McLean remarked: "The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor,"
The Raven was never seen again.
HOW I CREATE MY PRINTS
I often find inspiration from a traditional or historic account of the raven. First I decide on my title. Having a title helps me with the image and mood of the piece. Humor is often important but I also select titles that force the viewer to think more about the imagery.
Next I look through references to find the right pose or gesture for the raven or ravens. Then I spend hours doing preliminary sketches, followed by a series of drawings using pencil, traditional gouache (opaque watercolor), ink and charcoal. My next step involves using digital technology. I scan the drawings and rework them with Photoshop. This digital tool allows me to adjust the value of the drawing and I can even move and reorganize the image. I use filters if needed. Next I print the drawing from my computer and continue to draw with the traditional tools. I repeat this process several times so the traditional and new technologies merge seamlessly.
In 2009 I began working with photopolymer etching plates. In the past an etching involved coating the plate with a petroleum bases sealer then emerging the plate into vat of acid, cleaning with solvents, recoating, and more acid baths. The process was extremely hazardous to the artist as well as the environment. In 2009 I began working with newly perfected and safe photopolymer etching plates. These are UV light sensitive printing plates, which are exposed in sunlight and processed in tap water!! In the past I would has spent 20-40 hours creating the printing plate. Now I use that time to do my finished drawing. I use my computer and printer to transfer my drawing onto a transparent sheet of plastic. This serves as my negative for the exposure to the sun! I use the photopolymer process to transfer the original drawing to a printing plate from which I can hand print an edition. Finally, I write a narrative. This usually takes me the most time of all!
Copyright Larry Vienneau. All Artwork is property of the Larry Vienneau and may not be reproduced, duplicated, or resold. The artist permits it’s for use on blogs or for educational purpose when image is not sold but is attributed to Larry Vienneau. Original artwork shall not be used for promotional/for profit or non-profit uses without permission. Copyright is retained by the artist following the sale of the item.
Raven (bird, Ulysses Grant, Robert E Lee, crow) Series MCLEANs RAVEN Hand printed, Intaglio Etching 2010
- Handmade item
- Materials: intaglio on paper, ink, paper, drawing, handmade, etching, black, black ink, photograph, sketch, print, printing, printmaker
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- Ships worldwide from Florida, United States