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  • I Saw a Crow by Jules Buck Jones

I Saw a Crow by Jules Buck Jones

Flatbed Press and Gallery

Etching and Aquatint


Edition Size: 15

Image Size: 45 x 32 inches

Sheet Size: 63 1/2 x 41 inches

Reference: Flatbed Press at 25


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

Jule Buck Jones, inspired by the Costa Rican cloud forest was inspired to create an etching of lush, dense interconnected shapes.  The method was  to etch two copper plate matrices to that printed to create dense tesserae of shapes and gradations of colors.

Jules began the first plate using a soft ground technique which allowed him to draw a linear image onto the plate. Next, he added dark shapes using the “sugar-lift” technique.  Here, the image is painted directly onto the copper plate with special ink made out of sugar, ink, and soap.  This allows the artist to incorporate brushstrokes as he painted a bold pattern of shapes suggesting the jungle and its inhabitants. He repeated the process, adding additional shapes until he achieved an almost claustrophobic jungle environment.  In all, the plate was exposed to five acid baths to etch the complex image.

“The image is still of congested forest information, but this time  [the multi-stepped process] provided a spectrum of darks and lights, that the first project did not attempt.  Here, the entire emotion and temperature of the etching changes with the manipulation of the colors,” Jones says with a hint of excitement.

After experimenting with the key plate, Jules created a second copper plate using an aquatint process which allowed him to etch shapes of different values.  This adds a dimension of both color and depth.    With both plates ready, the printing began; experimental color trials were pulled combining a varied range of colors.  The results were stunning, and with difficulty, two versions were selected to edition.

In I Saw a Crow, the key plate (sugar-lift), inked in black dominates.  Printed over the raw sienna background plate, the nuances of his mark-making comes through giving a sense of the entanglement of the jungle,  Orca Was I provides a stark contrast,  Alternately, he discovered while color proofing, a counterpoint to this Image when the key plate was inked in white, and the second plate in dark brown, Doing this allowed the imagery from the backplate to come forward allowing tones to fade in and out, suggesting a very surreal environment.  It is like the jungle of the day and the jungle by night.

Read together the titles create a palindrome – I Saw a Crow and Orca Was I – cementing the relationship between the two views.  Seen side by side the two images play off of one another and give new expression and beauty to the jungle imagery.  The light changes, hidden images appear, the density of the foliage closes or opens and chaos reigns within the rule of nature.




The Artist

Jules Buck Jones

Austin artist Jules Buck Jones draws, with an acute confidence, graphic fantastical images of hybridized animal forms. Influenced by ecological and biological concerns, Jones creates imagery of bizarre, fantastic happenings in nature, using the past, present and future as backdrops, mythology, fact, and fiction as fodder, and the animal kingdom as the vehicle.

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