I've been working on a new print for the past few weeks. It's part of my Paraguay series once again. The memories of my first (and longest) home keep coming back at me and sometimes I spend hours going through photographs and wishing I was there again, at least for a little while. My new print is about the zoological garden in Asuncion. One of my friends works there as a veterinarian and I've gotten a very special tour behind some of the fences last time I was out there, petting the back of a tapir and scratching a capibara behind its ears. (I didn't step into the Anaconda den). I did get spat at by an unbelievably lonely, angry and bitter solitary chimp that I can only pitty. It's a rather poor zoo, but I admire what my friend is doing there to improve the living conditions of some of the animals. In addition to the caged animals there is an extensive park for taking walks. The figure that ulitmately inspired this piece was the old blind beggar playing his guitar in the park on Sunday afternoons with the sticker on his instrument saying "Me siento un rey" ("I feel like a king"). Next to him sat a candy seller listening to him. I will never forget them.
Anyways, I was going to say all these things once I post the final print. My intention here is to post some sort of progress report for those of you who are interested in what I do and what process I go through to get to the final print. The two images I'm posting here are a watercolour sketch as a visual guide for where I need to etch the different tonal values (aquatints). The second image shows my copper plate at one of the stages of etching the aquatints with various areas being blocked out with asphaltum to resist the acid and not etch.