This series of monotypes, called These Things of Nature, refers to folk magic practices in 19th Century New England, especially the use of divining rods and seeing-stones to have visions or to find hidden treasure. I am inspired by those local and traveling seers and their expeditions into the mysterious forest. These practices remind me of my childhood when I would explore the woods, collecting stones and carving sticks into magic wands.
To create these images, I apply metal leaf to paper or wooden panels and then print and/or paint over the metal leaf. I also use patinas to chemically alter the color, value, and texture of the metal. As a printmaker, I have always loved the look of ink wiped on a copper etching plate, and I am thrilled to have found a way to bring that metallic beauty into my finished prints. The process makes me feel like an alchemist working my own rudimentary magic.
Daniel Embree is a Boston-area artist who uses text, image, and action to tell personal and larger narratives. His work often grows out of his research on topics such as sexual orientation, ritual and religious identity, and, more recently, New England folk magic. Embree has a BFA in studio art from Brigham Young University (’09) and an MFA in studio art from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (’13). His work can be viewed at dembree.com and at 13Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA.