As a mixed-media printmaker, combining materials, methods and traditions flows naturally. These particular monotypes are part of an ongoing series that pays homage to the small, luminous worlds of 17th century narrative watercolor paintings from the Mughal dynasty (a melding of Persian, Indian and Turkish traditions) and the astonishing 1st and 2nd century funerary portraits of the Fayoum, generally rendered in hot wax, resin and pigment (a melding of Roman, Greek and Egyptian traditions). Each monotype is rendered in oil, gouache, and encaustic (wax and pigment) to catch the look of the gomasai (sesame seed) woodblock technique of Japanese Hanga masters. In addition, these monotypes use the boustrophedon, an early form of writing which moves in opposite directions from right to left, left to right, right to left, and sometimes upside down without interruption, as a conceptual and actual foundation to the movement of color in each work. The boustrophedon, found in some Etruscan, Hittite, Aztec, Latin and Greek texts as well as in the Rongorongo script of Easter Island (believed to be the only pre-twentieth century Oceanic written language). Boustrophedon, from the Greek, means, “turning like oxen as they plow.”
Sb Sowbel is a Baltimore-born, east-central Vermont residing, northwest Arkansas visiting, low-residency adult degree program teaching, assessment of prior learning coordinating, five state artists’ council grants receiving, painter, mixed-media printmaker and poet.