Impression № 036: Torch Lake

Torch Lake: A bottomless lake in Antrim County, Michigan.More on Todd Michael Freeman‘s inspiration:

I’ve also started including more landscape-like images, where small scale scenes are the dominant subjects. They depict phenomena and geological processes that are otherwise too large or slow to see, and map the movement of continents, bodies of water and other unseen events below our feet. With this new work the options for my pictorial index really opened up, and I truly don’t ever see myself running out of stories to tell.

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Todd Michael Freeman’s other contributions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Impression № 033: Island Forming

Todd Michael Freeman on his inspiration:

“I work from stories collected from natural history, fables, and haunting memories from my boyhood library. I’ve always been fascinated with tales of strange animals and the paranormal in general, so the traditional, documentative aspects of printmaking just married perfectly with the subject matter. I rarely find myself doing specific research, my work is more a result of years of acquired grazing in a lot of different areas. I read a lot of nonfiction science and history books, but often an idea for a print will spark after reading a lone remarkable line. BBC science articles, antique engraving listings on Ebay, even bizarre passages from cryptozoology geocities sites all have contained perfect subject matter to work from. Some of my other prints are interpretations of broader, cross-cultural folklore themes, like old foes represented in ‘The Evil Animals‘ etching.”

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Todd Freeman’s other contributions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Impression № 032: The Owlmen of Mawnan

“It was like a big owl with pointed ears, as big as a man. The eyes were red and glowing. At first I thought it was someone dressed up, playing a joke, trying to scare us. I laughed at it, we both did, then it went up into the air and we both screamed. When it went up you could see its feet were like pincers.”

-Sally Chapman, July 3rd, 1976 
Falmouth Bay, UK

Todd Michael Freeman tells Dr. Hurley about his inspiration:

“Much of the work I’ve been doing the past few years comes from a need to describe the mysterious, unknown things of the world for myself- or just working from stories and interesting events that I felt were lacking in visual evidence. I try to recreate the empirical language of old world taxonomy plates, a lens that I think authenticates the odder stuff I’m interested in. Its important to me that these images feel real, and all read the same regardless of how unworldly the subject might be. This classic, self-contained format helps reinforce feelings of documentation, and provides a visual record for a host of subjects of interest in both the natural and supernatural worlds.”

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Todd Freeman’s other publications at Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Impression № 027: The Wood Maladies

Todd Michael Freeman tells us more about the mechanics of his art:

“My prints and drawings first start to take shape in my sketchbook , usually undergoing several developments until reaching their finished form. I’ll start a loose proof drawing on tracing paper, to ensure placement of the image, and that it will read properly reversed (as the final etching will be “flipped”). This drawing is then transferred onto a polished copper plate coated with hard ground, a thin rubber-like coating of beeswax and asphaltum. After the drawing on the plate has been rendered in with an etching needle, the plate is prepped for the Dutch Mordant, a hydrochloric acid solution. The acid bath is what creates the final etched line on the plate, and must be cautiously monitored to ensure the acid will reach into all the tiny lines on the plate. Small marks etch very slowly, but a well-timed plate can yield some of the most delicate lines imaginable. Once the plate is ready to print, it is inked, wiped and rolled through a printing press, and then flattened in blotters to dry for several days. The final prints are then painted in with traditional and concentrated watercolors, a rich-looking technique I’ve adopted in favor of laborious multi-plate registration.”

Impression № 025: The Inside of the Earth

Todd Michael Freeman tells us about his medium:

“I’ve made intaglio prints for about a decade, starting when I was introduced to printmaking at Grand Valley State University. I initially trained as an illustrator, but the capabilities of etching fit the way I approached making work more than any media I’d tried before. It’s a methodical, process-oriented craft, but once those basic steps are understood, also a medium capable of delivering incredibly precise details. The general character and richness of etching immediately matched mark-making tendencies I’ve always had, and just called out as something I needed to be doing.”