Veils of Color

by Harold Joe Waldrum

I recall floating through veils of color as I awoke on the morning that I perceived the beginning of the aquatint etchings. The veils had appeared as colored sheers of chiffon hanging from the sky. I was floating straight ahead as they dragged over my body; there was nothing beneath me. The sheers overlapped directly in front of me, but not to the right or the left. They hung in profusion in front of me so that I could see through two or three or more simultaneously as they disappeared into infinity. There were primary hues; there were secondary hues when two primary hues overlapped; there were tertiary hues created by mixtures of secondary hues, and I perceived the veils of color I would need and use to create my images with the aquatint etching process.

That particular 4:00 a.m. meditation was based on the multilayering in my paintings, and I had perceived the same might work with aquatint etchings. I went to Santa Fe that day to discuss this with my printer. He said to me, “You don’t want to do aquatints.” I replied that I did want to do aquatints. He said, “Listen to me, I’m your printer. You don't want to do aquatints; you want to do serigraphs.” I approached this printer two more times and he turned me down two more times.

I approached two other printers who said to me, “You don't want to do aquatints.” I took my dilemma to Bill Peterson at Artspace magazine and he suggested Robert Blanchard. I approached this new printer, whom I had never heard of, with some trepidity; but I was certain of what I wanted to do and was prepared to argue my position firmly. I began my conversation with him by saying “I am positive that I want to make some aquatint etchings.” I described the veils of color and he replied “Sure, we can do that.”