Once I finally get to the stage of engraving, the brain goes into what might be called 'mindful meditation'. I'm prone to overplan and overthink things, perhaps, so its a relief to just do it! But before I do, I do more tests, samples, experiments... just to be sure :)
With the first marks, it's complete focus (you can't uncut: zone out too much and there's no Ctrl Z) but at least part of the mind is free to wander... off down the well trodden path into the past and the old-world art of engraving. I've only seen reproductions of the German artist Durer's meticulous engravings, but his precision and attention to detail is mind-blowing. And all by hand. No power tools.
In keeping with the idea of the focus being sharper at the centre (hence the artwork title Foveal) and dissolving towards the edge, my engraved marks give way to suggestion. This is where the underlying texture takes over.
First, layers of gesso were sanded back to a glass-like finish. Then, layers of paints made from ash were applied, becoming thicker near the edge...
Engraving over this threw in that crucial counterpoint of chaos: skipping over the bumps like driving a bad gravel road: giving up control.