Friday, June 24, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Blue, blue, blue

And then more blue.

The image I'm working on is inspired by a photo I took several winters ago on the Phantom Canyon road below Cripple Creek. I like the pattern of light and dark in the photo, but the camera recorded the shadows as a single, flat blue. Okay in a photo, boring in a linocut.

So my goal is to print some variety, but I'm scratching my head over which bits to take out when.

Step 2, easy enough:

Looking okay, but the blue feels a little bright. For the next pass I took the scraps of this color and added some burnt sienna (color turned greenish) and purple (back towards a grayed-down blue).

As you can see, the ink is very transparent. Just in case you haven't noticed yet: I love transparent color.

Step 3 printed:

I definitely like the color and value of this pass, but I'm still not ready to chop out huge sections of shadow. So I carved out a few more small areas, added a wee bit more violet to the existing ink, and printed again. Step 4:

This particular pass was done in front of a live studio audience... sort of. I needed some new process shots for a presentation I'm doing next month, so a friend came over to take some photos while I worked. I rather liked this "reveal" image with a little Instagram filter effect. (Which... surprise! Is now in my Instagram feed.)

Reduction linocut color pass #4 reveal
So what's next? More blue, I'm afraid. But first I have to frame up some wee Bitty Birds for this weekend's Salida Art Walk. Yes, I DID do some before now... but the gallery just sent a message that they sold a couple today, so I need to replenish before tomorrow night. A good problem to have!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Linocut in Progress: How deadlines are like math and escapism looks like tango

I did promise that you would be the first to know if I managed to get any ink on paper before I left town again... and I did so you do. Know. Now. You know now. Now know? Whatever. Next sentence, please.

Step 1: As-yet-untitled snow scene, reduction linocut

There is not much to see with just one color printed (and a weird light effect across the middle of the photo), but even so I think it's obvious where it's headed.

It probably seems a wee bit odd to be working on a winter scene in the middle of a heat wave. But then again, maybe not.

I am reminded of my first job when I was in high school: retail clothing sales. I spent many hours stocking (rabbit fur, ugh!) coats in July and swimsuits in February. This piece, hopefully, is bound for an exhibition next January... which needs the first image for the website in September... and I'll be away all of July and half of August. It's like those dreaded "story problems" we faced in junior high math classes:

"If Sherrie is headed to Maine for the summer and is required to deliver a new piece by September for an exhibition in January, how fast is the train traveling that just left New York?"

With everything that's going on right now (my to-do-before-Maine list crept up to 96 items) I was forced to undertake the only practical response. I ran away from home as soon as I hung the freshly-printed linos on the drying rack, and I spent Saturday dancing tango in New Mexico.

Milonga at Two Moon Tango, Santa Fe

Tango and I only met last autumn, and I was the least experienced dancer in the room for the Saturday night milonga. But as with most things that are worth doing, the only way to improve is to just take a deep breath and work at it, so I'm pushing aside my awkwardness and insecurity as best I can and enjoying the challenge and escape of an activity that uses a different part of my brain (and which isn't hard on my wrist and elbow and neck!).

But now it's Monday morning, so I'm home again and back to The List. I've carved out (get it?) printing time this afternoon, so despite our hot weather forecast I'll be thinking "cool." Put on your sunglasses, grab your piƱa coladas and your beach balls and stay tuned for more snow-influenced printing.