Monday, May 4, 2009

Oops. Or, getting too clever for one's own good.

I am (I was) trying to control the number of color passes I use for the tiny cow linocut I started this weekend, so yesterday I had the brilliant idea to do a gradated ink-up for the second pass. Perfect! This cow has gray in the face that gets darker towards the end of the nose. Sure, it's only a 3" square block, but I figured I could do at least a little gradual value change....

Ink-up went splendidly, so I happily pulled the second pass on all the prints.

Last night I realized I had done the entire ink-up upside down. Was supposed to go light to dark from top to bottom. NOT dark to light, as I did it.

Poo. And other assorted exclamations of displeasure.

My options were: 1) Ignore it and carry on; 2) Change nothing on the plate, re-ink, and overprint in the right direction; 3) Noodle around a little on the plate and print a new color; 4) Start over or 5) bag it and do something else.

In the end there were really only two options, as this is a portrait of a particular cow from a particular time and place AND I've learned there's good motivation for finishing it this week. Rather than start over, I went with option #2, figuring I might actually learn something. Which I did. (I learned it's best not to imagine oneself as clever until one has successfully accomplished cleverness.)

I'm sure it seems like a lot of angst over a 3" square chunk of lino, but if one can't obsess about prints....well....

On the left: incorrect subspecies "raccoon cow." On the right, genetically modified "closer to the real thing cow."

PS: I probably don't have to tell you that I was NOT wearing pajamas at the time of the disaster.

8 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

never print again without wearing pjs ;)

Sherrie Y said...

I'm considering filling a significant portion of my closet with "loungewear." Something I might at least be able to answer the door in, as well as print.

Patrick Gracewood said...

"I learned it's best not to imagine oneself as clever until one has successfully accomplished cleverness."

That got a laugh, too true!
I got a wonderful piece of wisdom from my upholstry teacher. He was showing us how to fix a screw up when you'd cut the material too short.. I asked him how he learned that. His reply was "You learn that after midnight."

I love your work.

Gabrielle said...

An excellent maxim to live by AND the first record of a new bovine subspecies - good work!

turtlewoman said...

Perhaps you should consider copyrighting this wonderful bit of wisdom:

"I learned it's best not to imagine oneself as clever until one has successfully accomplished cleverness."

Lindy :-D

moreidlethoughts said...

This being our "winter" season, stores are displaying some rather lovely lounging pants.One pair even has a cow print!

Jeff said...

The racow is beautiful. I await the rastacow with bated breath. Maybe the gothcow. And yes, the holycow.

Sherrie Y said...

I'm sorry. I can't think of a pithy answer to any of this... you all make me giggle too much for this hour of the morning. Thank you.