Monday, November 3, 2008

Not-so-standard time

I banged smack into a bad case of Overwhelm yesterday morning when I opened the door of the fridge and a bowl of just-made edamame salad crashed across the kitchen floor. Funny how it's the little things that can put one over the edge... camels and straws and all that. After some major whining and a short walk to the lake I wandered back in to the studio. The first color on the new lino wasn't quite dry enough for the next color to print, so what to do other than wallow in my discomfort?

Try something completely different, of course.

No 7-year-old knitting kit this time, though. For the past week or so I've been gathering supplies for making paste papers. I've seen some beautiful examples, and thought about using them in bookmaking adventures, so why not try my own?

Without getting TOO crazy about it, I set up a workspace and proceeded to play around a little with the technique. If you're not familiar with paste paper, think of it as fingerpainting for big people. One adds pigment to paste, paints the paste on to damp paper, and then drags, drops and prints through it to make lovely patterns.

My first experiments were just that, experiments... but it was fun to moosh stuff around for a bit. I feel quite ambivalent about the results, but at least I have the basic idea now.

Adding insult to mental injury, Saturday night's change to Standard Time has us totally confused, especially where our stomachs are concerned. We were already finished with supper by 5:00 last night and still had the entire evening ahead of us. Could be good, could be bad. Depended on what fell out of the fridge when we put leftovers away.

Eventually we settled in the living room. The DM has a live gig on local radio this Friday, playing the beautiful guitars of local luthier Jeff Bamburg,* but he hasn't actually PLAYED guitar since he started concentrating on Chapman Stick. Oops. Out came the stacks of music books and one of the neglected guitars for some practice. We made tea, and I settled on the sofa with a sketchbook and journal and pencils and paints. Perfect. The last of the day's frustrations dissolved in the scratching of pencils, the plucking of strings, the steaming of tea, and the unraveling of time.

This morning I woke from a dream in which I was a good witch, unafraid to go to battle against great armies.

And then I printed the second color on the new linocut (not that you can tell yet).

Coincidence? I don't think so.


(* This gig has just been postponed for family emergency. New date TBA.)


  1. Clothespins spaced and attached to a wooden strip. What a great idea! I know this wasn't the focus of the picture, but I just happened to notice it, as I've been trying to come up with a way to hang my watercolors and prints to dry when I have several. I'll have to try this.

    Love your linocuts, by the way. I dabble with really simple ones myself and love it, nothing nearly so advanced as yours though. :)

  2. Hi Sharon, thanks for stopping by. I'm going to pop on over to your blog and leave this info there, too... but a while back I did a little description of the assembly of the drying rack. It's here: