Friday, November 5, 2010

Is that ink I smell?

I'd almost forgotten, it's been so long! But here we are, first color printed on the new 12" x 16" linocut.

This turned out to be the most labor-intensive first carving that I've done in quite a while. All those crazy-thin lines intersecting! I had to take the work in small batches and do a lot of getting up and staring out the window. But once I pulled the first sheet I realized how satisfying it is to have an image suggest itself right from first color pass. Already it seems like the effort was worth it.

In addition to the long carving, it took me a surprisingly long time to "psych up" for the printing today. As I wrestle with new ways of working I also wrestle with variable success rates, and I've been feeling a little gun shy. And I knew this particular printing would take a long time... it's a big expanse to rub by hand.

In the end I think it took almost 2 hours to pull 16 sheets. I'm starting with 12 on Hosho because I still love the bright white quality, but I also did 4 on a new-to-me paper, Awagami Kozo. So far I'm pleased with the way the color went down.

In other news, the 100 Thumbnails Project continues! I decided not to bore you with too-frequent updates, so there's a new "scorecard" in the sidebar.

As I work on these small, quick sketches I am challenged to come up with new approaches... I get in a comfort zone for a while and then realize I'm just drawing the same things over and over.. or tackling different subjects in the same way. I've started to keep a list of "thumbnail challenges" and hmmm..... I have a few ideas about how they might be shared in the future.... keep your pencils sharp!

But for now, let's just enjoy the perfume of fresh ink (on a November day when it's actually warm enough to have the studio windows open!) and contemplate what might come next on the lino. I'm feeling a little bit purple-y... how 'bout you?


  1. Purple-y? Hmm...suggests wintry shadows.

  2. I can see how this took a long time to carve - yowza! But, it's clear already what it is and no doubt it will look smashing when finished.

    I hear you loud and clear re feeling a bit gun shy and having to psych yourself up to proceed with a printing project...I have felt the same way painting recently. I think it's part of the process :).

  3. You're just amazing! I can't wait to see how this one progresses, and I'm very glad it's you wrestling with images and lino-cutting and ink--give me words to play with any day...

  4. This looks delicious and exciting I'm looking forward to the purpley goodness to come. It sounds like you are enjoying getting back into it.

  5. Looks beautiful! Can hardly wait to see the next step.