Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snow shadows linocut.... el fin!

Once again I found myself doing a little pacing along the cliff edge before committing to the final step of this image. There wasn't a lot of carving to do, but there was so much material out of the block already and so many little tiny lines that it was hard to keep track of where I was and what needed to be done. I'd carve a bit, and then get up and wander around the house, then carve some more, then eat a cookie, then carve some more.

But there comes a time when one just has to call "uncle" and start mixing ink. (Especially when one runs out of cookies.)

The nice thing about an image like this one, where the last five or six colors are related, is that I build each ink color from the remains of the previous. It looks black in the photos, but this final color is really a rich blue-gray-brown built from saved ink scraps. I thought it might be fun to see what the last color looked like all by itself... so here it is (on a warmer toned paper, sorry, it's what I had handy), followed by a reminder of what the first carving looked like. (Remember that I'm working in reduction, so it's all from the same block.)

The path from Step 1 to Step 10 is a little brain bending even to me, and I was here for the whole process.

So late this afternoon this is what the studio floor looked like. (They're all hanging on the rack to dry now, but I just wanted to see them flat and together as I worked.)

Really darn satisfying.

And here's the final piece... although as usual it's just a quick snap and not a careful piece of photography. Expect a better image once the ink dries. Reduction linocut, 12" x 16", 10 colors.

I think I finished just in time. Maaayyyybbbeeee we'll actually get some snow tomorrow. I haven't got a title for this one yet... need to think about it. Something cold and crisp and blue, no doubt.


  1. Just beautiful. It has been fun watching this one develop. As one who plans out every color in advance, I have admiration for your kamikaze "let's try this color" approach!

  2. It looks fantastic. I really didn't know anything about the process of linocut printing until I found your blog, so I've really enjoyed watching the whole process. Each step is a new creation unto itself.

    I hope you aren't getting the high winds that apparently damaged homes in the Vallecito area from this storm...

  3. This is a wonderful print you should be very pleased with this one.

  4. Wow. I really don't know how you do that. Well, I understand how you do it. But I don't understand how you think like that.

    I do understand pacing around on the precipice, though, and I totally understand eating a cookie while you wait!

  5. Wow! This is stunning! I love everything about it, colour, composition, tones, subject, perspective, pattern - everything. Methinks you more than deserved a cookie or two ;o)

    Have you had snow? We are due a cold snap this week but we rarely get snow - though I do keep my fingers crossed.

  6. Yowza! That's a stunner. Now that you've pulled off another incredible lino print, if you could just make it snow a bit more so that we got enough moisture to actually count for something...

  7. Congratulations! I think this is my favourite of all your snow scenes. I have no idea how you manage such fine positive detail. And like most everyone else I can't get my head around the way your brain process each step. Brilliant!

  8. So satisfying to cheer you on from the (safe) sidelines. It was beautiful at each stage and very interesting to look at finished.
    (And gives lie to the belief that figurative art can't also be highly abstract. at the same time! Bravo.

  9. Aw shucks, everyone. Thanks for the cheers. Don't worry if you can't figure out my brain. I can't, either. (Kamikaze... ... that's why they also call them suicide blocks, eh, Wendy?)

    Let's see... what else? Weather. Wind, yes. Snow, no. (Well, a skiff. Desperate for moisture here.)

    And Patrick... THANK you. It's the balance between representation and abstraction that appeals to me... a balance I've rarely been able to find in paint, but give me a gouge and something to carve and... well... you see how it goes.

    Cookies, anyone?

  10. Hi Sherrie,

    Wo-hoooo. Brilliant, simply stunning. You must be (and if not, why not??) feeling pretty good about the result.

    As a fellow reduction linocutter, I have an idea of how much work went into it. Getting rid of all that lino early on ... scary stuff! BUT, you didn't overdo it, those areas of 'dark' balance perfectly and I love the fact you didn't leave any darker tones in the bottom left corner, it's so fresh and crisp.

    I can't resist saying this in Welsh "Llongyfarchiadau" :)

    Ann L

  11. I enjoyed following your progress on this piece and the final result is pure beauty.

  12. Sherrie, this is just beautiful. It could easily be the woods on our northern MI property in winter.

  13. that is wonderful! :D
    and we actually have what i would count as snow here :D its great