Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Aspen linocut... race to the finish!

Okay, okay. I'm not going to go TOO crazy dragging out the completion of this image. I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning catching up (a bit) with some contract projects and am feeling a little more... erm... moderated... in how I'm moving through the week. Time to take a deep breath and see how this aspen reduction print wrapped up.

Color pass 7
All that green from color #6 was a little startling, and I couldn't wait to get a bit of ochre back in there to tone things down. Everything still seemed on track after this pass, and for a brief moment I thought there might be only one color to go.

Silly me.
Color pass 8

After staring at this a while I decided I really wanted to deepen the "shadows" between the background trees and leave the foreground grasses light. I ended up just running a 1" band of darker ochre through the area and printing again without any further carving. It's fairly subtle, but I think it added a lot.

Color pass 9. Are we done now?

So THEN I thought I was at the last color. A nice browny thing. The entire piece definitely turned out mid-day-ish, but I liked it well enough. I cleaned everything up and headed for bed, satisfied with a 9-colors-in-two-days marathon.

But, as so often happens, by the time I was brushing my teeth I thought that maybe I could do one more thing to it. I liked the relationship of the foreground to the background, but couldn't it be just a bit more dramatic? Couldn't I give everything one more layer of depth?

Color 10. Oh, NOW it's done.
Of course I could. I could go on forever... or at least until there wasn't any printable area left on the block. So yesterday morning I experimented, darkening just the left-most tree at first but in the end printing two darker trees. Yeah. Good.

So now it's finished.... really. (Although I do need a title.) Back to map icons and brook trout, bird habitats and workshop preps. And contemplating that 16x20 block that's sitting on the table. Somehow I think that will be a slightly longer than 2-day project.


  1. Oh, yeah! That is a huge improvement. At each of the last two color passes before that final one, I thought: nice! But now it's great. Give your inner border collie a pat for me, okay?

  2. You know, Sherrie - I enjoy reading your commentary as much as I enjoy seeing your artwork. You are such a hoot!

    Another home run for Brush and Baron studios with this linocut - those babies just pop after pass #10 :).

  3. I really do like how you think. Isn't it amazing how things come to us while we are doing routine chores.

    It is beautiful!

  4. Sherrie,
    Fantastic. Your are something!
    I love our Christmas card image from you. Years ago we went to see and Impressionist show (I know... yawn) but it was "Impressionists in Winter" at The Smithsonian. A wonderful show and bought the catalog which I love to actually thumb through in the winter.
    Do you have any prints left of the winter card? Me=interested.

  5. I love the depth created by the tones in the trees, the last pass has made it in my humble opinion. You are on a roll..... 16x20 block!!! At this rate you'll have that done in a week - no pressure ;o)

    On a cheeky note, can we have an update on the thumbnails project? I see you've done 15 this month so far. (If only I had your energy..sigh...where do you get an inner border collie from?)

    ooohh and thank you for adding me to your blog roll, it's made my day... x

  6. Oh Sherrie, you are so right with that last color! It doesn't pop, it zings!

  7. Well! Thanks, everyone, for the votes of approval. Seriously, it's all of you who keep the border collie busy!

    Cheeky Lisa: thumbnail update soon. Sadly I must attend to other responsibilities today, but back to the blogosphere soon!

  8. PS: Karen... welcome! And thanks for adding your voice to the conversation.