Sunday, September 25, 2011

Woodcut experiments

Tiny woodcut experiments

Okay.... raise your hand if you're the sort of person who decides to try a brand new recipe on the night you will have dinner guests.

Or perhaps you can remember any number of times when you agreed to perform a task ("Sure. I can do that.") and then immediately set about learning how to do it. Usually under deadline.

Yup. That's me, too. Which is naturally why I decided to participate in my first-ever [Baren]forum print exchange now. It's Barenforum's 50th exchange, with 100 printmakers participating. (As opposed to the usual 30-something.) The format is tiny (2.5" x 3.5"), but 101 impressions are needed for the exchange. By October 1. Sorry, November 1. Wait. I think. I should check.

I know from previous experience with small prints that registration on tiny sheets of paper is far more challenging than it is on larger sheets, so a single-color image seems to be in order. But hmmm.... what to do and how to do it? Border print? Bleed print? Naturally I've also decided to carve wood instead of lino, which means I'm using less familiar tools on a less familiar surface. Experimentation required!

I'm not completely satisfied with any of these, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.

Meanwhile, we had a spectacular sunset this evening. Not just in the west, but in the entire sky. All of town glowed pink and orange. It would be challenging to try to interpret such images as relief prints. I don't think I'd have the slightest idea how to start. Which means.... Uh oh. Must. Resist. Idea. At least until 101 other little prints are done.


  1. Stop it! Please. I am already gnawing my nails over a big(for me) commitment. Do.Not.Need.Any.More.Distractions...

  2. Dinahmow. It's even worse, you know. I committed to something else that's due in November, too.

  3. Aint no hill for a climber like you.

    Cant wait to see what you come up with. The small format is fun to work in. Really makes you use your tools to the fullest.

  4. Forgot who said it, Sherrie, but "NO" is a complete sentence.
    Get the committments done, it'll give you time to think how to do the color fields in your prints. I can see it: outrageous colors against a distant landscape. "Big Sky"series... or is that trademarked by another state?

  5. What do you do with prints like these that you aren't entirely satisfied with? Do you just recycle the paper and throw away the block? Can they still be sold or repurposed? I'm just starting out and I'd love your advice.

  6. October 1? Why, that's ... days away. Good luck!

  7. Did I say October 1? I hope I meant November 1. I'd better go check. October is next week! Eek!

    Patrick, I think you're right, Montanans might take exception to the use of "Big Sky." But what they don't know won't hurt them, eh? ;-)

    Margaret, welcome! I often keep a pile of "rejects" in a drawer... once in a while they come in handy for collages or notecards or something. As for the blocks. (sigh) I have crates of those, too. Some people "strike" the blocks to render them unusable and then sell them as art pieces themselves.

  8. A new Recipe on the night of the dinner- I know that feeling. Many years ago I got a commission after another artist had turned it down. Can you supply a set of pen and ink vignettes for a small book in four days? No problem said I. Then I decided to use scraperboard (scratchboard), never having used it before, I didn't even have any tools or scraperboard for that matter. Somehow I got the drawings done and ended up with a very satisfied client but it wasn't really the time to go jumping in to something new.


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