Monday, February 20, 2012

Drama unfolds for the goldeneye

After the wood grain texture and the blue tones were sorted out it was finally time to remove a large amount of material from the linoleum block.

And then it was time to chew my fingernails a bit. What the heck color should go on next? I knew I wanted to suggest reflected trees, so green seemed logical. But how much green and what value? After a lot of hemming and hawing and mixing and remixing I settled on this sort of mid-value, warmish green and dove on in.

Holy mackerel! Did this thing suddenly take on a life of its own, or what? I got so excited at this point that I made the DM come in and admire the prints on the drying rack probably a dozen times. That night I barely slept.

And then, by the cold light of a new day, I realized I was stuck. What now? The reflection needed some more interest, but how to achieve that? The reference photo I looked at for the water pattern was just a flat dark, almost black, and not what I wanted. I carved a little bit more out of the reflection shapes and tried printing a brownish green. Ick.

How about a greener green? Also ick. Mostly boring.

Okay. How about another blend?

Freakin' gorgeous on the block, and none too shabby on paper. (Although this photo is way too warm, the paper is actually white, not cream.)

All that remains is the duck. I think.


  1. Oh, yes, the duck! I was so entranced by the ripples and reflections, I'd forgotten about the bird. That looks sensational.

  2. Wow Sherrie! You are the Water Master. It looks so great!!!

  3. What Jill said... You are the water master! Double wow--you go!

  4. Well, I'll play the uninvited critic.

    I loved the blue oak grain as water ripples. That was already a secondary focus after what will probably be the first (the bird).
    And I think you would have ended up with a simple but very strong work.
    The problem now with the beautiful/green/brown/gorgeous water is it is becoming the subject.
    The water/ripples really are beautiful both in color and execution but what about the wood grain?
    You'll either really need to define the bird in a way that makes it pop but I'll still miss the very serene simple blue water with wood grain with the bird done in more detail.
    Hope you don't lose it completely.

  5. I'm thinking more of a circus tightrope artist, juggling colors while driving the abstract mash-up truck straight towards a deer in the headlights realism....while we all know it's hard enough just getting the printing press up there on the tightrope.
    It's a really lovely print.

  6. Thanks, everyone... Andrew, you have no idea what chord you've just hit... because of course I've already done the bird and now I'm stymied. You'll see it tomorrow... but I'm not satisfied. Which is what comes from changing horses mid-stream, I guess.

    The good news is that I still have the oak board with only the silhouette of the duck cut out of it. If I decide I need to go back to square one, I can...

    And of course, in the meantime, I've started another. ;-)

  7. I completely relate to your story of being unable to sleep after you added the green! And I'm envious that you can get your spouse to look at your work.

    Keeping the colors and patterns balanced is so hard. Thanks for showing your process in public - we all learn so much. I'm looking forward to seeing your next step.

  8. Sherrie, you are a great teacher, as well as a brilliant artist. Thanks so much for describing your process. Sue

  9. Ohhh, my! Can't wait to see how you solve this one, Although, I think when you concentrate on the duck he will emerge triumphant as the focus of this work. Hurry - I'm hanging with anticipation!! ;-)