Sunday, September 1, 2013

Linocut in progress: The final tern

Sunday morning of a holiday weekend... and I finally got to enjoy a little pajama-clad printing again! It used to be my regular habit to get up first thing in the morning and head to the studio to print before stopping for breakfast and getting on with the rest of the day. But the last few months have been unsettled, to say the least, so studio time has been strictly catch-as-catch-can.

Here's what the last few days caught:

Common tern linocut: Step 12

Eh... now that I look at it, this is a pretty lousy photo... but what happened at Step 12 was a gradated darkening of the water at the bottom of the image.

Step 13
This isn't a great shot, either... but Step 13 brought the darkest bits of the bird into focus. Believe it or not, it took a couple tries to get this dark right. I tried a straightforward black and it was just too harsh. This is a very dark gray with a fair chunk of transparent base in it.

Step 14: Finished! I think.

It took a couple of tries to get the green I wanted in this last step, too. Geez... it's the little things that trip me up sometimes!

In the end it's a deceptively simple image– Just a white bird against sky and water. But for me it was a new palette and an attempt to reflect an unfamiliar atmosphere. I feel some aspects of the piece are successful and others less so... but I've definitely learned a thing or two that will help me (I hope) tackle additional seabird subjects.

But now it's time to get out of my PJs and (ahem) tern my attention preparations for the busy week ahead. I'll be delivering new work to Abend Gallery in Denver, to The Wildlife Experience museum in Parker for the upcoming exhibition The Wildlife Experience in Art, and then it's off to Wisconsin for Birds in Art! Why, my schedule will be a veritable Art Tern-ado. (Not to be confused with a Sharknado, which is something else entirely. I can't explain it. You'll just have to Google it.)


  1. very nice finish :) really great fluffy clouds

    haven't seen sharknado yet, keep meaning to tho. love watching bad b horror movies :p

  2. Another stellar print. I love the pallet of this one (really?) and think your Tern is great. But what I love the most on this one are the clouds! So very hard to get those big puffy ones just right and I think yours are wonderful!
    Big Hug!

  3. Sherrie,
    Having seen these birds at Cape Cod, this print captures their speed, the weather and clouds,everything but the tern's funny sounds.

  4. I didn't see "Sharknado," either. Are you an MST3K fan, Jen?

    Big puffy clouds ARE challenging, aren't they? These were my first ones ever, and I scratched my head a LOT trying to sort them out.

    Sound prints! What a great idea, Patrick! Long, long ago I had an idea about collaborating with a friend to do a music/art/poetry event. But soundscapes.... hm...

  5. love MST3K :D need to see if I can find a few eps I havent see on youtube

    havent tried any clouds yet with printing, sort of scare too lol

  6. Another stunning print Sherrie. What more can I say.

    Just googled sharknado- sounds right up my street. Can't imagine its the sort of thing the BBC will be showing over here though.

  7. Love this! Makes me think of the journey home on the ferry.

    Sharknado.... I've got to see this. Will I be chucked out the cinema for giggling too much?


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