Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Linocut in progress: Finding a rhythm

Studio F up and running
Slowly but surely I'm developing a new daily routine. My studio space is, according to the GPS on my phone, 6/10 of a mile from where I'm living. This is the furthest my work space has been from my living space... ever... so it's taking a bit of adjustment.

No more printing in my pajamas, for example. I am obliged to get dressed before arriving in the studio, especially since it is my intention to walk between home and work each day and winter is approaching. My jammies are cozy, but they're not weatherproof.

If I intend to spend the day here, as I did today, I also need to bring a lunch unless I want to start a bad fast food habit. No more tripping off to the kitchen when the mood strikes. This could be a good thing.

The studio is also the only place where I have internet, which puts a damper on my evening working AND surfing habits. It has been fairly typical that I don't settle down to work until late afternoon and then work into the evening when I have contract assignments... but no more! At least for now. And no more compulsive checking of Facebook when I'm not sure what else to do with myself. (Thank goodness.)

So far I find I like the focus. I've been coming into the studio in the morning, spending an hour or two catching up on long-neglected administrative tasks, and then turning my attention to the print bench. Lovely.

Two new passes have been accomplished on the linocut-in-progress since Saturday's check-in.

Laughing gull linocut - Step 3
 Step 3 involved a blend of the previous two inks, made slightly lighter and more opaque with the addition of white. Light ink over a darker tone might seem counter-intuitive, but can really be striking in some instances. This particular application is subtle and early in the game, so not really any big deal.

Laughing gull linocut - Step 4
Step 4 involved a false start. Initially I tried another blended roll of the previous two colors darkened with a brown. Eh. Not effective and not really necessary, so I cleaned the block and the ink slab and instead printed a solid but transparent darker gray-blue. Better.

The next step involves some rather tedious delicate carving of bird feathers and rocks. Fun times.

Tomorrow, however, my schedule includes several appointments elsewhere so I'm not likely to get to the studio. EEK! This is where the new setup becomes challenging. What do you mean I can't at least wander through the studio and rearrange my tools before I go to bed?

Ah, well. I might throw the block and my tools in my backpack and take them with me when I leave this evening. I can always go back to making lino crumbs at the kitchen table, just as I did in my early printmaking days. :-)


  1. I like how the print is going, but I really like the comment about wandering through the studio and rearranging tools before going to bed.

    My studio is at the bottom of the stairs and I can never resist the short detour in to stare at the line of drying prints or meddle with the part carved block before going to bed. It's also the first stop when I come down the stairs having got up in the morning. I thought it was just me that was weird!

  2. Sherrie, Stuart,

    Nocturnal studio checks are NORMAL :) My studio is in the loft and I have been known to get up and pop upstairs to make a quick note or two about the current print in the middle of the night :)

    Ann L

  3. Thanks, Wendy... hoping to get on with the greys in the birds today... we'll see!

    Stuart and Ann... Yes. This is the part of a separate studio that I'm finding most challenging. I do appreciate the sense of urgency imparted by a separate space ("Do it now, because you won't be able to wander back to it tonight")... but it's a kind of withdrawal. My old habit was frequently to carve at the end of the day and set everything up to print first thing in the morning (in my pjs). There was a certain satisfaction in getting work done before breakfast. But... for now...new work habits required!

  4. As another work-at-home artist, I can feel your discomfort at having an away-from-home studio. Lots of habit changes involved. I'm also comforted to hear so many accounts of nocturnal wanderings into the studio, staring at the work or fiddling with tools. I too thought I was weird...

  5. you could always keep a set of pyjamas there ;p

  6. I have to say, about the distance between your house and your studio, that it all depends on what's in between the two that would determine whether one could go to the studio in one's pajamas. And I would think nothing of walking home for lunch. That's a good little tiny bit of exercise.

    But despite that, I like having my studio in my house, because, like everyone else, I like to go look at things various times during the day.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where this print goes.