Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Linocut in Progress: Upcoming Demo in Denver

I suppose I could say I'm relieved to report that I delivered 15 of what will ultimately be 17 or 18 seabird images to the framer yesterday. Thankfully she's just matting them for me... can you imagine trying to ship 18 pieces of framed artwork across the country? Yes, yes... I realize it's done all the time... but not by me.

That task accomplished, it was time to turn my attention to this weekend's demo at Abend Gallery in Denver. It's a very laid-back sort of demonstration event, with several artists working throughout the gallery. Printmaking isn't well understood by many visitors, so I like to have work in various stages available to share with people.

 Of course there isn't a lot of time between now and Saturday, so this new edition is small and the design is simple.

Terns, reduction linocut, Step 1

The problem with images that feature white birds is that they give themselves away so early in the game. Yep, two birds in flight.

The next step involved some amusing little areas of spot inking... If by amusing one means fiddly and not particularly dramatic or rewarding. Which I do.

In fairness, at least this sort of thing only requires a small batch of ink and cleanup is quick and easy.

Terns, reduction linocut, Step 2

Step three and we're already at the halfway point. I think. I haven't yet come to terms (terns?) with what to do with all that background. In my references the sky is just a flat, deep blue. Not terribly exciting.

Terns, reduction linocut, Step 3
But the next step is also a transparent gray. In fact I think it will be the same ink rolled a second time, since its purpose is to deepen some of the shadow areas in the birds.

In the meantime... I've just had a request from our local newspaper for some photos and info about area birds for an upcoming feature. After all these seabirds it will be nice to think about "my" critters for a little bit!


  1. I don't ship framed pieces either. It's a big enough worry driving them around in my own car never mind trusting them to a courier company.

  2. From time to time I do ship framed work, but the most I've ever sent at one time is five pieces. It's the crating for framed work that kills me. There's a company here (Airfloat) that makes an excellent reusable crate specifically for shipping art... but it's rather expensive AND the cost to get the empty box shipped TO me the first time is obnoxious.

    I'd be happy to deliver these as a road trip, but it's a 2300-mile trip to Rockland from here, so they're just going to have to go without me! :-)

  3. Sherrie, at some point could you expand on your technique for using a mask? I was inspired to try it... FAIL. I used a brayer to roll the ink over it and it just didn't... Ya, not good.

  4. Hi Red Tail... That's a good idea. I've shown a few photos, but a longer discussion will be in order.

    But I'll tell you that using a brayer depends a lot on size and shape of the area you're printing. Try to make your mask of thinnest but most durable material you can (I use mylar) and roll your brayer in the same direction each time.

    If the shape is too small or complex for the brayer, I use a stiff brush to "pounce" the color on to the block. Like stenciling! Little tiny bird feet and beaks often get this treatment.

    Hope that helps!