Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Linocut in Progress: Is this a print or a horse?

Sometimes in the middle of work on a reduction piece I feel like I'm drifting further and further from my original concept, headed off somewhere I never intended to go. I used to feel the same way on a certain horse I knew (a whole other lifetime ago). I wanted to go this way and the horse wanted to go that way. We'd make it to the destination, but we'd be resisting each other the entire time.

I'm tempted to name this print after that horse.

Aspen leaf linocut, Step 9

After the yellow pass I wanted something orangey. This pass was okay... and certainly bright enough with that yellow underneath it. But everything feels flat... no dimension. I keep trying to tell myself that it will be better once the darks are in place, but right now it's difficult to remain optimistic when I'm NINE colors in and nothing is resolved.

After the orange I needed a red. My first attempt was a straight red with transparent base... and all I got was a too-dark orange.

That's not right.

Next I tried a blended roll... a little darker on the top and bottom... and a richer red.

Still not right.

That's more interesting, and certainly less "flat" feeling, but WAYYYYYY too dark. Okay for maple leaves, but not aspen.

So what to do? I decided to skip any fancy inking at this point and just find the @#$% red. Which turned out to be.....

Is that Barbie pink?

Fuschia? Rose? Nope. Barbie doll pink. The sort of color that makes me shudder when I see it on little girls. (Although I confess that in my youth I chose a wallpaper for my bedroom that sported huge flowers in orange, purple.. and this pink. It was the 70s. It couldn't be helped.)

Aspen leaf linocut, Step 10

Interestingly, it mellowed to a sort of "tomato bisque" color on the print, which was more what I was after.

The next step will be a transparent gray of some ilk. I haven't yet decided if it will lean towards blue (cooler) or brown (warmer). I'd like to try the blue range just because this whole image is so darn warm right now, but whatever I try I'm pretty sure I'll get some argument. All I can do is hold tight to the reigns (or at least the saddle horn) and try to keep moving forward.


  1. I love reading about your process, Sherrie! It all sounds very familiar. I just printed Barbie pink on dark green to get a warm gray.....

  2. I learn from each print you make. Thank you for taking us on such an informative journey. xoxo

  3. Oh, Jean... it was so great to hear you talk about YOUR process the other night. Made me think that if I'm crazy at least I have good company. ;-)

    XOXO back atcha, Wendy.