Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Is that INK I see?

Indeed it is, and a completely chaotic work surface, too. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm scheduled to give a demonstration during the opening weekend festivities for the Woodson Art Museum's Birds in Art exhibition on September 12. That's not a lot of time to put together a new linocut, especially since I've been out of the studio for three months. And double-especially because I have to produce this one "old skool," with a baren and a little portable registration jig.

You should have seen me this morning... On a quest for the jig (on shelf under work surface), paper (precut last spring, in a drawer), and most alarmingly, my baren, which remained elusive for a good 20 minutes while I tried to discover where I had stashed it. All my inks and carving tools had been stashed away, too...

I had this ridiculous notion that I would make a "really simple" demonstration piece: One blended roll for the first step, and then a solid black silhouette over the top. Piece of cake.

Bzzzzzt! Wrong! I made a horrific mess mixing all the wrong colors, creating ugly blends, and wasting several sheets of paper before I decided I'd better just start with a solid blue rectangle.

Remembering how to print: Step 1

Okay, then.

Obviously my two-step plan is out the window at Step 1. At least I am reassured that SOME things don't change during a long absence, chief among them my inability to keep things simple.

I decided that since I was already on Plan B I might as well experiment with the background. Here you can start to see some efforts at funky texture, printed with a subtle blended blue.

A little less wobbly: Step 2

Step 3 was to be another blended roll, but the first tests didn't look all that great, so I went back to a solid transparent blue (again) and more carved texture.

My two-step print reaches Step 3

Aaaaaannd... here we are already at Step 3.

Aaaaaannnnd..... now I think there will be at least 5, possibly 6 passes before it's finished.
Go ahead. Say it.

It felt great to be working, even with all the frustrations caused by plain ol' rustiness. Unfortunately hand-printing wreaks havoc with the tendinitis that I thought would get a rest this summer but which has in fact gotten worse. (sigh) Thankfully I had the presence of mind to schedule a massage before I left home in May.... it's tomorrow. I also scheduled a haircut, which is today. You may applaud my foresight now.

The focus of the next few days is clear, and happily so. I had a fantastic summer away, but these last few weeks I've been twitchy to get back to linos. Unlike the insect bites I acquired in Maine, this is one itch I am happy to scratch.


  1. And we are sooooo happy that you are back!

  2. simple? you? ;) (but thats good, since we then get wonderful work to look at :) )

    sorry your tendinitis is acting up, does a massage help a lot with it?