Friday, December 9, 2016

Rosebud, Part II: More Cuteness. Can't help it.

Little Rosebud is the devoted companion of a good friend who moved away this past summer. I miss both of their smiling faces around here, so it was delightful to work on this demonstration piece and think about them as I did so.

No demo would be complete without a scary "ugly duckling" stage, and while this isn't the worst one I've had to contend with, it was hard to give up work on Rosebud's face to put in a background color.

I briefly considered doing something flashy for the background... maybe a blended roll... maybe two. However, you and I both know that if I started down that path I ran the risk of making this too complicated and less effective as a clear example of reduction printing. Restraint was difficult, but I managed it. Somehow.

Rosebud reduction linocut, Step 5

Blue. Just plain old blue for the background. Step 5.

Of course I wanted to jazz things up at least a little, so for Step 6....

Rosebud, Step 6

I left a border, but let Rosebud break up the boundary with her lovely doggy shoulders and some of her tousled, furry head. Subject-breaking-a-border is a design element that I've always liked for adding a little more dimension and presence to a simple piece.

Almost finished now. One more dark. I think.

Rosebud, Step 7

Geez, is that cute, or what?

I thought about calling it finished at this point, but decided that a little touch of color would be fun.

Rosebud, Step 8. Finished?

There was, however, a minor complication to this decision. I couldn't carve anything more out of the block, because Step 7 is the one I'm going to print at the demonstration*. (I pulled out one print at Step 6 to save for this purpose.)

The most logical thing to do would be to wait until after the demo, when I could carve away all the material around the collar shape and have a nice, straightforward print step. But, nooooooooo. Impatient Sherrie wanted to put this color on all of the other prints in the edition now.

Of course this means using a mask, but the shape is too small and fussy to make an accurate one. Instead I cut one that was only "approximate" to protect the rest of the image and spent time carefully wiping extraneous color out of areas of the block that the mask didn't cover.

The funny thing is that once the red was printed I was no longer sure that the Step 7 dark was dark enough. But, again, I have to leave the block at Step 7 until after the demo, so this decision will have to wait until next week.

I had so much fun with Rosebud that I'm thinking about doing a few more furry pets in a small format like this. There's a big, complex image in my not-too-distant future, but it could be a nice change of pace to make a few more prints like this one.

Until then, I've left one little Rosebud print pinned to the studio wall, where her silly cuteness makes me smile every time I look at her.

* Artist Talk and demo: Saturday, December 10 at Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt, Colorado.