Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Linocut in Progress: Wrapping up the Loon

Two weeks out of the studio when the loon linocut was so close to completion was quite a wrench. However, now that I live so close to Hog Island I was able to jump back in to the studio the day after we wrapped up our session and immediately bury myself in ink.

Of course the finish wasn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I struggled mightily to find the right balance of bird and reflection. I didn't take photos of all the different ways I tried to manage it... but here's the second-to-last stage:

reduction linocut in progress, Step 9

It came down to a question of "feel" for the reflection. The darker version might have been more true to my reference, but the lighter, murkier version seemed to make the birds the clearer focal point.

Rather overexposed, but you get the idea

I consulted a couple of friends and colleagues (thank you, interwebs) and their reactions were as mixed as mine. In the end I went with the lighter reflection.

embiggenable with a click

We're in the throes of gray and rainy weather this week, so it will be a few days before I can get a good photograph of the final stage. This one is okay, and if you embiggen the image (click on it) you can get a fair look at it. All that's lacking now is a title... and several days' drying time.

This piece has been in the back of my mind since December, when I first agreed to create something for the upcoming International Loon / Diver Symposium hosted by the Biodiversity Research Institute in Portland. That it was another six months before I was able to get to work on it was an unexpected frustration, and it's been weighing heavily on my mind for a long time. To finally have a drying rack full of loons is immensely satisfying. And it lets me ponder my favorite question: What's next?


  1. Another lovely print. I so appreciate the details on the little guys. You are soooo good. xoxo

  2. very nice print :) the lighter reflection works better, my eye is drawn first to the bird then the reflection. with the darker reflection my eyes go right to it and almost ignore the bird :)

    1. Yes, that's how I felt, too. It seemed weird at first, but I decided I ought to go with instinct rather than logic. Sometimes that works, eh?

    2. yeah sometimes we get lucky lol :)