Saturday, March 30, 2019

Linocut in Progress: The long wait and the quick finish

Two-and-a-half weeks ago I was working like a madwoman, trying to wrap up this chipping sparrow linocut before I left for the two-week filming adventure in Florida. I really, really, really wanted to be finished... to let the prints sit and dry for two weeks while I was away and be able to jump right in to something new when I returned.

But, alas.... I got this far and no further:

Linocut in progress: Step 13

I know! It seems so close, right? And it was! Infuriatingly close. All that was left were some little bits of spot inking... final darks in the birds, lighten up a few bird feet, and warm up the piece of rebar and the pole in the background. One day's work! But alas, everything was just that much too wet, and my first attempt to print was met with the disaster of wet rejection, so I cleaned up... packed up... and resigned myself to finishing when I got home from Florida.

Of course it was too much to ask to be able to finish this thing immediately. I had to take down a show up in Rockland and take care of a bunch of business-related tasks (read: paperwork with deadlines)... and...(dare I admit it?)... dig my car out of the mud.

Yes, it's mud season here in Maine, and I made a grave miscalculation about the condition of the ground in front of my house yesterday. I pulled in close to unload the show... trying to avoid (literally) 24 trips back and forth across our muddy parking area carrying artwork... but when I tried to pull out again... well. Let's just say the car spent the night somewhere other than where it usually does, with one tire just about up to its lug bolts in gloppy wetness.

But this morning my team of three strong women managed, with superior problem-solving skills and no small effort, to extract my mud-caked vehicle and I was finally able to get to work.


The final three spot colors... whew!

There were three main areas that needed the spot inking treatment: 1) warm up the rebar in the background, 2) lighten the sunny side of the birds' feet, and 3) last dark eye stripe and maybe one more dark in a few shadowy bits of the birds' backs. Fortunately all of these areas were enough separated from each other that they could all be inked and printed simultaneously! Last color pass!

Again I'm short on a title.... "Snow Fence, No Snow," perhaps. Final pass, step 14

And here it is! Huzzah! I'll give it some quality drying time while I decide what to tackle next, and in the meantime... I have to prep for more shows! Eek! The crazy season is already beginning! Maybe I should throw some metaphorical mud under the wheels to slow things down a bit. I've already had enough of the real stuff.

7 comments:

  1. Sherrie, I can SO relate to your making trips back and forth across the muddy driveway - I had that exact setup when I lived in Northern New Mexico. I finally put in some stuff that would be not-muddy in the spring - the best thing i ever did!!

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    1. Colorado roads could be "greasy" and unpleasant during snow melt, but I must admit I never dealt with anything quite like this. The ground has been frozen deep, with snow and rain on top of it... so we have stuff that's halfway to your knees right now. And it's SO wet... it's like thick soup. Amazing. Sadly I have no control over the shared driveway... so it's just going to be a circus of mud for a bit longer. Adventures!

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  2. BTW, the print is wonderful - I really love it. <3

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    1. Thanks! It's nice to walk in to the studio and see it hanging there finished....

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  3. yay, nicely finished :D

    maybe you need to put some gravel down to h elp with the mud?

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    1. The word from the maintainer of the road is that many, many tons of gravel have been swallowed by the gapping mud maw over the years... short of paving it, I'm not sure what can be done... and we have so much frost heave here that I don't imagine that would last very long. :-/ (My front porch has suddenly lifted at one outside corner... the step into my woodshed got wedged under the the door for a while. The earth is a very mobile thing here! It's amazing....)

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  4. yeah paving it would just probably make it worse and cause a lot of upkeep needing to be done every year :/ dad never paved his driveway because of the frost problem there too, no point since it wouldn't last long before breaking up

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