The end game, as often happens, was a bit subtle. First, some darks. Maybe the final, maybe not.
|Linocut in progress, Step 11|
Pretty good... but, yeah. I had avoided the birds. Why? Because I was afraid of them, of course! What if, after all this, they looked horrible in the final image? But they are so small... the larger one isn't even 3/4 of an inch tall... getting involved with little details seemed like a bad idea.
My best methods for dealing with indecision and anxiety are to A) avoid making the actual decision and B) eat chocolate. But neither of these can go on indefinitely without consequences, so I carved a few small marks into the birds, mixed up one last transparent dark, took a deep breath, and...
|Hi ho, hi ho, to wipe the ink we go...|
...wiped a lot of ink. At this stage there wasn't much lino surface left on the block, and no matter how careful I was about inking, I still had overrun. So I carefully wiped extraneous bits after every inking and before the prints went through the press. (Yes, that was a blatant attempt to draw out the drama. Did it work?)
And heeeeere's the result:
|Slightly embiggenable with a click, if you'd like a better look.|
Just enough simplification to the birds and one final dark in some of the rock and shadowed parts of the trees. Whew.
If you've been following Brush and Baren for any length of time you know that I can go down some prolonged "just one more thing" rabbit holes. I did consider making one more little tweak to the image, but after a day or two I decided enough was enough.
All that's left now is to title it. The prevailing breeze on Pemaquid Point has caused these trees to lean back... but the birds of course love to face in to the headwind. I like the idea of push/pull and two different ways to respond to the same situation... but haven't yet come up with a succinct way to express that idea. Perhaps it's a big enough concept to save for another, more dramatic image.
I'll mull it over for another couple of days (eating more chocolate and avoiding another decision), but then it's due for a frame and a trip to New Hampshire for the Pine Tree Pop-Up show and sale at the Woodman Museum, so a christening will need to happen soon!