Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Linocut in Progress: The Semi-secret Project

As I type this we're getting ready for our first significant snowfall of the season here on the coast of Maine and I find I'm actually looking forward to it. I've got hot cocoa in the cupboard and wood piled next to the stove... and plenty to do in both the studio and the office. Staying in and getting work done sounds fabulous to me.

It's not quite time to reveal the ultimate goal of the project I'm working on at the moment, but I think it's okay to show you some work in progress. I've been carving, printing, and painting a dozen individual linocut birds. When finished they'll be part of a larger image with a potentially huge audience, so it's all rather exciting.

I'm printing the birds on Arches 140lb watercolor sheets, and I've found that it works best to use damp paper. That's different from my usual working method, but once I found the right level of dampness and the right press pressure the printing process has been amazingly smooth. Maybe it's the fact that I'm just printing one color that makes it seem so miraculously painless. No 15-color-pass headaches in this job.

Of course I'm on a deadline, so to expedite things I added some cobalt drier to the ink. This is something I typically try to avoid, for a number of reasons. I dislike the smell for one... and if used over multiple color passes I dislike how it changes the sheen of the ink. But what I really hate is that it is toxic stuff, and I have a solvent-free studio. But sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do.

The whole project needs to be done before the end of the month, so there's no time for messing about. Stay tuned for the big reveal and announcement, probably right around Christmas.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Salty! They have been fun to do, mostly! ;-)

  2. good luck getting it finished! :D the pile of lino cuts makes a nice art piece as it is lol :)