Thursday, July 30, 2020

Linocut in Progress: It's all heating up...

And I mean that quite literally. It is HOT here on the coast of Maine just now-- the kind of heat that makes this formerly-of-the-high-desert printmaker wonder what she was thinking when she moved to a place where 90-degree temps can be accompanied by equally high humidity levels. To make matters worse... it just doesn't cool down at night. Back in Colorado we might have 100-degree days, but at least I could always be sure that once it got dark I could cool the house down and be ready to meet the next day's onslaught.

Here? Not so much. And I am cranky.

But I'm trying to work, despite doubts about how ink and paper behave in these conditions. It's slow going, since I frequently have to stop to wring myself out, but at least I'm trying!

I'm back to a square format for this piece; and although it will have a few of my usual subject elements (birds and water, of course), there will be a twist of complexity in the foreground that I am both intrigued by and nervous about.

But to get started, here's a soft blue in the background.... not over the entire block, it's not needed everywhere.

Linocut in Progress, Step 1

Not much information there, but that's okay. Let's try to keep some suspense going for a while. 

The second color pass was a blue-to-green blended roll, again just in the upper half of the image.

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 2

It was all feeling fine at this point, but I started arguing with myself about whether or not I should be masking color out of the foreground, since the color temperature of the bottom two-thirds of the image will be much warmer than all the color that's been printed so far. My concern is with the interaction and influence of the already-printed color and the color-to-come, but I am too hot to think clearly and my brain cells are dripping down my back along with the rest of me. 

It is, however, quite satisfying to see my studio look as though there is something happening in it again. And look above my drawing/carving table! Can you see that all my carving tools are now in a nifty little rack attached to my shelf? You can thank my friend and neighbor, J, who has a lovely habit of taking an idea vaguely described by me and making it appear as if by magic.

Studio view... so nice to be working, even if I'm melting
and the paper is curling.
Sooo.... studio view and sweltering heat aside, I think I can manage one more color pass for the upper third of the image. This time it's a sort of gray-blue to lavender-blue blend... and, surprise! Some of the subjects are starting to be revealed.

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 3

It's time to make yet another pitcher of iced tea and check on the status of the ice cube trays, and then it's back to the carving table. 

Linocut in Progress: (Lucky 13th) Final Step

 I am off next week to head up the Arts & Birding session at Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine , so I have been feeling the pressure to w...