December 23, 2007


Well here it is, tomorrow's Christmas Eve and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I'm on schedule: house clean and decorated, baking done, presents wrapped. I even steam-cleaned the living room carpet yesterday, after vacillating for several weekends. Actually, the decision was pretty much made for me by Frodo who, randomly and unexpectedly, chose to leave a fragrant (not) little gift of his own on the carpet yesterday morning. Why, after years of going outside??? I can only think I somehow subconsciously willed it so that I'd be forced to steam-clean. Anyway, all done now and the room is the model of Christmas cozy.

Even the tree, more odd-ball this year than ever, is lovely. This year we have a juniper -- the top of the juniper in front of the house -- berries and all. R topped the tree a few weeks ago, worried that the branches, leaning more and more after last year's wicked wind storms, might take out our hydro lines during a repeat performance. The top seemed too nice to throw away after that, so we decided to save ourselves a hassle and re-cycled it for Christmas. Somehow, it feels right, although decorating it was definitely a challenge.

Now, the only bummer is that I've been retail widow while R's been working every day for the last two weeks and coming home too drained, to truly appreciate the spirit of Christmas I'm trying to infuse the house with. Poor man, the commercial retail world is soul-sapping. I've tried my best to stay out of the malls but the little exposure I've had was enough. What an insane ritual this yearly shopping frenzy is! Thank God we've been able to get beyond that this year, none of us really needs anything, and we've managed to keep it simple: some books, a couple of DVD's, lots of candles for atmosphere, and some good wine and things to nibble on in front of the fire. Tonight we'll be watching White Christmas, even N's going to watch with us.

As to printmaking, I finished my cards and sent them out, filed away the unhappy Gargoyle, here's the final version:

6" x 8"

And I began work on a new reduction print: Tree Spirit. I hope to print the first colour this coming week; I'm off from work until Jan. 2nd!!!

The image is based on a photo we took on our trip through the Kootenays last summer:

Here's my colour sketch and the drawing transferred to the block. The first step is to clear away the edges around the image; I'm not using white so can print after that.

I feel like I've been away from the press for far too long. It's time to reintroduce ourselves.

November 25, 2007

Lessons Learned

I’m closing the door on several weeks of frustration today. Since mid October, I’ve been working on a new reduction woodblock print, Gargoyle, inspired by a stone gargoyle somewhere in Prague. The image is 6" x 8". These are the results as per the grand finish today:

Actually, I don't have a photo of the last print; it's too wet to scan and N. has the camera on her trip to Seattle. But it's represented by the block, printed in a lighter gray than print number 2.

Once the prints come down from the line, I'll most likely chuck them. Somehow, even though I had a sure idea of where I wanted to go with this and how, I didn’t enjoy working on it and I’m sure that affected things. As did having to stop half-way through when it dawned on me that I needed to get moving on my Christmas card print for this year. On the plus side, between this block and the one I carved for my Christmas card, I learned a hell of a lot as far as actual carving technique goes. I keep being reminded of how different working with wood is from lino. It’s been a learning curve but one I think and hope I’ve climbed now. The bummer is that neither the Gargoyle print nor my Christmas card one turned out to be keepers.

This is the Christmas card as it turned out and yes, it really is lumpy and textured like that though clearly not in a good way.

I still like the idea, I wanted something simple, but troubles with execution have resulted in what looks like a potato print. The cards are in fact hideous and certainly nothing I want to put my name to and send out to people. I’m guessing it’s ink issues I’m dealing with here: I tried to get more transparency in the blue and rose inkings and added transparent medium to my ink. Very weird stuff, rubbery and oddly sinuous, it rolled out very thick, printed so thickly that I had to daub off the excess with newsprint (resulting in a fuzzy edged print), and dried lumpy. After that, the yellow and green both went on wrong and ended up lumpy. In ultimate irony, neither of the inks I added the transparent medium to came out noticably more transparent. Grrrr.

Last week, trying to endure a three-day long mind-numbingly boring exercise at work in a sub-temperature room, I kept myself conscious by thinking about my prints and, specifically the disastrous Christmas cards. I hate the idea of store-bought after so many years of making my own. That’s when I came up with plan B. I sketched out the image on Friday, carved out the matrix yesterday afternoon, and printed it last night – enough for 40-plus cards. The image is roughly 3” x 3” and will be pasted on some nice card stock to set it off properly.

It’s done in the Opus house brand of Mastercarve – I forgot how easy it is to work with and how fast it goes. Roughly two hours to carve the image and an hour to print 50 copies; I used permanent rubber-stamping ink. Can’t beat that, or the pleasure of working with this stuff, though it really isn’t suited for larger work and wouldn’t make a good print going through Max (yup, finally named the press). Thank God there’ll be Christmas cards afterall.

November 19, 2007

Looking for Printmakers

Yesterday afternoon R and I took advantage of the weather and went to check out the East Side Culture Crawl. I'd only heard about it last year, after it was over, and this time I didn't want to miss it. I was hoping to find some printmakers out there.

We started off in the East Pender/Hawks area, visiting the different artist's studios marked on the map, then took in the studio lofts in the Alexander/Railway area, and ended on Powell and Commercial at the ARC. What a glorious way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon! And what a great way some of these people live: living their art every day in surroundings designed to encourage creative expression. Of course, it takes more than just creating to maintain the lifestyle (the studios in the ARC run from $1200 to $2600 a month) so the idea is to sell enough work to pay that rent. One way or another, it always comes down to money.

Anyway, I was on the hunt for printmakers.
One specifically: Richard Tetrault,

Yellow Door

The above is one of his woodcuts. I love the vital energy in his work and really hoped to see one or two of his blocks in person, to see how he carves them. But, though we went to the address in the brochure, we found different artists there. Maybe there were more suites in the building and we missed them. It was one of our first stops so maybe we didn't look hard enough.

Later on, sort of by fluke, we found John Steil:


He, like Richard Tetrault, does paintings as well as prints. He works with lino and, amazingly, Speedball inks -- he gets fine results with them. Obviously his style is much simpler yet I kind of liked his work too, in a different way.

Finally, on our very last stop, we found Chris Blades. He doesn't have a website so I can't attach a sample, but his lithographs called out to me from the hallway walls on one of the floors at the ARC. He himself was on another floor entirely, making music. It was actually the music that drew us to his studio, both of us unaware that the musician was the guy who's work I'd been admiring earlier. He was playing a tango on a hollow guitar (I think) accompanied by an accordion, a mandolin, and an electric guitar. Incredible musicians each and every one of them, they were so totally in synch, like they'd been playing together for a hundred years.

The music literally flowed from them, through their instruments and around the room, around dozens of glowing art lamps Chris makes, around a collection of odd and intriguing objects like, for example, a football morphed into a puffer fish. We stood in total awe, through three pieces of music, and at some point noticed the artwork on the walls and realized whose place we were in. Ironically, we actually have a couple of Chris's older prints; we got them from Thor, almost 20 years ago, in exchange for house-sitting the gallery our first summer in Squamish.

We ended up talking to the musicians a little bit then, trying to articulate the joy their playing made us feel. R asked them if they had any of the music recorded and they don't. They don't even have a name as a group!!! Sad, sad, sad, sad. Nonetheless, we left there uplifted and managed to hang on to the feeling through the rest of the night. Sometimes, you go out looking for one thing and find another, better thing altogether.

October 15, 2007

Field Flowers: Completion

At last, this print is done. The finished size is 7" x 9". These are the last two stages:

The indigo ink is still tacky, after two weeks of drying, so I can't do any matting yet. One thing I regret is not putting more depth (another colour) into the foreground gold section; that part came out a bit too flat though overall I'm happy with the way this turned out. I like the simplicity and vibrancy of the colours. It reminds me of the Mexican clay masks my parents had in their house in Arizona, also very vibrant and simple in imagery.

September 23, 2007

Field Flowers: Close to the End

Here's the next colour in the print. This one really gives the image the punch I was hoping for.

The next stage are the flowers -- two more colours. Typically, I've already started prepping my next print. Seems like I always get started on my next project before I'm finished my current one. Is that normal I wonder. Maybe there's only so much time I want to devote to a print and it seems that 8 weeks are about it. It's incredible really, how many weeks it actually takes me to finish one print! They whip by so fast I barely notice it until I take the time to count them. Mother tells me she admires my patience but I'm not so sure if I actually have it, or if I'm only trying to teach myself to have it.

September 16, 2007

Field Flowers: slowly, slowly.

Woke up to rain this morning and breathed a sigh of relief. No rain means no guilt for not being out doing garden chores. Good day for printing. The next stage in the latest print caused some anxiety -- I was worried how a lighter colour would take to the fairly dark green below it. But it was okay. I haven't tested it enough to really know for sure yet, but I think that by adding in white allows lighter inks to print over top of darker ones. At least that's the way it worked here:

The next step will be a dark forest green for the mountains and clumps of woodland scattered throughout the fields. And then the flowers themselves. I haven't totally decided which colour I'll go with for the petal accents -- I was originally planning a deep blue but now, seeing how the print is coming out, I may go with something lighter. But I have time to think about that still.

In the meantime, I've remembered my love of the work of Ted Harrison. I saw one of his pieces on display in a gallery window last week and finally took the time to do a hunt for him on the internet.

His prints are silk-screens but I love the simplicity. He captures so much without making things complicated. I suspect his work reminds me of Josef Lada's whose images really resonate with me too. Yes, the two artists are very different thematically but they both use colour and a minimalistic style to convey their message and I love that.

Ted Harrison

"Sledding Together" "Friendly Greetings"

Josef Lada

"The Little Mill" "In the Village Green"

And I realize that in my own prints, the ones I like the best are the simplest ones too; the ones where I haven't spent too much time trying to make things really exact. Something to think about for sure.

September 09, 2007

Field Flowers: Next steps

These are the next stages in the meadow print, done over the last few weeks. I screwed up the printing the gold colour and didn't ink the block in all the areas I should have. That left some areas that needed to be gold, white. Is a little cheating allowed? I ended up solving the problem by mixing more gold and actually rolling a very fine layer directly onto the paper where it should be. The difference in tone was really obvious only until the next colour went on; after that, it was okay.

The difference between image 3 and 4 is very subtle, the greens are similar. It'll take the next colours to increase the contrast.

The carving's going ok. I got a couple of fine Japanese water stones from Lee Valley to keep the chisels sharp and am getting the hang of carving wood again. About time too, considering the block's almost carved away at this point.

The other nice surprise is that the inks are drying fast -- within a couple of days of being printed. In a proper studio with constant good light and a press that didn't have to be dragged around, I could be printing even through the week. Maybe. Time would probably be an issue then since it's not something I have a lot of on weeknights, when I have to force myself to bed by 11:00. I can't imagine how other people can live lives where all they do is go to work, watch an hour or two of TV and then go to bed at 10:00 or so, only to repeat it all again in the morning. No wonder there's so many "pajama people" out there.

August 27, 2007

Kootenay Trails

On Saturday we got back from our "big" trip through the Kootenays and to Nelson. We figured it would be a nice place to spend our anniversary; we've heard so many enticing things about it over the years. Maybe too many enticing things because it ended up disappointing. We went looking for some sense of artistic spirit and inspiration, hoping to find little galleries with original work created by people who aren't clones of others.

But we only found one art gallery and one or two stores selling things hand-crafted by local artists. Otherwise, lots of pubs and coffee places, two expensive outdoor clothing stores, a few fancy dress shops, and an otherwise typical array of small town shops. And lots of young people trying to look artistic but seeming a bit fake and, sadly, clone-like. Even the metaphysical store seemed like a clone of so many others like it elsewhere. "You're all wearing a uniform, don't kid yourselves" said Frank Zappa to a crowd of hippies at one of his concerts and that's what we though of as we walked up and down the streets of Nelson. Dreadlocks, VW buses, and multiple piercings are status symbols too yet they do not automatically guarantee real depth of soul.

With the exception of the couple who entertained us while we ate out dinner, he on a Dobro and she on an accordion, what we found in Nelson was mostly a town with a culture that was maybe an alternate one, but not specifically an artistic one. Or maybe the artists were there, but in hiding, creating their unique visions away from the tourist hub of downtown. Maybe we just didn't have enough time to find them. Worse thought yet, maybe there used to be more galleries there in the past but they were replaced by the trendy clothing shops because art does not sell.

Anyway, the country up to, and from, Nelson was BC at its spectacular best and was really the star of the trip. We took lots of pictures: some that didn't turn out and a few that kind of did:

August 17, 2007

Hybiscus Endings & Field Flower Beginnings

It took exactly a week for the black ink to dry enough for the prints to come down from the drying line. Even today the ink's still tacky and needs to be drier before I can mat it but I wanted to make room on the line for the next project.

This is the final colour close up:

Now I'm working on my all Shina woodblock print. I began carving it last Saturday night and immediately remembered two things: 1) woodblock is not lino and 2) the tools better be sharp. Both are pretty obvious yet, naively, I still began carving the block without taking either into consideration so the first cut was a jagged, splintery, fugly line. So were the second and the third cuts and then I got wise and set about sharpening.
The problem is that, for all the years in the knife store where I not only told all those people how to sharpen their chisels and gouges and knives but also really sold them on how easy it is, I myself am (or was until this week) a total sharpening dummy. The concept is one thing; the practice is another. It's like spirituality really: you can know all kinds of truths and dogmas yet unless you really really know, then all of it is useless.

So, lack of proper sharpening knowledge in hand, I set about almost wrecking my good V-gouge, the one that came in a set (for Christmas) and that you can't buy again unless you buy the set again too -- not cheap. That's when R showed up, summoned by the sound of me gnashing my teeth in frustration no doubt, to give me some hints and the determination to keep going. And, like the zen koen about the girl seeing the moon's reflection in her bucket of water and becoming enlightened, the light suddenly came on. I'm not sure what flipped the switch exactly yet, suddenly, I knew what, and what I should be, doing. Then I not only resurrected the gouge, but also sharpened my knife and two other chisels -- two Japanese chisels I almost got rid of (fool) because they're not so great for lino. But they're great for wood and, hence, lino is not wood. After that, the wood really did cut (almost, wood's still wood) like butter. I did have to turn the block over (cool thing about working with wood) and start new on the other side but, no more fugly lines.

This is the rough sketch of the print design and the first colour down, printed today:

9.5" x 7.5"

I don't expect I'll get much more work done on it for a few weeks, given our upcoming trip to Nelson but so be it.

August 12, 2007

In the Meantime...

The new oil inks from Daniel Smith came on Friday. Not a bad way to begin my first day of summer holidays, new inks to try. Not to waste time, I printed the last layer for Hybiscus.

Ok, wow! Huge difference from using oil paints mixed with printmaking medium. Whereas the paint/printmaking medium combination was mustard-like in consistency, the DS inks are much more viscous. Keeping to the food analogies, they're like peanut butter: thick and velvety. And, as much as I can tell from using only two colours, black and yellow, a little seems to go a long way. I'll have to remember that when I'm actually mixing the colours: don't use too much.

For now, I'm waiting for the ink to set and, according to what the printmakers on WetCanvas say, I'm in for a long wait. Here it is, Sunday night, two days after printing, and the ink is still as wet as it was on Friday. It's too wet to scan even so there's no close up of the finished print but here they are hanging out in the kitchen.

It'll be interesting to see how long it really takes. Maybe somewhere around Wednesday I might be able to take them down, stack them, and print the first colour for my next print. which I began work on last night.

August 06, 2007

The Return Swing of the Pendulum

So here it is, a Tuesday that feels like a Monday, all on account of the long weekend. And what a glorious weekend it was. Truly.
N was away camping with the BF all three days, the neighbours were away too -- no noise pollution of lawn-mowers or weed-eaters -- and R and I determined to seize the moment and find some peace. Even though there are gates to be built and steps to be replaced. Even though the weeds grow like weeds in the garden.

We took the whole weekend and, apart from the weekly obligatory house chores, did nothing serious and didn't drive anywhere except to the farmers market on Saturday morning for local veggies. It's ironic, having to drive for half an hour to get local stuff, to help the environment, but I guess it still beats buying Safeway imports from thousands of miles away. Other than the trip to the market though, we were outside soaking in the sun as much as possible. It's hard to sit on the deck and feel down:

On Sunday I printed another layer in the Hybiscus print. I more or less dragged myself to it after the disappointment of last week, not hoping for much but determined to hang in, as Azul says. And, maybe it was on account of the next colour being pretty basic, no complicated mixing, or maybe it was the sun shining outside, or maybe it was just that the pendulum swung over to the positive side of the map this time but, whatever the reason, the printing went way better than I even hoped. The colour came together nicely, no issues with registration, and the image is beginning to take shape.

Now there's just black to put in and I'll be done. That in mind, yesterday I woke up with a new image in my head and had it sketched out by afternoon, colour map and all. I'm still going through bouts of longing or homesickness or whatever it is for the Czech Republic so my next print is going to be a Czech scene again. And it'll be from the Shina plywood I ordered a while back from McLains. I can't wait to try it; I loved working with wood but the old press didn't have enough clearance to take it. So tonight, even though I had to wake at six to go to work and there's lots of stress there lately, I'm in good spirits.

July 29, 2007

Hybiscus - Frustration

Last weekend and today I printed the next two colours for this print. At this point, the oil paints and block printing medium combo are a disappointment and annoyance. Until last Sunday, I was really happy with the way the print was coming along. I loved the different, lighter, look of the oil inks and the speed with which they dried in the warm weather. I couldn't wait to print the darker colours.

Friday was a flex day and I took the opportunity to print. Here's the result and all was still good; yeah, some of the orange is peeking through but I figured the dark colours would hide it. Dreamer!

Last Sunday: R gone all day to a workshop, N gone all day with the BF and me with CBC radio 2 for company. I hauled the press back to the kitchen for another run. A dark day. First, the weather was the worst of the summer: black clouds and incessant rain. Gloomy November weather. Second, I couldn't get the right colour mixed. I wanted a rich forest green but it just wasn't happening. Having to mix in specific amounts of printmaking medium to get the right "tack" for rolling out made it worse. A long half hour later I ended up with something semi-passable and began printing. The coverage was shit. The orange layer was showing through everywhere, the blue wasn't contrasting as strongly as I'd hoped it would against the green and, for some bizarre reason, the registration was 1/8" off on one side of the plate even though the registration frame I'd set up seemingly hadn't moved. Still, I compensated for the 1/8" difference, finished the run and decided that I'd have to reprint the green again. This is the green as it turned out after the first printing.

Now here I am today. I'd saved the ink from last week; I figured life would be easy since I wouldn't have to mix colours again. Yeah right. As well-wrapped as it was, something in the ink -- the printmaking medium? -- had congealed. It was a mixture of, mainly, gel-like blobs with only a little bit of usable substance. That meant going back to mixing colours and another half hour gone with dreadful results. I finally managed to mix a shade of green that was similar to the previous one. But, aaaarghhhh, it still didn't take the way it should; it's still not as rich as it should be. And, maddeningly, the registration was mucked up again -- is the L-square I'd taped to the press bed slipping? I tried to move it but it's still stuck firm. I can't figure it out but the results are enough to make me want to scream. At this point, I don't know how many prints my edition will be finally but the number is dwindling.

I have at least two more colours planned but don't want to use the oil paints/printmaking medium again. And I can't switch to the DS water-soluble at this point since they wouldn't be compatible. So, DS oils on order. Man, the money just flies out the window. I guess this is what I work for? It's Catch-22, really. My job leaves me little time to devote to my art work, yet allows me to buy the tools I need to be able to pursue it. But everything is such a huge learning curve. I look at the woodblock prints of Gustave Bauman: his hues are brilliant and vibrant. How the hell did he get his colours to look like that. He must have been using oil inks in his day??? Oh well, no place to go but up from here anyway.

July 15, 2007


Another colour reduction and an experiment again.

This is my original image: a magnificent Hybiscus that bloomed (and then died) in my first "potted garden" in this house.

This time I'm printing with oil-based ink. I'm using Georgian Oil paints mixed with the company's "block printing medium". First, because I want to compare the experience to printing with DS water-based inks and, second, because I've got a whole box of Georgian Oils sitting and going to waste so what the hell.
So far so good, two colours down. The hardest part is mixing up the exact hue I'm after and deciding how much to mix; that's always the hardest part. Today I ended up with way too much ink while last week I barely had enough and thought I might have to cut the edition short. The difference in viscosity between the oils and the DS water-based inks doesn't help. The coverage ends up being different so it's harder to gauge how much to mix. But then that's why it's good to experiment.

These are the first two pulls and I'm not yet sure how many there will end up being. I'm hoping to keep the print fairly simple and a bit loose. The finished print will be 6" x 8" -- still using up the lino I have before I move on to bigger sizes. Only the center of the block has been inked and printed; the space around the flower will be defined as I go on.

July 09, 2007

At last, an end to the trial...

It’s incredible that nearly a month’s sped by since I last showed up here. That’s how life moves past, a month here, a month there, and before you know it we’ve got grey hair, wrinkles, and saggy body parts that no amount of “elipticalling” at the gym will unsag.

I’ve devoted three weeks of this elapsed month to creating a website. It’s really more of a web portfolio and I still don’t really have a good reason why I put it together other than to be able to answer those rare do you have a website questions with a yes. The way I figure, someone who just wants to see a sampling of my work shouldn’t have to read through all my ramblings here and, so, ffffft, there went three weeks.

It took two weeks of what free time I could steal to create the site – hours and hours just handed over to getting random elements to cooperate and stay where I wanted them. It then took another week to get the damn thing published. I couldn’t get it to go live no matter what and my e-mail to Shaw support went unanswered for a week. Frustrated and feeling ready for a fight, I finally phoned Shaw tech support and there, thank God, a helpful soul. Within 10 minutes the site was up and active. Of course, I can’t remember the name of the guy who helped me but my silent thanks and gratitude go to him anyway manyfold. May the heavens smile on him tonight.

Now I can say, yes, I do have a website. Here it is:

(Edited in 2010: this address is now old. See right sidebar for the new link)

And now I can also return to carving, mind at rest. I started working on my next print last week and printed the first colour yesterday though no picture yet. That’ll have to wait until next Sunday.

June 10, 2007

Blue Mood

This is an illustration inspired by the images from a book of stories I had when I was small; I think they were Lamb’s Shakespeare stories translated into Czech. On the back jacket cover was an illustration of Queen Mab. Her two distinct personalities, one benevolent and the other evil, were reflected in the two different sides of her face. The illustration resonated with me then and has stayed with me through the years. I’ve reproduced it in my own way a couple of times already so this is not the only version. Nor does this version show a particularly evil side; in this case I wanted the distinction to be a very subtle one. The block is slightly larger than I've been working with until now - the luxury of a larger press bed. The actual image is 6" X 8". There were only two stages:

R. doesn’t like this print at all, he finds it static – lacking in energy and spontaneity – and uninteresting. He’s waiting for wildness he thinks lies dormant inside me to burst but I’m not so sure it’s there. And, whether because the print reminds me of those from my childhood or not, I’m fairly happy with the result and I enjoyed working on it.

On another note, I sold my little “school etching” press last week and that chapter is closed. Ironically, the woman who came to buy it was Julie McIntyre who teaches the relief printmaking course I’ve considered taking on Granville Island. She’s a talented and serious artist; her artwork is philosophically and socially driven and full of implied meaning. Next to her prints, a mental comparison of my own work made it seem as so much fluff. I felt intimidated. Yet, in retrospect, I know I don’t want to make any statements through what I do at this point. I want to play, to explore different techniques and different themes, to make my small and insignificant comments on the things that move me into trying to capture them. Right now, for me, the journey really is the destination, even if the journey is a simple copy of an image remembered from childhood.

May 13, 2007

Wabe Sabe Pine: Finish

First, I have to commemorate this day as the first run of my new virgin press. After months of noodling around, re-reading the WetCanvas posts about these presses and looking at the pictures on the Blick website, I took the leap and ordered it. No, I don't do things rashly and I suppose part of me was still hoping to come across an old-style letter press or something. But where would I even put such a thing? So really, this press is the best choice for me now.

Here it is, in the place it will (I hope) occupy for many Sundays to come. It doesn't have a name yet but I'm sort of thinking about one.

Yeah, I did want to the first thing I printed on it to be something new and really awesome - cherries should be broken in style - but, in the end, curiosity won out and I used it for the detail on the trunk.

It was actually the second time I printed the trunk; the first time, still on my old press, I'd carved the contrast lines too thin a didn't like the result. I recarved them and reprinted, and am much happier. In retrospect, printing almost the same thing, first on one press and then the other, was probably the best way to compare the two of them.

And OMG what a huge difference in printing! I now get the significance of the gear-drive : no more straining, no resistance as the bed glides through the rollers. None! Plus, I've gained almost 3" in width on the bed size so I can even move to slightly larger prints and possibly a bit more detail. Another door opening.

April 29, 2007

Wabe Sabe Pine: Step 3 & 4

These are the latest two phases of Pine. I wanted to capture the two-tone aspect of the needles, as they were when we saw them, so I printed only a portion of them in an orange rust colour and then printed the green over top. I rolled out more ink on the top section of the needles and rolled the brayer very lightly over the bottom so the underlayer would come through. It worked well enough but it was pretty much impossible to maintain total consistency in which parts of the orange showed through.

These are the two blocks as inked.

Now there's just the trunk and branches left to do.

April 15, 2007

Wabe Sabe Pine Step 2

This is the block as carved and inked (the ink looks greyer on the block than in reality) for the trunk and the resulting print. I didn't bother clearing away the whole block even though there's no more to be carved from this one; less stress on the paper that way.

I've begun carving my second block for the branches too -- that one will be more work for sure.
On another note, I've had a number of positive comments on my work from several people at work. Some don't initially realize the prints are mine so the comments are clearly not intended as flattery or ingratiation. Hmmm....