January 28, 2007

Printing again. Finally. Carrizo Plain.

I started working on the Carrizo Plain last week. In the end I’ve opted for a reduction print just to try something new. My image is 5" X 5 ½".

So far I’ve got two colours down, blue and yellow.

Here they are individually in the order printed. I'm working with DS water-based inks and two different papers I got from Opus last week. Neither one is specifically "printmaking" paper but I'm not printing wet so it doesn't matter and I actually like both of them better than the BFK Rives or Arches I had till now -- those ones always seem so heavy. Ironically, both of these new papers were a less expensive yet take the ink really well.

Here are the two colours together:

The yellow didn’t come out quite as bright as I’d like but I think it'll be okay; it's almost green even in the original photo and there isn’t that much of it really. Hopefully the other, darker colours will be register better.

And, hurrah! I also got a chance to mat three of my previous prints. The matcutter is awesome; no more cursing and throwing stuff around now. Plus it's amazing how much better everything looks once it's matted; the matting really kicks it up a notch.

January 07, 2007

New Year's dreams

This is a photo of the Carrizo Plain in California. It came in an e-mail from A some weeks ago and I knew as soon as I saw it I'd have to try doing a print of it. Ambitious and terrifying.

Today, finally, after the time-consuming activities of the holidays and a week spent on cataloguing father's paintings in preparation for getting his website up and running SOON, I turned to trying to prepare my lino blocks for carving. Last week I figured out I'd have six colours but, when I tried to do a pencil colour sketch of the main areas, I got lost and ended up finding so many colours in the image it became daunting.

Plus, I haven't decided if I want to do a multi-block or a reduction print with this. I think a reduction would be more challenging (and would save on blocks) but would deffinitely take a different sort of planning out. So I decided I'd do a colour separation with Gimp first and then make up my mind. Nevermind that all I've done so far with Gimp is pretty much nothing. No surprise then that the colour-separation idea didn't get off the ground today. Instead, four hours later, I've made it through the basics chapter of Grokking the Gimp which, I can see already, is going to eat up the next few weeks of evenings. But at this point it's also too fascinating for me to stop. I'll probably still try to sketch out the different colour areas for this manually, but for now, I think I'm going to learn how to grokk.

And then there are all the other things. First, I want to water-colour a few of the Birdhouse prints. Second, I'm curious to try my new matt cutter and curious to see some of my old work matted. That's going to be a study in itself. Third, father's website -- six months in the works now and I really want to see it up and running.

Still, the reading I did on January 1st for this coming year was the best I've had in years and incredibly positive. Full of promise both creatively and otherwise. I have high hopes for what's ahead.