April 01, 2007

How I spent my Vacation

Day 1

Superwoman: weeded the beds in front of the house, took the dog for a long walk, baked a flan for desert, took the cat to the vet and picked him up again later, cooked dinner for the weekly meal with my parents, and still managed to print these two blocks – destined for hand-colouring. Both were carved long ago but never printed with quality ink and they’ve been haunting me. The sunflowers were the first very thing I carved other than the stamps made for cards.

size: 3 ½" x 5 ½"

The town scene is actually the key block for my first multi-colour print: Memories.

size: 6" x 6"

Day 2

Another long walk for the dog and then more printing of more blocks from the early beginnings. The village scene, Vrbice, is a woodcut, carved in something fromWindsor Plywood called “hobby plywood” – fun to carve but too thick (7/8”) to fit into the press. Past experiences with printing by hand kept me away from working with wood and there never was a good ink print of this one. The little glass tea-light holder from IKEA was my barren this time and it, and the DS ink, worked beautifully. The prints are rich and dark and came out even. The one on the right is printed onto a previously printed background. The registration was difficult and is off even here it's off centre.

size 5" x 7"

The bird is an illustration for a fairytale I translated.

size: 5 ½" x 5 ½"

After printing & dinner, GIMP2 study time – 1/3 of the way through the manual and learning a lot.

Day 3

No printing, no creative work. Obligatory walk with the dog and then took father to the hospital for hip-replacement surgery. Stopped at BookLovers and picked up The Inheritance of Loss, finally, and then on to Opus to buy more of the paper I got last time and loved. Big dissapointment: it may not be acid free. The girls in the store didn’t know for sure so I got my usual BFK Rives which, though the lightest (245 gms) of the non-Japanese papers they sell, is still heavier than I like.

Then stopped at GardenWorks and picked up some dwarf blueberry shrubs for the garden. Now there’ll be raspberry, red currant and blueberry pies come summertime. Yeah, sure.

Got home to find father (surprise!) back from the hospital, happy and whole. No surgery, communication screw-up between the doctor and hospital, but ultimately big relief for all of us since the surgery doesn’t seem to be something he really needs right now.

Day 4

Too much staring at the computer. Still started the day with a long walk in the sunshine but after that the day went to GIMP2 and my intent to absorb as much as I can to get father’s artwork ready for his website – long overdue. Also finished Ed McBain’s Nocturne, YUCH – I realize I’ve outgrown that writing years ago – it left me feeling grimy. To counter that I turned the computer off and drew. Computer art will never take the place of the real thing for me.

Day 5

No printing. The morning went to mother's and mine picking out which art work to use for father’s site, the afternoon to running around and grocery shopping. Only a little bit of time left over to finally watercolour the birdhouse prints I did ages ago. It’s probably 15 years since I last painted and totally loved it again. All my childhood Sundays – sitting in my room, listening to music, painting – came flooding back. I love the way the print looks with some colour in it.

size: 6" x 8"

And that’s it. Five days gone.

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