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.