January 01, 2008


There's so much potential dormant in the start of each new year. I love the idea of closing the door on the past year and going forward with a clean slate. According to the Tarot reading I did for myself this afternoon, new creative opportunities and energies are moving into influence. I hope to do my best not to squander them. This year, we got an Emily Carr calendar in the kitchen for added inspiration.

This last week's been a contrary one. Faced with a chunk of time I planned to spend in chasing my muse I instead succumbed, unwillingly, to the cold R dragged home from work two days before Christmas. Blah! All that free time and almost no energy to even read the fantastic book I got for Christmas from my parents.

More info here: http://www.imcclains.com/catalog/books/artandcraft.html

The authors are Finnish and the book was first published in Finland in 1999. It's probably the most comprehensive book on the technique of woodcuts I've read and certainly a fantastic complement to the ones I already own. I only wish I'd discovered it two years ago, before I had to figure so much out for myself. This book not only gave me new insights, it actually validated some of the techniques and processes I arrived at pretty much on my own. It's a huge boost to know I'm on the right track with some of the things I'm doing and, as a result, I'm approaching my printing with much more confidence.

On Saturday, I managed to finish clearing the Tree Spirit block for a first printing and then printed the first colour on Sunday, happily wearing my new McClain's apron that came free with the book and feeling like a real pro.
There isn't much to see yet, not until the other colours come into play, but the really exciting thing was that I actually got a handle on using the DS transparent medium I have. I tried the ratio recommended by my new book, 5% pigment to 95% medium (way less than I was experimenting with before at 40%-60%) and succeeded to get exactly the result I wanted: a lovely wash-like quality to the print. It doesn't really show up all that well here but I'm most pleased:

I can't wait until the weekend to print my second colour.

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