October 24, 2011

Ok, I Give Up - No, Wait...Let's Try This!

There are times when, on the path to "let's try this and see if it'll work", it's good to know when to stop.  Such was the case yesterday, when I worked on my "fix" for what was in my mind the washed-out sky problem.

The solution actually came fairly quickly; looking at the block I realized it was still, though mostly carved away, in pretty good shape.  So I laid a piece of tracing paper over the sky area of one of the prints, cut it out, and traced around its outline, wrong side up, onto a leftover scrap of textured mat board.  I then used double-sided tape to attach the mat board piece to the block so it looked like this:

And then, because I was hoping to duplicate the texture I got for the sky earlier, I rolled the pattern-tracing wheel over the mat board again to make little indents:

My idea was that if the slight texture of the mat board didn't produce an interesting enough effect, maybe the indents would.  Well, they both did dick all.  The ink rolled on beautifully and registered beautifully, so I was at least gratified I got the mat piece cut out and placed right, but it was totally opaque and flat. It looked good but...no texture.

And now this is where I should have just said "it is what it is" (even though I really HATE that phrase) and printed off the rest of the edition and called it done.  But no.  That's not where it stayed because I got the "brilliant" idea to see if I could cut some lines into the mat board with one of my carving gouges.  

I wiped off the ink (not really sure why since I tried the gouge on a different piece of mat anyway) which didn't work; the paper just tore away.  I tried running the flat end of a dinner knife along to create an indent but that didn't work either.  With that, I finally decided to accept things as they are, returned to the original piece, and set about rolling on more ink and carrying on with the  printing.  Suprise!  Because the rag I'd wiped the mat board piece with, needlessly, was just a little bit damp, the mat board piece had become damp too and, go figure, fell apart.  Now there were bits of brown mat clinging to the brayer and mixed in with the rolled out ink and the inking glass was just a mess.  

I'll let you imagine the colourful language I save for times such as these.  

My next thought was to just blow it all off for this week and do it all again next weekend.  Except one of the bits of code I've been programmed with is "never leave for tomorrow what can be done today".  And I really do try to live by that, if only so I have less stuff to feel guilty about. Plus, I have an idea for a new print and I want to be done with this one.  Now.  So even though I still had to get outside to turn over the garden beds and get next year's garlic in the ground, I went and started again.  I cut a piece of foam board this time, no texture (enough f-ing around for one day thank you), attached it to the mat board piece, and printed the rest of the edition. Was it worth it?  I'm going to tell myself yes.  What else am I gonna do?

La Grande - Reduction Linocut 
9.5" x 8"  
Edition of 7
Afterward, I went and planted garlic....Really, there's nothing like the smell of compost to make one forget about other, minor frustrations.

1 comment:

Libby Fife said...

I could just kick myself when I do that sort of stuff. And the language! Wow!

I like how this one turned out of course but if you are anything like me, your negative experience with making the print might color how you feel about the final results.

Just get on to the next one and on to your garlic:)