December 05, 2011

Crystal Crag In The Bag

With Christmas less than a month away and all the related commitments looming, I took a quick innventory of my upcoming free time, i.e. printmaking time, and realized I won't have any.  Panic!  This one weekend was all that was left to get it together and get the Crystal Crag print finished.  Otherwise it would end up haunting January like the ghost of Christmas past and that would be a bad start to the new year.  I like closure.  

It was a carving frenzy, lots of narrow and odd-shaped areas to clear away again.  Fortunately I recently found a series of radio broadcasts from the Czech Republic, Toulky Ceskou Minulosti (which translates roughly as Strolls Through the Czech Past), and I was listening to the episodes while I carved. The programs begin with a look at prehistory, centuries before Cromagnon man showed up, and cover the span of time that followed until the 20th century. They're based on a series of witty history books published about 15 years ago I think.  Fascinating stuff right?  No, really...the migration of tribes and ancient Celts and all that.  Sort of a more intricatelly detailed and scholarly version of an Edgar Rutherford novel. 

Oddly enough, neither Roland nor Nora fully share my enthusiasm but so be it.  I suppose it may sound dry to some but I totally lap it up.  Plus, since the broadcasts are in Czech, listening exercises my mind a bit while I'm at it.  Or so I tell myself, despite the fact that being fluent in two languages didn't seem to help my mother all that much.  If anything, it now makes conversations with her more of a puzzle as she interweaves one language with the other. But what the hell; the radio broadcasts make the carving fly by.  And apparently there are 850 episodes or some such crazy number so I have a good long way to go.  I'm up to number 15. 

Here's the second-to-last colour of the print:

And the final one:

Crystal Crag, Lake George - Reduction Linocut
7 x 9.5 inches 

I find a nice sense of closure in finishing out this year's printing with a work built on the memory of one of my favourite places.  



Stuart Brocklehurst said...

A very nice print I really like this one.

Wendy Willis said...

Beautiful! I love the colors you've chosen. Thanks for sharing your process.

Katka said...

Thank you both very much, Stuart and Wendy.
I am happy with this print which is a good thing. I really wanted to do the place that inspired it justice.

Annie B said...

It's beautiful. I really like the way you stylized the detail with simple shapes, yet it still conveys detail. And beautiful colors.

Katka said...

Thank you Annie. I'm trying to develop a simpler and more stylized approach in my work and not get obsessed with putting in every detail.