Monday, November 21, 2005

Not Even a Mouse

This is a woodcut, roughly 4"x6", from a blind contour of Freya on the couch.

I mixed up a light brown w/ miracle gel and tapped it onto the block. I then rolled the block in a thalo blue (w/ a tad of white). Then I tapped on some black.

This is one busy little block this Christmas. First of all it's my class exchange print (fortune cookie: appearances can be deceiving). Then it's going to by our Christmas card, at least for a dozen or so. And then I've signed up for a Solstice exchange, and that can run as much as 35! And of course it's my card for the Year of the Dog. No wonder Freya's sleeping -- she's exhausted. ;-j

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Paleo Umi Prints

These are some of the first prints of my Paleo Umi block. Thalo blue w/ white (the blue was giving my trouble, so I punched it up) was the last. The blueish-grey was the first -- the blue would not sit on top of the black. The reddish and greenish ones were attempts at viscosity prints, but as I wanted the blue to be dominant on the dragon, it wasn't working well. Had I wanted to wipe the blue instead, I could have gotten a brighter dragon I'm assuming. I'll be trying that next.

I want to make a blue dragon, red hand and somewhat mixed or neutral background. Still working out the logistics.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Umi Block

Woodcut block for Paleo Umi, 9"x12". I'll start printing it tomorrow in lab. It's Will's Umi, but I'm also using it for my final exchange, the illustration of a fortune cookie: appearances can be deceiving. Appropriate as Umi is a shape-shifter.

I'll run this past Will to be sure, but I believe Umi is supposed to be blue with silver/white down the back. Also a blue jeweled eye. I made it faceted and it can be hand-colored.

He left it up to me, but I decided to go with the various elements of a Japanese dragon -- fur down the back, horns, whiskers. I believe he said three claws, but I went with that for esthetics.

I'm particularly proud of the gesture. I looked at a lot of dragons before I happened upon the pose I wanted. I modified it to my purposes. Also the woodblock was serendipity -- it had the circular water pattern I wanted to imply.

So this is my interpretation of a Paleo Umi.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

All Done... 8-]

The block is done. I printed the last 4 prints today. This one was very labor intensive as you can see. All that light blue had to be blotted away before I could print the block. I suppose I could have made myself a template to mask that area, but I got pretty good at cleaning it up. Baby powder helped.

I had less to clean up once I stopped inking the whole block with a large brayer and worked with a small one on just the blue areas. But of course I was nearly done by then. ;-j

Well. My first retired wood block. I haven't quite figured out what to do with it. Put a hook on the back and hang it up? Too bad I have zero wallspace in my studio.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ta-Da! Final Printing

Ok! Here's Letting Go, my reduction print. Three colors plus white: yellow-orange, alizarine crimson, thalo blue (w/ a touch of white for opacity -- I was getting more of a black than a blue from the under colors).

Inspiration for this piece stems from a dream I had this summer. This is Will's senior year at Mudd and after that he'll be going out into the wide world on his own. My dream dealt with taking a little Billy to the bathroom and losing him. He didn't come out, so I went in and he wasn't in there anymore. My dreaming self realized he was out in the wide world all alone and I'd never find my little boy again.

Talk about getting hit over the head with the clue stick. :-j So I began planning a woodcut to commemmorate the impending event. And not just any woodcut but a reduction block, so that when the print is done, the block will be also.

A cathartic experience.

There are 16 prints in all (still printing the last few), but not all of them are what I'd call good. So the final edition may be smaller. Just so long as there is one for Will and one for me. ;-]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Carving -- the Last?

Ok. I believe this is the last carving session. I may have to tweak something after I test print, but it's basically ready to print the final color.