Wake Up Print

I’ve been working on the block print, Wake Up, that I mentioned in my last post. I wanted to add colour to the image using 2 separate blocks. I decided where I wanted red to appear, but first I needed to make a registration board to align the colours.

I’ve been doing many small prints–4″ x 6″–on a soft eraser-like material that’s 1/4″ thick. So, I designed a board that can help me with those blocks, this print being one of them. Today I took 2 rough proofs to see how things are going. I’ll make a few adjustments to some details, print the image in rough again and, once I like the finished print, I’ll move on to some handmade Japanese paper. Here’s the latest proof.

The Global Climate Strike

Global warming is on my mind every day. It is with me in the art work I do. I tend to do most of my work without a lot of detailed planning because that keeps the process more alive for me. So it’s not that I decide: ok, today I’ll make an image related to climate change. It just shows up repeatedly in the small sketches and doodles I make that turn into the basis of my prints.

The Global Climate Strike is happening this week. Here’s a recent relief print I’ve made on my feelings about human caused climate change and the destruction of nature and here’s a link to the worldwide strike.

Box Mask Print

I’ve spent a few weeks seeing if I could come up with a plan to turn two paragraphs of my writing into a linocut–the actual words, that is. At first the plans had little grace, then the reality of carving so many letters felt stifling. A few words here and there is something I enjoy, but this idea would have been more painful than creative.

Once I realized that I was going to change course, I looked up from a block I had decided to carve and saw the mask I made years ago out of a box. There it was, leaning against the wall at the edge of my work table where it’s been faithfully sitting. I did a quick sketch of it and made a subtraction colour print which I’ve been wanting to do for many months. I started with the blue, then cut away parts of the same block, overprinted the piece with a deep red and finally with the wisps of yellow. For the final layer, I cut away the entire surface of the block, following the shapes that were there so that the peaks that remained were all that printed in yellow. Also, I printed over wet ink as an experiment.

It’s been a good process, once again showing me the importance of registering each layer carefully. I’m going to make myself a registration board to line up the colours for future prints as opposed to the makeshift system I set up for this print.

Here’s the mask and the linocut:

Botanical Garden

I began carving this print last month on gomuban, a Japanese carving material that’s like a synthetic rubber, similar to linoleum but smoother and a little easier to carve. It began as lines and shapes of movement and developed into an expression of love of plants and flowers. I had recently been to Le Jardin Botanique in Montreal and I’ve been walking around Toronto, admiring flowers and trees this spring and summer. Some of those experiences plus my love of the house plants I live with came out in this print. It went through some changes with my adding lines to the first proof I made. Yesterday I printed another proof and am happy with it. There’s a lot going on in it and I didn’t know if the print would look chaotic. But, to me, it seems energetic as opposed to chaotic. Soon I’ll print it on Japanese paper.

Mercy for the Children Linocut

I’ve been working and not working on this linocut since March or April. I put it aside after seeing the first proof. In it, the creature’s body was not working right for me–it was not defined enough. The rough print has been hanging folded on my bulletin board since then. I had intended to print the smaller version, but hadn’t done so.

I owe the completion of the block to my husband who asked why I didn’t send it to the print exchange I was thinking of entering. ¬†(I have since abandoned that plan and am focusing on other prints.) The folded part of Mercy for the Children which you can see in the Amended Lino post was too large for the exchange. ¬†That prompted me to take out the original block. I was in a relaxed mood and decided to carve the body further without any carefully worked out plan. This could have turned out to be foolhardy, but, thankfully, the adjustments added more energy to the print. Here’s the inked lino block and the print.