Good News

I learned yesterday that at least one of the three prints I submitted to BIMPE X–the Biennial Miniature Print Exhibition–has been accepted for the show. The organizers received over 700 prints from 300 artists. Around half were selected by the jury. The show will open in late September in Vancouver, BC.

I’m interested in seeing which of my prints were selected. I’ve talked about the process in several posts. Changes is the most recent one.

Here’s the prints I submitted:

Changes

I’ve finally completed the block prints I’ll be sending to the miniature print show in Vancouver, Canada. Two of the three I showed in Proofs and the Past have either changed or been eliminated. The blue print called Dreamscape is the one that remains. Here it is printed on Japanese paper:

The print I thought of as a skull or mask changed when I experimented with repeating  it and liked it better than the original.  Here it is also on Japanese paper:

And I eliminated a tiny third one I had quite liked but felt it didn’t quite hold up. Instead, I carved a simple design in a lino substitute taken from a painting I did a couple of months ago. Just at the point where I had pushed the carving to where my back was starting to hurt, I stopped. The next day, though I had doubts about the outcome, I thought I might as well take a proof of the block.  I liked the results. Here’s photos of the block in progress and the single print.

I continued experimenting and liked the effect of printing the block upside down on itself. This led me to try ten different versions. Here’s nine of them:

And here’s the tenth version that I’ve decided to send in. It’s printed red first with yellow on top, which I only thought to do after trying several the other way round with the light layer first. This was all a lot of work, but very intriguing in that sometimes I had no idea what the outcome might be. That’s where the fun comes in.

Proofs and the Past

Some highlights from the past week:

First, The Proofs: I’ve continued working on rough proofs, trial block prints, that I’ll be submitting to BIMPE–Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition. I’ve gotten them to the point where I’m ready to print them in their final form. Here’s the three of them. I think of the first as a dreamscape, the second as a view across fields and the third as a skull or a view behind a mask.

Second, The Past: While at Bathurst and Bloor Streets this past weekend, I took the following photographs. The southwest corner of this intersection in Toronto was known for decades as the home of a large discount store called Honest Ed’s. It had a famous sign that has been preserved, but the building has recently been demolished. Seeing an open space where it used to be was shocking enough. But, seeing the old advertising signs that had been hidden, that were painted on the adjacent wall was another surprise. And, before this wall of old ads and new graffiti is erased in the city’s high rise construction frenzy, I took some photos as a remembrance. 

The Lion’s Birdnote

As I’m going through my old journals, I find forgotten elements–particularly the content of dreams.  A few weeks ago, I came upon a curious and appealing dream fragment from June of 1993. At that time, I awoke with words telling me that centuries would pass before we discovered that the “L” in “Lion” was understood as its birdnote. I loved this strange sentence and decided to make a linocut from the words.

The lino that I’ve used is the same soft cut material that I used for the Sisters of Mercy print. It is very much easier to cut than the tough grey or brown burlap backed battleship linoleum that I used as a young woman. I’ve taken the first proof (rough copy) of the print and will work on it further.  I plan on leaving the final print quite similar to this first proof–it just needs a bit of further carving and experimentation with the colours.

Here’s the inked green lino and the hand printed proof.


 

You can see more of my artwork in my etsy shop at artsofmay.etsy.com

Back From the Printer

The 21 Heart Salute miniature cards are back from the printer. I’m very happy with the way they turned out.

Here’s photos of some of them. As I mentioned, I’ve put the deck in my etsy shop as well.

21-heart-deck

21-heart-deck-green-plate

21 Heart Salute

As I continue to reconsider some of the prints I made 20 to 40 years ago, I have realized that this work is part of a process of rescuing my younger self.  As part of that, I have returned to a miniature card deck I made in 1995, a year after I made the larger deck, Mirrors of the Heart.

The 1995 deck is also on the theme of hearts. In making the card deck, I played with the phrase “21 gun salute” and turned it into A 21 Heart Salute. I then listed as many phrases that included the word heart I could think of and came up with 21 of my favourites. Some are phrases widely used like “heart felt” or “kind hearted.” And some I made up like “fountain of heart” or “heart song.”

I carved the deck out of a rubber-like material that was softer than linoleum but that produced clean edges. And I printed a few of these decks in 1995 with stamping ink that produced faint images. A few years ago, I reprinted them in violet but found I don’t have a complete set of these.

So I decided to hand print them properly, this time in red oil based relief printing ink. And I found I enjoyed this reminder of earlier printing. This, even though the actual burnishing of the blocks was always my least favourite part of the printing process. However, pulling the paper off the inked block was and still is a joy because of the surprise of seeing the  image reproduced in reverse.

I’m including a photo of some of the 1 1/2″ x 3″ blocks and their prints laid out to dry.  These are on my highly sophisticated drying area—a foam core board on the floor with part of my shell collection used to hold the prints from moving in the breeze.

The last week or so, I’ve scanned the prints, cropped the images and sent them to an online printer for reproduction. I’ll let you know how they turn out when I get them back. I plan to list them in my etsy shop.

21heartsblocks

21heartsdryingcl

21heartsdrying

The Rose Tattoo Linocut

I have one of my favourite linocuts hanging in my work room.  Here’s a photo of it, wrinkles and all.  I made this linocut in 1990 under my birth name, so not to wonder what’s up with the name—if you’re interested in such things.

Rose Tattoo Linocut
Rose Tattoo Linocut, copyright Lily S. May under birth name, Susan Barsel, 1990

I call this print The Rose Tattoo after a dream I had near the end of 1989.  (I record my dreams, finding them a source of creativity and inspiration.)  In this dream, there was a man with one hand and an unusual face who had beautiful rose tattoos on his body.   When I made this linocut, I didn’t try to replicate the dream in a realistic way, but used it as a jumping off place.  This is what I came up with.