I was ill over the past while and only got to printing a first proof of the Sisters of Mercy block print this past weekend. If you’re not familiar with printmaking, a proof is a print of a block that may not be fully complete. You can print the block at different stages to see how it’s coming along and whether the print needs more work. In this case, I’m happy with many aspects of the print and can see where I want to further carve the soft cut lino block. I’ll show you the process as I go along.
The two photos show the green and violet inked block to the right of the printed image. I’ve always been fascinated with the symmetries you can get in printed images by repeating them in different orientations. Here, I played with the block itself and the proof. Because they are mirror images, when I put them right up against each other I saw some neat (as in neat-o) patterns that show up in the last photo.
I’ve included two photos in this post of the lino block that I carved in 2005 that led to the print I call Observer. I first painted an image on the block. However, the act of carving was often somewhat intuitive. I made decisions about the texture and changed the image as I went along instead of having a fixed idea in my mind when I started out. For example, you can see that the oval on the left side of the girl’s face didn’t make it to the final print. Here’s the finished print from an earlier post:
And here’s some details from the linoleum as I was in the process of carving the block: