Old Linoleum Blocks

I’ve just sent in my submissions to the Ottawa School of Art Mini Print Juried Exhibition. I’ll see if any of the prints are accepted and will let you know the results.

Meanwhile, I’ve been looking through a box of old lino blocks that I had stored for many years. I had forgotten some of them. Most of these are blocks I began carving but didn’t complete. And because some of them are over 20 years old, I don’t recall specifically why I abandoned them. I know that I went through some physical pain from the repetitive strain of having carved many blocks and that may have influenced my decisions. Around the time some of these were created, I also was involved in creating Mirrors of the Heart–the card deck I made in 1994. So, that likely consumed most of my energy.

Here’s the blocks I like best. I may print them as is, that is–incomplete, to see what they look like.

Two Tiny Prints & A Show

Here’s two very small prints–under four inches longest side each–that I made while thinking of entering a print exchange in the UK. Nothing was going smoothly and I finally decided not to enter the show. The first one morphed from a sunny face into one that began looking like some politicians I dislike and into this final ambiguous face surrounded by eyes and an innocent looking child. The second leafy print is one I drew quickly right on the block and carved.

I have four prints in an upcoming group printmaking show at Gerrard Art Space, 1475 Gerrard E in Toronto. The reception is this Saturday, July 29 from 3 to 6 and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve submitted the following prints that I’ve posted here over the last while.

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.

Recent Happenings and Prints

I had a great time at The Heart Show that four of my prints were in during February. I was happy that two of the four prints I submitted sold. Since then, I’ve been making more prints and adding finishing touches to others.

This first block print is one I’ve posted before. I returned to work on the hands and one arm of the creature and now feel the print is complete.

This next print arose from an old painting that I recently cut into sections. I had thought of making a card deck from the painting but later changed my mind. The painting is an apocalyptic scene of great suffering. I chose one of the faces I’d cut out and added a rescue dog to give her comfort. The first photo shows the rough proof on my bulletin board with the woman’s face from the painting above the print. The final photo shows the completed print. I call it Mercy in Dire Times.

Paint and Stamps

I had a great time at the reception for the Printmaking Show at Gerrard Art Space where I met some of the other artists and saw some excellent prints. After that and before going to Montreal for a sweltering!!! but great week, I finished a piece I’ve been working on that’s a continuation of the old and new theme.

In this one, I painted loosely with acryl gouache in bright colours–another experiment with the new colours and paint I’m learning to use. I had  intended to glue parts of an old print to the board, but that didn’t feel quite right for this one. Instead I took several old stamps I’d made years ago, slathered them with the paint and printed them randomly on the gesso board itself.  I liked the unknown aspect of this–I realized that parts of the stamps would not show up or would blur and was interested in seeing what textures they’d create. I first used this process in another piece I’m still working on and want to do more of this in the future.

This painting/print is unlike anything I’ve done. It reminded me of a fantasy forest and looks to me like a design for wallpaper or fabric. Here’s the whole piece and a close up to show some of the stamped images.

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: