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.
Earlier this month I was in Algonquin Park in Ontario. There we went for day hikes and went kayaking off Lake Opeongo. On a day when the stream was totally smooth, we saw reflections so clear that you couldn’t, at first, tell where the water and land began or ended. Fabulous designs were formed from these symmetries.
I had just learned about the death of my aunt, Thelma Edelstein, a wonderful woman who lived life fully, and I thought of her often in this setting of beauty. Here’s two of the photos I took from the kayak.
Here’s another embroidered appliqué I made recently–this one with merino wool felt. I sewed in the evenings, this time to calm myself from the dreadful news of wars, racism, illness and sexual assaults of women that have all been in the forefront recently. The idea for this design grew out of a recent trip to Algonquin Park in Ontario just as the last leaves were falling. One beautiful sight was a hill of golden tamarack trees reflected in a lake. I am always drawn to reflections in water and realized I want to use symmetry in my work more often. This appliqué began on its side, loosely expressing the memory of the scene in Algonquin Park. However, as is often the case, I adapted the work as I went along. And so the hill and reflection turned into a leaf shape. I finished the wall hanging with three ceramic buttons I bought this summer at a studio tour of artists on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario.