Sunday, April 2, 2017

Renewal. Woodblock work and some paintings.

As much as I would have liked to paint and draw out of doors this spring and late winter, the weather would not cooperate, as we only had a few days without rain during February and March. The best thing about having a studio with a view, is being able to paint, rain or shine.  These works are from a challenge of working with a limited palette. In this case:  quinacridone sienna, alizaron chrimson, chrom green oxide, yellow ochre, paynes grey, ultramarine blue and white.  Because the source of colors are set, the inventiveness must be pushed forward to meet the colors you require. A delightful challenge!
Over in the printmaking department, I am working on a booklet. This project is made with a single piece of paper, printed on one side, then folded to make, in this case an eight page booklet.
 Here is the full block, ready to carve -- well, after some adjustments.
 Because I have a bit of dyslexia, which can cause a difficulty with the direction that some images will face, I made a rubbing of the charcoal drawing so that I could fold the booklet to it's final shape and see that all the pages are facing the right way.
 The page is folded in half lengthwise.
 Then, along the middle seam, the pages are created by opening this seam and refolding.
Here is the booklet, standing, with its eight pages.
Yes, all images are facing the right way up, I have already begun the carving, and changed the imagery a little.
This is a graphite rubbing of the cherry blossom espaliered tree.

I'll be writing a small pamphlet about the history of the garden art of espalier and include it with the booklet, I am planning some sort of cover for the booklet and pamphlet, not quite sure about the design of it, just yet. 

Thank you all! Looking forward to hearing from you all. Thanks again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Printing for a woodblock printmaker's exchange.

Printmaker's Exchange

One of the best thing about printmaking are the multiple copies of an artist constructed plate, from which the imagery is made.  This gives us the fine and wonderful opportunity to share one image with many people.  

Barenforum, a group of woodblock printmakers, using traditional Japanese style waterbased printing methods, also allows those of us who work with wood or linoleum to join in with the quarterly exchanges.

My recent work is a small print, depicting some of the heirloom tomatoes we grew in the garden last year.
Once the drawing (charcoal, then India ink), is carved the block needs a brisk wisking with a small brush.  This removes the small bits of wood and shavings that might get into the ink.
Before I even look at the ink, the paper must be prepared.  In printmaking, the paper is torn, rather than cut.  To get nice edges, the fold is creased with a bone folder and then torn, this gives a nice soft edge.
Ink, oil based, archival, the best inks available.  I use both Dan Smith and Gamblin inks.  For this print I mixed a very dark mossy green.  Because the red color will be a transparent color, I am able to print the 'line' block first.  The advantage is that I can print this image onto a piece of wax paper (yes, the kitchen variety) and use that to transfer the image to the 'color block'.  
Now, for each print the block will need to be inked and run through the press.  (I am so grateful to have a press built for me by this fine gentleman).  Ray Trayle   ://www.opb.org/television/programs/artbeat/segment/ray-trayle/.  It is very rewarding to see the multiples add up to an impressive array of imagery.  It is wonderful to know that the recipients will all have something in common, this little work of art, and maybe they will give it as a gift, and that person will then have something in common with the others.  Collecting prints is a really interesting thing to think about.
Getting a nice smooth roll and even color.  

Inking the block.  Applying very thin smooth layers.

Little by little they add up!

They added up to 45 prints!

This block is ready to carve.  Stay tuned for the next printing session.  It should be soon as there is a deadline!

I hope you've enjoyed the process of how woodblock prints are made.