Friday, March 18, 2011

Paper First

Another day of "Oregon Sunshine', that means rain, showers and rain with lightning later on.  Winter is stubbornly holding on to the sky and we wait somewhat patiently for some actual sunlight.  When it does appear, you can hear the doors opening and folks flooding outside to be drenched it its warmth.  It makes for such a treat we really can appreciate.

Why paper first?  In printmaking, before the ink is on the table for rolling, or applying on to an intaglio plate, it is best to prepare the paper.  In this case I am working with 100% Cotton paper made in the United States, called Stonehenge, it is a soft warm white.  Traditionally, printmaking paper is 'torn' rather than cut and each piece is folded, scored with a bone folder then torn.  These blocks are 9"x9" so a full sheet of paper can accommodate six prints.  Here is a nice stack of paper ready to go!

The woodblock in the foreground is the next to be printed, but I wanted to show what the block looks like with its beautiful carved surface before it is inked.  As you can see, some of the images are emerging beyond the border.  At first the border was a way to frame the images, and as a way of expressing how I did not want to and could not really afford to spend money with any kind of confidence, but as the year went by and the economic situation of the US became slightly better, it seemed that it was appropriate the fortress of a wall surrounding the image could be broken and interrupted.

This is the next block up for carving.  It is a light and shiny beaded purse, wonderful for the texture that I am interested in for all of the pocketbooks.  This has lines and spirals and will fit beautifully with the others.  The original sketch was a little small, so I enlarged it with a copy machine and transfered the drawing on to the block.  I am looking forward to the challenge of carving an impression of the intricate beadwork that embellishes this little evening bag.

Here are some photos of the individual  purses in this collection that are complete and ready to ship out!
When you sign up for the entire collection you will be eligible for a better rate per print than if you purchase them when the set is complete.  All twelve images will be sold as a 'suite' with the same edition number on each print, for instance, one suite will have all of the number 10 prints,  of the 32 total prints, for each image.  These suites are a fine way to collect art and keep together as a set, or frame together or individually and it makes it  more desirable for collectors.  You can purchase the set at my website at  You will find easy to use PayPal, or you can contact me with your questions.

The next three in the series are already printed in black and await the background color.  I used the reverse side of each block for the warm mahogany color, carving out the shape of the purse, so that only the background color would print. Each purse has a trace of the background color woven through its textural design, just as the background has these traces from the image block.  I like recognizing the character of the wood and the aspects of carving.

The southern portion of the old garden needs some restoration, plagued with blackberry plants,an invasive in our area, (a real contestant!).  We started this area in the early 90's,during some distractions of life it fell to some disrepair and it will take many sunny days to bring it back to form -- I hope they are on the way soon!

                                                 Happy Spring!

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