Monday, December 27, 2010


Calicantus, watercolor and pencil 8" X 10"

Chimonanthus praecox_-- Calicanto in Italian--fitting since the only bush I've ever seen sits in my mother-in-law's Italian garden.

I like it for its rather wintry, austere angular form; unprepossessing in its drabness. It's a bony plant, somber and sad in Winter when the leaves are off but it carries a scent that invites meditation and introspection.

I've been trying to do a still life/watercolor of this plant for years. The snows abrubtly ended the day after we arrived and 5 full days of steady rain made for some indoor painting.

It blooms in late December or early January and is one of the few truly fragrant winter flowers. As a garden plant it is a bit drab and coarse; it makes an oval shrub 2-3meters in height and 2 in width. The leaves are lanceolate and a nice yellow green in Spring and Summer but it Winter, if they don't just fall off, turn a vague parchment/paper yellow brown.

The flowers are small, dime-sized and waxy, pale to bright yellow and have 8 outer petals and four reddish/orange inner petals. The white central pistel opens well after the flower.

It has a strong floral tuberose-like fragrance and merits planting near a window or where it's scent can waft into the house or at least near enough to be handy to cut branches to bring it inside.

It looks much like the American Witch Hazel plant but the petals are less showy and it appears to belong to a different genus--although the habit, fruit, winter blooming and scent have me wondering if not the same plant if they are at least related?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Man of War

I pulled several copies of the aluminum drypoint plate I made yesterday. I used a pthalo blue etching ink (Akua) and have been trying different wiping techniques/materials.

The prints are getting better but they are still printed pretty badly--too much ink here and there and too little in other places. My best luck was with a stiff tarlatan--that's what they're used for after all-- but I'll try to find someone who can show me how to wipe and if my ink is too stiff/loose. I'm still hoping to make a go with these water-soluble inks as clean up is really easy and there are no solvents to deal with.
I wiped ink on with a piece of matboard/scraped it off and then lightly buffed the plate with a big ball of tarlatan cloth slowly wiping off the ink. Then I went in with a bit of rolled/pointed newsprint to pull out some highlights and lastly wiped lightly with the side of my hand.

The last three I printed over an initial printing of a solid color using a piece of plexiglass plate.
I rolled color onto the plexiglass plate corresponding to where the aluminum plate would go later--lifted out the jellyfish body and some of the tenticles/stingers with a Q-tip and printed that first--one dark, the second ghost was lighter. Then, inking the plate each time, I printed the etching plate on top of the already tinted paper.

The last one is a true monoprint--I painted in my usual badly chosen colors on the plexiplate; blue for sky/blue for water, purple jelly, multicolor tenticles. It's loose and kind of interesting and would have worked if I had chosen colors more carefully; the green in particular was rather ill-advised.

I'll tip in watercolor in one of the poorly printed drypoints and see what that looks like.

P.S. If you get stung by one of these--hot water works best at neutralizing the stinging cells once you peel off the sticky stinging strings as best you can. They really hurt and can scar.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Drypoint Man of War

Itching to do something and I've been working with variations of this sketch for weeks.

The idea is quite simple; a Portugese Man of War--a floating, stinging jellyfish common to the Atlantic in Winter as an exercise in composition and color.
I've been envisioning this in color woodblock but haven't committed yet to how many blocks or colors and figured this would be a quick way to scratch in an idea and play with some color after.

I want a strong flowing diagonal for the drifting tentacles and the float should be a transparent/iridescent pale purple set off by varying shadings of the sky and deep waters.

That's the idea anyway.
This has been scratched into the leftover scrap of aluminum sheeting that I have
6 X 13" in size and I'll try printing in the AM.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Tub Burn, silkscreen, 7.5" x 9", 1984

I've been going through some old portfolios and I found this print--one of my only silkscreens, done in college in 1984. It was my first ever edition--all the prints had to be exactly the same and I printed six.

I gave away most to classmates. It was small and silly enough an image that it was a hit. At least, I always thought it was cute.

This one ended up in a small wooden frame in the bathroom of the loft apartment we would rent out in Florence when we were away. I never got any complaints, but then no one asked where they could get a copy either. We took it out of the house when we moved back to the States.

We'll head back to Italy for the holidays and I'll be pulling out some more old student-era portofolios.

I wonder what else I'll find?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grapes and Light

Hanukkah 2010 Starts tonight at sundown.

Fall colors.
Grapes and vines.
Light, Blessings and Miracles.

I've had this quirky idea for a while to draw a cordon-trained grapevine as a Menorah (the candelabra that holds the candles for the Festival of Hanukkah)--the Fall colors illuminating the leaves. I never really got around to doing it seriously but sat down yesterday just to try one out as a collagraph print.

All REAL artists will eventually do some nudes, a still life, some abstract thing and,
if they're JEWISH, eventually a stab at something Judaica.

Below is the print just off the press, printed in Black and White on Rives BFK paper. You can see the embossing but the vine isn't visible enough as is so again, I painted in with watercolors and brush.

I had hoped to print up a bunch for cards but it's a lot of work and the cardstock/matboard plate won't print too many before getting squished.
Maybe it will at least last 8 impressions?!?
I'd like to try tomorrow a real monoprint, loosely painting on some colors on the plate before running it through the press.
Will show the results tomorrow.

Happy Hanukkah!

Music and Noise

Music and Noise
collagraph monoprint with watercolor. 7.5" X 10"

I'm still playing around. Procrastinating really. I'm trying to get going on another woodblock print. I have a nice long plank of Red Birch, lovely grain, 6' x 8" that I've cut down into a few 15" lengths and have started sanding and planing them down. Thinking about what to do next.

There are some things I've wanted to try: a reduction print, a bold black and white image, a white-line print and a few nude/figurative pieces I have preliminary sketches for but haven't committed to.

So when I'm this waffly (is that a word? an adjective?) I usually doodle and from the noise and the clutter sometimes comes just more mess and chaos but sometimes, if not order, at least some good ideas.

This started as a kid's exercise on a rainy day. We all cut out some card stock and made collagraph plates using old 5" x 7" mat boards and glue and scissors.
This was my version from the first test printing. Each one of these shapes was cut out of an old file folder using a pair of scissors and glued down onto the matboard and then coated with wood glue to seal it before printing.
It was overwiped, too pale but well-embossed from being run through the press so this one has watercolor pigment painted on.

I think it's a cochlea. The snail like thing in our heads that is involved with hearing and balance. THIS one seems to be spewing out and rejecting all sounds.
Or is it all going in? I can't tell.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Tapeworm 8" X 9" drypoint etching on Rives Heavyweight paper. Trial proof.

Been in a bit of a bad temper lately. This one's been brewing for a while and is rooted in some mid-life issues about success, failure, hopes and disappointments and some big and seemingly unresolvable conflicts. These moods are cyclical and will usually pass if I just wait long enough but nothing beats back a bad mood like creating something repulsive and pointless. Sort of a spread-the-wealth kind of thing.

I was in the hardware store buying some things for the house and saw they had some sheets of rolled aluminum. 6" X 18" and fairly thin. I took one home, cut it down to about a 6"X 8" size and scratched in this tapeworm using a metal point. I printed a few test copies so I could mess with the press and see how aluminum prints.

This is sort of a made-up tapeworm; somewhat in-between what a taenia solium (pork tapeworm) and dog tapeworm or flatfish tapeworm would look like. They all have fairly complex life cycles passing through multiple requisite hosts. Sometimes pausing forever if stuck in the body of the wrong host. The small end has little hooks and suckers to attach to the lining of the intestine and it slowly grows new segments, elongating segment by segment and can reach 20-30 ft (13m) in length. They don't actually suck blood from the wall of the intestine or stomach but absorb nutrients from the lumen of the intestine through the walls of the segments. Each segment has it's own digestive and reproductive tract and by the time the little segments fragment off and pass through the gut out of the body, they are little time-bomb sacs of eggs waiting to be ingested by the next host to start a new cycle.
Human carriers are usually asymptomatic unless infected by multiple worms that can then cause malnutrition by absorbing so many calories (rare) or severe anemia from B12 deficiency--the worm absorbs all the B12 from the gut(more common). In the cyst stage the pork tapeworm can cause all sorts of medical illness; the cysts can form in the muscle, internal organs and brain and are a common cause of adult-onset seizures in nations where incompletely cooked pork are consumed.

But, as I said, this is more of a metaphorical tapeworm.

What kind of nastiness are you carrying inside?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feathered Visitors

Another odd visit yesterday from a group of four California Quail; two adult males and two juveniles (one didn't feel like hopping up onto the trunk). They were in the back yard looking for bugs and tolerated my presence for a good half-hour.
Surprisingly they were chased away by a squirrel. Walnut in mouth, the squirrel really chased them up and down the tree, off the lawn and didn't quit until they flew away.
We have lots of Quail in the brush of the wilder areas but as we have a fenced yard they've never ventured in before nor have I seen them in the neighborhood.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jajim: Blues 1 and 2

Monoprints again. I went back into the studio to try and finish these two prints I had started several months back. I had started with an acetate/plexiglass drypoint--the lines scratched into the plexiglass sheet with a metal point. Printed in black on RIVES BFK paper.
Then I started in with blue ink, painted onto the plate with a brush to start giving it some color.

With this session I went back in again painting in the vertical blue stripes with different tonalities of blue ink; mostly Pthalo Blue and some cobalt/ultramarine.
I tried to vary the color a bit with each stripe. and built up the color with two to three layers, each time running them through the press.

The background had been loosely brushed onto the plate and run through the press but I added a rose/quinacradone pink/rose halo around the tapestry part and blurred the edges to make it glow a bit.

Lastly, as my ends had smudged quite a bit, I painted in with a brush and some sumi black ink and white opaque watercolor the black and white trim.

I like the one with the big blue smudge the best--the blues are smokier and richer and the pink/rose really glows due to it being printed on too-wet paper and resisting a bit the paper so it has a mottled/irregular effect that was as accidental as it was serendipitous. I still can't really say I have a grip on the Akua colors--I was using monotype colors--or the press. I'll try to work a little smaller to facilitate some more experiments. Dry paper/wet paper/wetter or dryer ink. Mostly I'm having trouble with lots of smudging at the edges--it may be the nature of the method. The paper and inked plate qet squished together and unless the ink layer is very thin, it has to go somewhere. In my case it seems to be going out the sides.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


These are my first two proofs of a drypoint print I started a few weeks ago. I hoped to have a finished work in time for Halloween but I had to content myself with two quick proofs pulled off my first ever copper drypoint.

The plate was a thin 6" X 9" copper sheet on which I first roughly sketched and then scratched into the surface with a sharp metal tip scratching and cutting lines in the smooth surface. The plate was then wiped with AKUA color intaglio black ink and wiped off leaving ink in the scratches and some on the surface. Printed using BIG BLUE, my etching press, onto Arches white printmaking paper.

This is my first go at drypoint and the first time using these inks. I had a hard time wiping the ink--I couldn't find where I had put my tarlatans and ended up using an old cotton rag--(old kids underpants) that were too soft and absorbent.

The First pull was much too pale due to overwiping and so became a candidate for some watercolor tip in to rescue what was just a pale ghost.

I'll go back in to try to give some more emphasis on the hand/fingers and try to deepen the shadows over the whole pelvis area then try another round of printing/wiping.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toggle Bolt

Toggle Bolt, the first Figure in the imaginary and now out-of-print classic handbook of European and American Fasteners. A guide for those who often choose the wrong tool for the wrong job.

moku-hanga, Japanese-style, polychrome woodblock print
6" X 8"

When we were looking for a house in Santa Cruz, this one was exactly what B was looking for. The previous owner is a photographer and the walls had beautiful black and white photographs perfectly placed on all the walls in a house that was neat and ordered and lovely.

Imagine my surprise when we moved in to discover that the owner, not wanting, I suppose, to force his own aesthetic choices on the new tenants had pulled out every nail, stuccoed and painted over every hole and left the house spotless and new.

I am not particularly handy. And living in a lathe-and-stucco house means to put anything on the wall you have to hunt for the studs that the walls are hanging on. The walls themselves are just 1-2cm of brittle plaster and any brad or nail you just hammer in will just wiggle out, leaving a small pile of plaster dust and holes in the walls.
B, long since having given up on me ever hanging anything on the walls has hammered nails and brads, where-ever-you-please and has hung up all sorts of second hand/goodwill frames and art and posters and mirrors and shelves.

A Toggle Bolt is a fastener designed to be used to hang light to medium weight objects on hollow walls when a stud isn't available; on sheetrock, lathe and plaster, etc. The metal parts are spring loaded--A fairly large hole is drilled in the wall, the two flexible, spring loaded flaps are pulled against the screw and the whole thing is passed into the hole. Once past the wall, the flaps open up and by turning the screw are pulled up against the inside face of the wall holding the other, outside part fast. IF you make a mistake and have to unscrew it, the folding part just falls off behind the wall and you have to use a new one.

That's the idea anyway. I've bought a few but never actually gotten around to putting one in the wall.

There are holes all over my walls.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Inching towards completion.
Printing is done.
I briefly shuffled all of them out on the table to get out some of the major dampness--the rains have stopped and the humidity is less so they quickly feel less soft and cool--that means they're drying.
Then I cart them off to press between an old hardwood cheeseboard with several sheets of paper interleaved and another used hardwood board on top. Over this sandwich goes the old lithography stone I found in a Miami second hand shop thirty years ago. This whole stack then enjoys the living room bookcase next to the forced air heating vent. I'll undo the pile a few times to shuffle through the prints to even out the pressure and drying and with the last shuffle they felt dry and crisp.
Tomorrow they'll be trimmed, gone over for rejects and then signed. I said I wanted to be done by the end of October and I think I did it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

All that printmaking makes me hungry!

Two leftover pears in the fridge, a mostly eaten bag of semisweet chocolate chips and a lack of anything sweet and baked to munch on....what to do.

Alexander and I whipped out a mostly invented recipe for upside-down pear cake but added chocolate chips and left out the maple syrup. Bar Petrarca in Florence makes a killer pear and chocolate butter cake but we're just too far away.
Hope this will fill the void.

Still steaming from the oven. Hope it cools soon enough to eat some.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Toggle emerging

Raining today and for the first time I'm having trouble keeping my paper dry enough.

Two more impressions on my Toggle print.

The first a pale gray solid shape to give mass tone to the bolt, then a roughly carved shadow block--I've learned that this doesn't have to be carved as neatly or detailed as the detail will be carried by my keyblock that will print over it.

I tried to post shots of each stage but my scanner isn't picking up the pale blue-grey of the thin wash-like colors at all so this one image shows those two impressions over the light blue-green background.

Tomorrow I hope to print the keyblock over the previous three impressions...It may be so damp in my studio I'll have to move into the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Printing again

Starting on my Toggle print.
I managed to get one block printed today. A simple, single-color even wash.
It's a mixture of pthalo blue green and pthalo blue mixed with lots of rice paste to make a very transparent wash.
I usually would have started with the keyblock--the black and white block that outlines most of the color areas and in this case carries all the details, but I tried printing that first but my good printing paper is slightly uneven textured and was picking up some of the ink from the carved out areas from the shallowly carved letters.

SO I switched the order and am printing this block first--the pressure of printing the paper against the hardwood block will smooth out the paper and make getting a clean impression easier down the line. The line of very small print will end up printing over the bottom of the blue square later.

Here's the block I printed from and here's a very bad photo of the print pulled from it.

Sorry about the quality of the second photo--I'll replace it with a better one once I get my scanner back up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A brief pause from our sponsors...

In the wee hours I decided to put the cat in the garage--she has started waking us all up at 4-5am when she decides it's a good time to be fed and that's getting old really fast.
But I had opened the garage door earlier in the evening and forgotten to close it.
There's water, a litter box and usually some food in a dish for her nights there.

So, walking in with the reluctant cat in my arms when I stepped on the threshold there was a lot of noise/crashing/bustle and first one large dark shape rushed past my legs and as I jumped back, cat scratching, two more furry dark shapes rushed past, climbed the fig tree and jumped onto the shed.

SO here they are.
They're called "orso lavatore" in Italian, (washing bears).

They've been turning over my garbage pail, eating/stealing all the figs, raiding the cat dish and more or less being quite a late night nuisance.

I hope they are at least fans of my work.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Patience, Grasshopper.

Well, one of the perks of the medical environment are single use, disposable scalpels. I borrowed one to see if it would work; this one came loaded with an #11 blade--a long pointed blade slightly beveled on both edges. The point is very tiny and very flexible and with a pair of 3X drugstore reading glasses and a LOT of patience to flip or clear the little bits around the letters I managed to finish all the letters last night. Fruit of a late night espresso.

Proofed today. All the letters are legible. Now to whip out the color blocks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hard at Work

There was not much to look at in the last post. Today, with the kids in school, Bene back at work in Italy for the next few months and my mom, visiting this month, off at a duplicate bridge game, I could actually disappear into the studio for a block of several hours.

I managed to get the keyblock almost completely carved even if this photo shows it only about 1/3rd done. It will be a fairly simple print with a fairly detailed keyblock but just a few color blocks.

The big hurdle will be some very small type at the bottom. I'm not sure the kiln-dried cherry or my big fat fingers are up to the task and I'm thinking about alternatives if I lose too many letters. Rubber stamp? Acetate drypoint? Handwriting?( I don't have access or any experience with letterpress...).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Wood

I haven't been carving in a while and while I have a few works that still need a day or two of work to be completed, those unfinished prints are still almost a year old in concept and I feel the urge to do something new again.

I hope to have this little print done by the end of October.
While the subject is still cloaked in secrecy, I will say that I pulled out, then sawed off an end piece of my big cherry plank.

Here is that piece cut again lengthwise into two 7" X 10" pieces.
And again with the hanshita, my preparatory sketches/xeroxes glued on face down.

More to come.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jajim-trials: Adding Blues

Well, remind me next time I experiment to do it on a smaller scale. These are 1/2 sheets of Rives BFK printmaking paper so they're 20" X 15" and I need to fill the sink in the kitchen to soak them and just moving them about is a bit of a project and I'd have got lots more trials done if I was just working on a 5 X 7" plate instead.
I'd like to test in a little more controlled manner the differences of wet paint vs. dry paint; damper paper vs less; more or less pressure, etc.

I am using Akua color brand water soluble colors again. This time the monotype colors which are quite syrupy--I think there is both honey and soy oil in the mix?

I decided not to roll out the color but just brush it on to the surface of my original plexiglass plate--I added some retarder to keep it from drying too fast and I deliberately brushed out each vertical stripe separately, remixing the colors each time for each stripe. I think my color was still a bit too thick and beaded a bit to the edges and I had a slight slip when I dropped the plexiglass on the damp paper--I tried to adjust it and you can see the results here where there is a big blue smear at the edge.

But I got that kind of rich, deep, multicolor blu I was hoping for.
I ran the leftover color on the second sheet of paper but it didn't really print so I repainted the plate again--this time adding a little cerulean blue to the border area before I ran it all through the press. I think the cerulean border is a bit too deep and I again had some edge issues--I can't keep the edges from bleeding a bit but I'll make them work with this print. Mostly there is an area of the third blue strip that didn't print at the bottom that is bothering my eye and I'll have to get some blue in there and deepen a bit the saturation of all the dark blue stripes.

I work tomorrow but maybe Friday I'll have another go. I'd like to add a hazy rose halo around the blue border of the carpet of the second trial and I need to deal with the blue smear on the first by trying to print around the edges with a different value and color to see if I can save it. The end edges were meant to be black and white but with all the smearing I'll probably go back in at the end with a brush and some opaque gouache.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fooling around: plexiglass and a drypoint tool

I've been going through my sketchbook again getting ready for my next woodblock print but I've got nothing really ready to go and I've been thinking and looking; doodling and making thumbnails. So, as I had really nothing ready yet to get put on a board I started looking around for something to do today.

I took a piece of leftover plexiglass--it's about 18 X 24" and a drypoint needle I have and sketched out a rough enlargement of one of my previous textile/rug sketches.
The drypoint tool has a really sharp point, and while it would be traditionally be used to scratch a line in copper or zinc plates to be run through a press, I'm using it on the plexiglass to score a line in the soft plastic.

This afternoon I got to try how it would print. I'm still using Akua color--this time I have a tin of lamp black intaglio ink--and straight out of the tub with a piece of matboard scraping a thin layer of ink all across the plate. Then I lightly rubbed it off with an old rag and ran it through the Press onto damp Rives BFK. The ink is supposed to remain in the scratches and areas left by the burr of the point and should mostly wipe clean off the smooth plastic surface.

It's pretty tacky ink and I've never done this before so my wiping was pretty lame.
One came out a bit overwiped in spots and underwiped in others and my second attempt seemed "moodier" but ended up covered with dark fingerprints-spots and underwiped areas too. Still, the incised scribbles came out pretty good and it's pretty close to my sketch in concept and mood. I suspect if I can get the colors to be rich enough all the splotchiness now will add depth and complexity to the stripes/weaving I'm trying to emulate.

Tomorrow I'll try to go in again painting on the plate in color to bring up the vertical stripes in blue and the background in a sepia/tan--the only trick now will be I'll have to redampen the paper so the plate and paper will match up again.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Monoprint workshop Day 2

The last day of Beth Fein's Akua color monoprint/monotype workshop at the Kala Institute in Berkeley was a few weeks ago but I dove back into the September work schedule so couldn't update the blog.

I forgot my camera so I'll keep it brief. She demonstrated some viscosity resists/monotypes--changing the viscosity using various color modifiers to have the thinner colors resist the heavier for some spontaneous, mostly uncontrollable effects.

Rather interesting but a bit too uncontrolled for me. I'm big on control.
But we also worked on some Chine Colle'; using stencils to block out portions of color and by using decent thin washi or japanese papers using these now colored papers to go back in to add to the print in multiple layers.

Here's what I managed to get out during the day's session. The dark "froot loop cascade" is a fairly straight forward monotype with rolled color underneath, then painted color in the next layer. The circles were stencilled out and then using the cleaned plate painted in again using bright colors and a brush. All in all there are probably 4-5 layers/passes through the press.
The ghost had the various layers run through after the darker version. But in this case I used the cut out stencil circles accumulated during the days printings glued back in the ghost base using wheat paste and the press. I like the chine colle' pale version better but the brush strokes on the dark one are lively and appealing--if a bit childish.

The last two were sort of "I'm getting tired and making lots of mistakes" but the mushroom cloud stencil thingy is sort of interesting and looks like if I push it a little bit might make a finished piece... I just don't know what yet. And the expanding cross/talisman will go through the press another 4-5 times before I decide if I should keep it or just throw it out.

I had fun. Have a nice base now from which to start experimenting at home and will see what I can come up with on Big Blue.
Mostly I wanted an alternative to the slow, carefully planned woodblock prints that are my main focus and these monotypes allow me to get into the studio and play with some ideas and colors in a way that's more direct and spontaneous and will allow me to flesh out some ideas before I decide if they're interesting enough to try in a multiblock woodblock print.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mono workshop day 1.

I have been hoping to get back into the classroom for a while and trying to mesh my erratic work schedule ( I work different shifts every week) with a class schedule has been hard. But I found out about a monotype workshop held at the KALA art istitute in Berkeley,CA in time to ask for the two Saturday's off that the class was held.
So I managed to work into the wee hours Friday night, wake up really early Saturday morning, drive the 1 1/2 hrs to Berkeley and found the place easily enough. It's a grand old three story brick factory and the whole upper floor has been converted to a printmaking atelier with facilities for screenprinting, letterpress, etching, monoprints etc. This is a short class focusing on monoprinting with Akua color nontoxic pigments and I'm hoping it will help me avoid the errors I made on my first attempts with the blue press. I had a great time, even if I managed to ink the wrong side of my transparent plexiglass plate a few times!! but otherwise had everything under control. It's a fun technique, allowing much spontaneity and for some fun (and not so fun surprises).
We worked on learning how to get even coats of color from this honey-based, water based color and how to do chine colle' and a little bit about viscosity printing and resists.
Here's a print of the work table with everybody's efforts at the end of the first day and a quick shot of my first efforts. I like my ghost prints the best. Whispers of color and nuanced effects that are much more delicate and evocative than my more heavy handed full-color efforts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stain 3

Well, work continues....

I printed 25 onto Nishinouchi, an off-white mulberry paper and the blue didn't print quite grey enough and I think my earlier proof on white paper came out better. I'll take a little pause. Let these dry and decide whether to add another color or pass on the tie to deepen the color or just print a second batch in a different color scheme on white paper. I pulled this out of the batch as I plan on gluing one down face up on a hardwood block, carving the tie again and polishing the other copies to make the tie shiny and silky looking.

They are a bit less yellow than this appears on my monitor.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Almost there

Well, while I didn't get into the studio as much as I'd have liked--I managed to get these proofs done today and I'm pretty happy. I carved all day Sunday. Trimmed paper and printed these color proofs today. There is still some tidying up to do. The thin tie stripes need to be cut back a bit at the bottom to match the color tie block but we are almost there.
There will still be some surprise. It would be too boring for me to know exactly where this will end up--I'll be printing on Nishinouchi, an warm, off-white, slightly newsprinty paper that will change the colors somewhat. And I won't really decide until I'm sitting down with the bowls and colors in front of me which one I'll do. But I've only cut 25 pieces of paper so there will probably be another run and that will allow another color.
The biggest challenge still is the blood spot. It has three colors/impressions and it's still not right.