Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Prionus Californicus (Cherry Root Borer Beetle) Larva; EV 200.
Moku hanga, 2.5" x 3.5" ACEO print.

I wasn't sure when or if to post the grub version of my beetle print.
This is the pair to the beetle print of several posts ago and is 1/2 of my contribution to the Baren printmaking forum's 50th anniversary exchange. My print(s) are a portrait of a common, New-World parasite of cherry and other hardwoods.
In the larval form, the grub eats the roots of cherry trees and burrows into the trunk making circular burrows and holes, often killing the trees and rendering the wood useless. I had wanted to do the much more attractive Asian Tiger beetle (currently destroying thousands of acres of hardwood trees since arriving in the USA from China in packing material) but despite that beetles taste for ornamental hardwoods it doesn't seem to eat Cherry. And I really wanted a beetle that turns perfectly good cherry lumber into useless frass, woodshavings, and damaged timber.
(I had just been rejected from yet another printmaking association.....)

As the beetle and grub were printed off the same blocks using the same colors I did something not just a tad repulsive but also a bit unorthodox.
I decided to number the prints sequentially. So the first print became grub (E.V. 1/200) and the beetle E.V. 2/200. All the grubs bear odd numbers and in theory pair up with the even numbered Beetle prints.
I sent in 51 of each and the 100 participants will receive a print titled:
Prionus Californicus, but will get Either a beetle or a grub.

Calling this an edition varie E.V. is technically not correct--an Edition Varie (EV) can have variants in printing or paper or color--but the carving of separate--but related images makes them two distinct prints. But I'm totally fine with breaking the numbering/editioning rules.

Since I'm giving these away, the idea that they have to be numbered and editioned rationally so that "collectors" and dealers "know what they are getting" is rather moot. (except for a few 11 year-old bug collectors there has been surprisingly little demand). Besides, if anyone is miffed or feels slighted I can always say that I sent out all grubs but that, during shipping and customs clearance, there must have been some that metamorphosized.


  1. Sigh. Those rejections can really get under your skin can't they? Nice grub, though. And I like your numbering system.

  2. Argh! Rejection..........
    I will be happy with either grub or beetle!

  3. Thanks Annie and Linda.
    Yeah, surprising how annoying a rejection letter can be.
    Yet I still keep moving where a strange wind is pushing me. I still have a lot to say even if sometimes I'm not sure if it is either legible or coherent.
    Thanks for chiming in and commiserating.