Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pinwheels No. 3

Working proof, Mura Udabon washi

Working proof, Fabriano Artistico 90lb

Had a good day today and with the rain coming down I was able to get in a solid block of work in the studio today.
 I'm test printing the blocks for the little pinwheel abstraction print.
They are printing pretty well but I'm especially pleased as I'm printing with my two handmade barens and they've been working pretty well.
The 14cm baren I made that was a bit too big and "weak" is proving to work very well for keyblock printing, it's wide surface and softer twists seem to work well on the linework.
My "harder" 11 cm baren with the mat medium painted over the braided cord is working pretty well too. It's not as stiff as my Murasaki medium baren and being smaller is more apt to pick up stray ink but on this scale and with these fairly soft, thin papers it's been working great for a $10.00 baren.
The lower of the two is on Fabriano Artistico and the yellows were just printed  (two layers) and I'm pretty happy with the coverage..there is a little mottling but that's due to the watercolor paper more than the baren.  The upper copy is on Mura udabon; a nice beige handmade Washi of medium weight and if you look at the yellow and greens the coverage is again pretty smooth (the purple was deliberately printed lightly to get a little "texture"...).
I'll work on getting a lively orange in one of the trapezoids and deeping the textures/complexity of the other surface colors tomorrow.  Hope to wrap this up in the next day or two.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pinwheel #2

5"x7" mixed-media: woodblock, watercolor and pen-and-ink

I printed and pasted down four of the little grid prints that are the basis of this small painting/drawing and while I was waiting for them to dry,  I hand-colored this copy that was printed on etching paper.

This is getting closer to what I have in mind.
A little too "Mondrian-esque" but I'll be printing with dirtier colors and the printed inks always look different  (besides he NEVER used diagonals or was a kind of dogma which I am not constrained.).

Hope to carve and print in the next 1-2 days as this is meant to be a stimulus and not a diversion.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Pinwheel, 5"x7" mixed media (woodblock, pen and ink, watercolor)

I've had a backlog of print ideas for some time but I am still not yet at the "ready to carve" or print stage with any of them. But I've been itching to get back into the studio and just make some marks.
I came back from the US with a box of 4" x 6" shina blocks and I've decided to try and use them to make some quick and simple prints based on simple geometric shapes and objects.
The goal is to try to approach the rapidly drawn pen line of my sketches and later fill them in with some broad color blocks.
Here is the proof of my hastily drawn and quickly carved trial block.
I printed the uncarved back of the block in pale yellow, then the front in dilute sumi ink on Japanese paper.

Then just to get the colors flowing, I took one of the proofs on Magnani incisioni etching paper and added some pen and ink, and some watercolors.........
Not really where I wanted this to go but I'm moving forward again and that was the point.
I will carve some color sections and reprint a few of these on good paper....just to see how loose and
"sketchy" I can keep this. Meanwhile, I'm fleshing out what will be my next "real" print and hope to have a finished drawing ready for wood soon.