Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Treehopper: (If you give a printmaker a cookie.....).

After I finished printing my Cypress trees print of a few weeks ago I was eager to jump into a new project.
But in my life, the path between "A" and "B" is never linear.
Besides having a few acres of olive trees to prune, I wanted to try sizing some paper that wasn't printing well.   I have a few papers that are either too soft--difficult to handle and the paper pills while printing and others that hold up well enough but that print really flat and light-size formula of a few months ago helped but not enough to be called really successful so I decided to increase both the alum and glue and try sizing them to try out on my next print.
So I sized one each of Gampi, Mitsumata, a few varied 100% Kozo papers and a few mixed fiber/handmade papers. The weights varied from about 29g/m2 to about 50g/m2.

Now,  I needed just a little print to test out the newly-sized paper.....but I didn't really just want to print color swatches..nor did I feel like revisiting any of my old, already carved I ended up doodling, and sketching, and looking through my sketchbooks and idea folders for simple ideas that I hoped I could do quickly.  And I came across a few sketches I'd done of this insect, a thorn bug or treehopper that I've wanted to do in a print for a long time. 
Newly redrawn--quickly and very loosely and with only a passing nod to scientific accuracy-- I was ready to go.

Rainy weather this week meant I could take a break from olive pruning so, yesterday, I transferred my sketch using a piece of tracing and carbon paper and then carved and printed the keyblock.  The 6 copies I made were then pasted them down onto six,  4" x 6" Shina blocks and set aside to dry.

Today I managed to carve the color blocks and dashed off a few color proofs.

These are mostly proofs to check for alignment and registration and to look for areas that need clearing or recutting. This proof is still missing two of the blocks/impressions. Nevertheless, I think that probably NONE of the colors will stay the same in the final print and looking at these I'm thinking of carving one more block.........

So, I wanted to size some paper, that now I need to test, so I carved a little block, but now I need color blocks, and now maybe one more block, so I can proof again, then I can print an edition.....
but wait, I didn't size enough paper for a whole edition.
But first, I'll need to size some more paper.

(A nod to Laura Numeroff's book, "If you give a mouse a cookie"). 

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