Tuesday, April 26, 2016


"mons Veneris", A/P. 2016;  watercolor wood block print (moku hanga).
Printed from 2 blocks on Magnani etching paper for the Baren Forum's 68th print exchange.
I scribbled this in the margin of a notebook with a felt-tip pen. But it could just as easily been sand or clay, or on a tile wall or the peeling paint of an old building.
Totem or magic? Symbol of desire or of power? Sex or the power of birth? But decidedly
NOT a metaphor of Art or Beauty nor an idealized form of the perfect body.
One squiggly and jagged line that becomes legs and pubis and vulva.
Nude as in naked, the person unclothed, without the personalities that wait in our closets to be put on mornings and we take off at night.

Elbows and pubic hair, callouses and wrinkles and surgical scars are all as worthy of my time as a vase of flowers, the view from my window,  or a bowl of fruit in the afternoon light.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Boxwood sandwich

I'm participating in the Baren Forum's next print exchange,  due May 1st.  The theme is "the nude" and the paper size is restricted to an 8"x8" square.
I've had a good idea all along what I was going to do, but haven't been able to get any chunks of work time in to make any progress.

I'll be doing a figurative piece, with mostly line work, and I'll need to be able to carve some thin lines.
For that I like cherry or maple...but the pieces I have of those woods were too big and I didn't want to cut them down to a smaller size.  So,  I pulled out the rest of the boxwood plank I've been saving.

But since it's pretty thin--7mm and will warp badly during water-based printing, I decided to laminate it to a piece of plywood to make a warp-resistent block that will allow for more detailed cutting.  In this case I used a piece of 3-ply Shina---you can only carve one side since it's so thin and I glued the side with the seam to the box so I'll be able to use the good side as a second plate.
The boxwood will be for the fine lines of my drawing and the Shina side will be used for a color beta ban impression (the water-based woodblock version of chine colle) that will flatten the paper to allow for cleaner printing while adding a base tone to the paper.

The box got scraped smooth with my metal scraper, and then finished with 1200 grit sandpaper.
Today I glued down my sketch and this weekend I'm hoping for a carving marathon....