Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Reduction - "Black Stones on the Nam"

I haven't done a reduction print for a bit, so decided to pick up with an image I took last spring and run with it.

My good buddy Dan had called this last spring to see if I wanted to fish the Namegagon for trout. The 'Nam is noted to have some really large browns in it, but it's notoriously difficult to find them, as it's only fishable for trout early in the spring, and their whereabouts are erratic at best - one day you'll find them, the next they're gone.

So I met Danno in Hayward, and we headed out. Armed with info from our good friends Wendy and Larry, who own the flyshop in Hayward, we actually found some feeding fish, and had a fantastic day catching some nice trout. I also caught some nice images of Dan. I really like this one, of Dan casting, from straight above him on a bridge.

Here's the prints as I work my way through the colors:

First step - the block:

First colors:

A little darker - can you see him?

A couple more to go...

Almost done...

Fin! Time for a Beer!

I didn't get photos of the brown/grey runs, but you can get an idea of the progress.

I'm pretty pleased with this one. Interesting - there's enough of the block left that I could run B&W prints off it, if I wanted.

I used a variety of papers on this. I used Revere, which I think remains my favorite, but I also used Arches and UICB. I didn't like the Arches, but I am really liking the UICB (University of Iowa Center for the Book Arts - I believe I'm using the BHC paper) paper, and recommend it along with the Revere. Prints very clean off from the irregular wood block, and the Daniel Smith inks layer up cleanly and easily.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Well, we made our art fair debut at the Stockholm Art Fair this last Saturday, right on the calming shores of Lake Pepin.

This was our first art fair in over 20 years. Coincidence enough, Stockholm was the last art fair we had done. Boy, has it changed!

All for the better - the last time we showed work here (left over glass projects from college, some pottery, hand made paper) we were parked next to a guy selling crocheted beer-can hats and windmills made form beer cans. I try not to be snooty about this type of stuff, but.....

Anyway, the show has matured gracefully, is well ran and well attended.

Like I said, Lake Pepin was right out the back door:

So, even though it was 90+ that day, we were mostly in the shade and had nice breezes coming in off the lake.

We also had a hatch of huge mayflies:

Half my time was spent explaining the life-cycle of mayflies, and half explaining woodcuts and printmaking. I was the only printmaker out of 120+ artists.

Sales were OK (not great...) I put this down to the extream heat, plus the fact that we're brand new to "the circuit" - I've found with the fishing shows that these things have a way of picking up their own steam as they get going.

Deborah out-sold me, and sold first ( her maple sugar print went first...) proving once again who the better artist is. Another coincidence; she out sold me last time, too.....

Next month, Duluth and Eau Claire!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

January, March and August

Three more prints for the calendar project:

January: skiing by the light of a full moon

March is maple syrup season:

Grapes start to ripen in August:

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Deb finished adding color to a couple prints of the May block today. We were both wondering how the Akua Kolor was going to work on the Revere paper, as a friend had had trouble getting satisfying results with other water color on it. But the Akua Kolor works great:

One of the finished prints:

11 more to go! So far, we've got 12 final drawings, 7 blocks cut and proofed, 3 blocks final printed, and one block printed and colored. Cutting the final 5 blocks will take the most time, but I'm confident we can get this to press before our September deadline.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cottonwood Pool

Truth be told, I've never done very well at the old cotton wood pool. Oh, I know there's some good fish in there - real nice. We shocked a 28"-r years ago during a DNR survey that I helped out with - the first real 28" brown I'd ever seen with my own eyes. I'd caught plenty of 28" fish (northerns and the like) but I'd never seen one like that come out of this creek. I'd heard about them, but then I've told my share of fish stories, too.

Anyway, it's a nice place, regardless if the fish are cooperative, as in my friends case, or not (being my usual lot...) There's this huge cottonwood tree parked right on the corner - the river has been gnawing at the trees root ball for so many years now that it's almost fully eroded. Some day soon it's gonna fall. When it does, I 'd like to be there, because it's a going to be one hell of a show. And it would solve that stupid old question once and for all - you know: if a tree falls in the woods, yaddy yaddy yadda...

This is a Whiteline woodcut. An image is transferred to a maple block, the line then carefully traced with a small V-gouge. The resulting raised portions are individually inked with a tiny paintbrush, and the paper is burnished with a wooden block by hand. Printed with Akua Kolors on Revere Polar White Silk paper.