Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I finished up the last block for this Swallow Tail yesterday, but on printing, it looks like I've go to go back into the blue block and do some more smoothing - the two dark lines are caused by two "bumps" running across the block. These in turn are caused when the rough-stock lumber is ran through a planner that has chips in the blade. Usually I sand these all out, but once in awhile I miss one (or two)...

I didn't want to muddy either of the back ground colors for the dragonfly print, so I carved another background block for it to see what orange would look like:

I've inadvertently created a controversy in the household, Deborah likes the blue one better, but Sophia and I like this one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I finished up the dragonfly/cattail print I started last week.

I printed all the color blocks in succession up until the grey wings (I wanted to print them last, over all the other colors, to give a sense of transparency) and stopped because I wasn't happy with how it was progressing, and slept on it. I printed the wings this morning, and it looked better. I then printed the whole black key block over everything and was extremely disappointed.


I went back to my books on Hiroshige and Hokusai, and really looked at how they did things, concentrating on how they used black, particularly as an outline, or in this sense, how it isn't used.

I thought at first that I'd carve another black block, because I didn't want to wreck the keyblock. but i found that I can ink just the portions of the block that I need to, and with selective burnishing, get pretty much the results I was looking for. I'm going to experiment with the background colors just a bit, maybe add some orange to compliment the greens, but overall, I'm extremely please with this print!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A week of work

I finally got a break in between shows and hot, hot weather to get some studio work done. It's too hot to work in the indoor studio on the 3rd floor of the house, and the outside studio isn't insulated, so it get's pretty warm (and humid!) out there, too. So it was with great relief that I took advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having to get some work done with the Dickerson out in the shed.

I've been printmaking under the name of Trout Lily Studios for some time now, so I thought it time to print an image of some Trout Lily's. It's hard to get a decent image to work with, because the flowers tend to look straight down. But I got some good ones to work with this spring, and of our less than abundant yellow ones, too boot.

I decided to go with a reduction on these, to go along with the Trillium I did several years ago. It came out "interesting"; I'm fairly happy with it.

I also printed an image that's been swimming around in my head this summer, that of a Bee on a Purple Cone Flower.

This is a multi-block print, done in the Japanese style Moku Hanga. Again, there's things I don't like about it, but I'm finding myself really liking the colors. The nice thing about these types of prints is that I can work with them more until I'm satisfied: add a block, change colors, etc.

Finally, tonight I finished up the key block for another Moku Hanga print, this of a Dragonfly:

I'm really liking this image - very simple, but very elegant. I cut up the rough color blocks, and will be carving them and proofing them this week. Stay tuned!