Monday, July 28, 2014

phase 4 redux - block printing project, week 4

week 4: blocks #19 - 24
 It was a busy week, and I'm proud to report that I made it to the end of week 4 and have met my goal of making 6 blocks a week for a month (while maintaining non-art-life-responsibilities to the best of my ability ;) ).

Truthfully, I'm feeling a little worn out, but it's ok because I did it (!) - I've carved more blocks in the last month than in the previous 11 months combined.
I especially life this one :)

I'm getting more strategic with my tracery - because this is a symmetric shape,
it can be a right corner, a left corner, or a gable depending how it's rotated ;)

You might be thinking - Wait, isn't that from last week?
It's a variant of the inverse (last week's bird on left, this week's on right)
This way, they can be a pair (song birds get lonely)
Also, as much as I tried to resist changing too many variables so that I could focus on carving,
 now that I'm nearing the end, I couldn't help testing some different color papers and ink

I also started scanning the blocks before I start carving so that I have a digital copy of the drawings
 I think it's funny - I learned most of the theory behind this technique at a workshop with Barry Moser at Zea Mays Printmaking, in July 2013. The workshop is 3 days. Even though I knew right away that the technique could be a good fit for me in terms of pace, material, reproducibility... it's taken almost exactly a year to adapt it (I use soft blocks rather than true wood block), practice it (practice, practice, practice) and (hopefully!) start to become competent at it.

I feel like I was right about needing the mini project to develop a personalized algorithm for making new blocks. On the one hand - I can't wait to start playing with these! I've been thinking of the many ways to make variations (subtracting parts, layering, rotating, rearranging, and recombining...) On the other hand - I feel like these are just the start, and there are so many more things I want to add.

 In that spirit, I'm not quite sure I'm completely done with the mini-project...24 is a beautiful number, but it's a beautiful number as a multiple, whereas 25 is a beautiful number as a fractional part...and I feel like that's what the mini project is, the start of a larger archive of blocks (also a month is 4.25 weeks, not 4), so I feel justified in thinking that the mini-project needs one more block...

drawing on block #25...