Monday, December 12, 2016


The 18 x 12" softcut block of tracery is proofed! [two big thumbs up!] 

This was one of the most challenging blocks to print that I can remember (and it still isn't printed "for real," yet, only proofed). Some of it was the conditions - remembering to knead the ink each time to keep it warm; some of it was the block -which I discovered is not quite level ( :o  o my), but a lot of it was how it's carved.

Unlike most of my blocks (like the wings) which are made with sharp edged, non-overlapping cuts, I scraped and gouged at this block a lot to get the variety of tones in the modeling. 

On the one hand, I was trying to take advantage of the softness of this type of block which facilitates that type of mark making...but on the other hand,  I  may (just maybe ;) ) underestimated how much different these would be to print.  A lot of the detail was "filling in" in the early proofs (oy.) It made me really, really miss my favorite, no longer produced blocks. It's hard to remember that those were once new to me too, and hopefully, I'll get better at printing these with practice (fingers crossed!).

The other project in process - now that the Tower of Babel cigarette box for "Superbia" is done, I started on the next (faux-)product for for the seven deadly sins. I drew a logo for "Gula," "Gluttony," scanned it, added text, and turned it into a vector file.  I decided I wanted the can to be crushed, but I didn't really know how to put the logo on a crushed can digitally, so I printed it out, glued it on to an empty can, crushed the can, and photographed it. Then I digitally processed the the photo a bunch of different ways, just trying to understand it better before I start carving.

To get the text going the right way in the final print, I'll make a polyester plate and print it on the block so that the final will be a print of a print (an inverse of an inverse). I feel like I did  do stuff on this...but the block isn't even started (Eep - Onward!)

In para-art news, reflecting on 2016 and looking back through blog posts, I realized my Princess (aka Feline Assistant #1) doesn't appear as frequently as Jr. and the Pup, and I feel I should address this inequality. It might (wrongly) seem like she's not as involved in the studio process, but (with the exception of about a month after Honey joined our family, during which time she was on strike ( "Take that little beast back where you got it from, Human."), the Princess is an excellent helper. The reason she doesn't appear in photos as often is because she's usually sitting on me while I take pictures; so, this week I turned the camera around in tribute to our Senior Assistant:

I've learned to carve with a kitty curled on my back.

...and here we are working on art stuff on the computer.

...and reading about art.
 Lol. She loves to be held, and if the human's hands are not available to carry her, she rides on my shoulder - it's good to be Queen of Artlandia.