Thursday, February 2, 2017

Two New Works

Still of the Night

This is a pretty standard "wood" engraving, carved on Resingrave from McClain's Printmaking Supply Wood engravings in black and white are solely dependent on light in order to achieve a successful image. My own approach is to sketch with pencil first, then a thin permanent marker (Sharpie). Once I have all the shapes blocked in black marker, I proceed with the engraving. 
I use standard burins, gravers and such and on occasion take up a rotary tool with a very thin bit in order to achieve some random marks. Nearly all the disciplined line work done with a standard engraving tool, nearly all the squiggly stuff done with rotary tool.
I don't tend to proof when doing woodcuts but do use proofing when engraving. I also "ink" the block as I engrave with a thick marker and a very light touch to get an idea where the light and dark are going. I feel the light is very vibrant and always in motion and I think this engraving reflects that (ironically, despite the name: Still of the Night!).
The engraving depicts Omen, a stray cat who frequented our outside feeders for about 6 months. I learned her name, when, ironically again, Omen was struck down by a vehicle days after I finished the engraving.
Still of the Night
wood engraving, 3 x 6 inches

Old Cabin

About 3 years ago we purchased an old cabin built in 1972 that had been sitting unwanted for over 20 years. More than an old cabin, it has become a refuge, an ongoing project, a learning experience, a getaway, a delightful never ending occupation and ever present peaceful and quiet place. More irony, we said: "let's not get something that's a lot of work!"

The print is leading toward my new body of work as will be seen in a future post. This "guide" print is done with two cherry blocks. The key block carries all the information and the single color block is printed in two "rainbow" rolls, as shown in the ink slab picture. In this manner I can get all the color in one pass, in typical efficient-Maria-fashion.

I used hand-made banana bark paper, which was hand-torn rather than cut and printed damp. This poses a slight potential registration problem, so I run my fingernail along the registration guides to score the paper. The fibers of the paper have "memory" and retain the slight score, even as the paper was redampened for over printing the key block. Here is the process in images:

Print Title: Old Cabin
Paper Dimension: 7.5 x 10 inches
Image Dimension: 7 x 9 inches
Block: Cherrywood
Pigment or Ink: Charbonnel Aqua Wash
Paper: Banana bark handmade
Edition: 60

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