New Linocut

This is the third Linocut in the Blockheads series.  It is crisper and cleaner than the others in the series.  I am getting better at registration.  The color scheme here also is a little more nuanced.  There are five separate colors. I cut a block for a fifth color but it seemed like too much information.  The print is 12" x 16" on Masa paper. I'm not certain how large the edition will be - I have to look at them all carefully - but it will probably be at least 10 prints.

IMG_2077.JPG

Work in Progress

I have been working on two pieces for a while, a waste block linoleum cut (  the next in the blockheads series) and another "Studies" of imaginary vases linocut.  

The reduction linocut, Blockheads,  is very close to finished.  I just cut the block for the last color.  I have been waiting for the ink to dry between each printing and the drying has taken longer than expected. The last Blockheads linocut still remained tacky for a while even after it had been completed for at least a week.  This type of slow progress is very different from the more immediate results that comes from monoprints.  I know I do not like the lack of production but I have enjoyed learning in the waste block process - my technical skills are growing with each new print.

The other print I am working on is a one-color vase study and it is almost completed.  The images included in this blog are definitely works in progress.  I shot this image early in the morning with the block covered with tools and crumbs.  This print should be completed soon.

One interesting technical observation is that the two linoleums are from different companies.   One is harder, the other softer to cut.  I'm still thinking about the advantages of one verses the other.  The blockheads are on an inch high block that most easily works with the letter press at Zea MAys where I print them.  The thinner block is printed at home the old-fashioned rubbing by hand method that seems to be more reliable than using a studio press.  The mounted blocks are expensive but easier to print multi colors.  The unmounted blocks are more difficult to register for more than one color.

it is interesting to compare the initial sharpie marker drawing with the actual cut

it is interesting to compare the initial sharpie marker drawing with the actual cut

another look at this block. This piece, like the first "Studies" is 18" x 24"

another look at this block. This piece, like the first "Studies" is 18" x 24"

New Linocut

This is my latest linocut entitled "24 Studies of Vases and Flowers". It is 18" x 24" , printed in an edition of ten.

This is my latest linocut entitled "24 Studies of Vases and Flowers". It is 18" x 24" , printed in an edition of ten.

New Exhibit

We both were juried into the "Fifth Annual Juried Show" sponsored by our local Amherst  gallery, Gallery A3.  Frank submitted one of his new Blockhead linocuts and Francine submitted a new, "Birds at Sea with Laundry" plate.

The opening is this coming Thursday, June 7th, 5-8 pm.

A Still from RBG movie

We enjoyed watching the movie, "RBG", not too long ago; but our enjoyment was increased when, in more than a couple of scenes, RBG herself is shown using some of the cups that I sold her in the Smithsonian Craft Show many years ago. I still remember the moment of her unexpected appearance in my booth, dwarfed by her secret service bodyguard. The Honorable Justice said that she was tired of using cups from her alma mater and wanted something different. I will always be grateful that she bought a good selection of my work and, as the movie shows, she continues to use them in her daily life. The movie was a great reminder of my "meeting" Justice Ginsburg and seeing how my work is used by all types of people.

We enjoyed watching the movie, "RBG", not too long ago; but our enjoyment was increased when, in more than a couple of scenes, RBG herself is shown using some of the cups that I sold her in the Smithsonian Craft Show many years ago. I still remember the moment of her unexpected appearance in my booth, dwarfed by her secret service bodyguard. The Honorable Justice said that she was tired of using cups from her alma mater and wanted something different. I will always be grateful that she bought a good selection of my work and, as the movie shows, she continues to use them in her daily life. The movie was a great reminder of my "meeting" Justice Ginsburg and seeing how my work is used by all types of people.

New Blockheads Linocut

I just finished a new "Blockheads" linocut. I am getting better at the process of lining up each new layer. I enjoy using the waste block technique but one pays a heavy price if you slip up in lining up the layers. This new "Blockheads" is better technically than the first one and I am looking forward to the next one in which I completely use a printing technique using Quoins to lock the block in place for the entire printmaking session.  This print is 9x16 and five layers of color.

I just finished a new "Blockheads" linocut. I am getting better at the process of lining up each new layer. I enjoy using the waste block technique but one pays a heavy price if you slip up in lining up the layers. This new "Blockheads" is better technically than the first one and I am looking forward to the next one in which I completely use a printing technique using Quoins to lock the block in place for the entire printmaking session.

This print is 9x16 and five layers of color.

See RBG!

RBG is a documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  While watching the film, we couldn't help but notice that she and her granddaughter were using my cups!  There were a couple of other shots with a cup included.  (It would be great to get a still or a video clip from the film.)  She bought 10 cups from me at the Smithsonian Craft Show in the early 2000s, and it was nice to see that she is still using them! 

Here are two images of some of my cups:

cups copy.jpg
old cups.jpg

Newly Painted (Improved) Studio

Over the past few weeks there have been some improvements in our studio space.  Frank decided to paint the floor, and we also painted the window trim.  It is a much nicer, cleaner looking space now.  Great idea, Frank! 

You can see in one of the photos that we are getting closer to having our tile mural ready to install in a peak on the outside of our house. 

studio 1.JPG
studio 2.JPG
studio 3.JPG

Cutting New Lino Block

I have started to make linoleum blocks.  Again.  I made many of these a long time ago but when I was introduced to printmaking the method of making prints was trace prints and monoprints.  

The subject matter in lino-cuts has been Blockheads but the picture included, showing me at work in my studio, is one of my imaginary vessel studies.

Blockheads linocut, 12" x 18"

Blockheads linocut, 12" x 18"

Hard at work in the studio carving one of my vessel studies

Hard at work in the studio carving one of my vessel studies

Pen and ink study of imaginary vessels

Pen and ink study of imaginary vessels

A Month in Vancouver

Detail of Takashi Murakami "100 Arhats"

Detail of Takashi Murakami "100 Arhats"

Fran and I have spent this past month in Beautiful Vancouver.  One of the highlights was seeing the Takashi Murakami retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Palm tree covered in snow in front of the Science Center at False Creek

Palm tree covered in snow in front of the Science Center at False Creek

We saw the beginnings of Spring when we arrived - rhododendrons, camellias, daffodils etc. - but found that winter wasn't over yet.  However, we saw some beautiful unexpected scenes of snow covering tropical plants.

One of the many showcases containing yixing teapots.

One of the many showcases containing yixing teapots.

Another Highlight was viewing an exceptional exhibition of yixing ceramics at the Poly Culture Art Center. More than 300 yixing teapots, created by modern Chinese master potters/artists were on display.  It would be difficult to describe the invention, display of technique and expansion of a 400 year old tradition.

We will be returning to Pelham soon.  We will have a lot to do - catching up on many left behind jobs  like  filing taxes and preparing the studio for the upcoming Pottery Train.