Saturday, June 22, 2013

Return to Linocuts

Black-throated Green Warbler. First stage of Lino by Ken Januski

I hate to think how long it's been since I last did a linocut. This seems particularly bad since Jerene bought me a new set of Japanese carving tools for Christmas last year. But things happen and I seem to wait for the spirit, or some such thing, to move me before I return to linocuts after a hiatus.

This is the very first stage of the print. It's only 4x6 inches. And I'm trying something new here: cutting a master block as a guide for all of the others. So when this is finished it will just have the areas that I intend to leave black. Then I'll take a wet print and rub it onto another lino and use it as a guide for additional colors.

In fact I might do something more: add the background color on Shina plywood. One of my favorite printmaking suppliers, McClains, is having a sale. So I recently bought a number of pieces of this plywood to test it out.

Part of the thrill of linocut to me is the improvisatory aspect. But it's also the most wearing and tense. So I'm trying this master block idea to see if I can still have some spontaneity in my prints without paying the price of weeks of worry!

Right now I expect three or four other colors, but only time will tell.

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