Saturday, April 12, 2014

Juggling Blackpolls and Woodcuts

Blackpolls and Swamp Dogwood. Yellow on Black Woodcut Proof by Ken Januski.

Blackpolls and Swamp Dogwood. Red on Black Woodcut Proof by Ken Januski.

The first warm weekend in spring is here and I'm inside working on this Blackpoll and Swamp Dogwood print. But that's fine. We birded early this morning, seeing our first American Kestrel of 2014, and then this afternoon I've been glued to my chair carving woodblocks and proofing them.

As I said this is very improvisatory, even more than the last mergansers and grebes multi-block woodcut. That leaves a lot that can go wrong. But it also leaves some room for excitement.

Above I tried two proofs, one of a yellow block on top of the black block and the next of a red block, just half the size of the black block printed on top of the black block.

I'm starting to see possibilities and excitement. However part of the excitement is transitory. I don't plan to print yellow or red over black but in fact the opposite. So most likely the print will never really look that close to the two proofs above.

Blackpolls and Swamp Dogwood. First Stage of Multi-block Woodcut by Ken Januski.

Above is the first color printed on good paper, Shin Torinoko. Here you can see that the yellow will be the bottom layer of color. But I do like the greenish effect of black over yellow. So tomorrow I'll proof some black, and red on top of the yellow block. If I like it I'll proceed. If not I'll have to leave somewhere in my plans for these four wood blocks (that's right I haven't mentioned the fourth yet) to reprint some of the yellow block over the black.

This sounds for more complicated than it is. Hopefully it will start to come together soon. I think the two proofs at top at least give a hint of just where it might go. In fact it's a bit like a warbler, ready to flit off in any direction at any moment.

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