Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Young Green Herons and Peregrines

Three Young Green Herons. Woodcut by Ken Januski.

Three Young Green Herons. Woodcut by Ken Januski.

I've finished the woodcut of the three young Green Herons seen along the Manayunk Canal. Or perhaps I should say I've finished part of the edition. I'm not making any more changes to the print but I may print more prints than the 24 that I did yesterday. A few of them had minor problems so I'm debating printing some more so that I have an edition of at least 30.

The image itself is 6x8 inches and the print with border is 8x11. It is printed with water-soluble ink from Daniel Smith on Shin Torinoko paper. It was carved on Shina plywood.

This print moved along more easily and more predictably than most, I think because I spent a lot of time developing the drawing on which it is based. As I said earlier I might still do a color version of it, most likely with two or three colors printed on another block and then this black printed on top. But for now I wanted to stick with this simple image, something that's a bit unusual for me.

So that explains the 'herons' of the title but where are the peregrines? As  I was printing this edition in the basement yesterday Jerene yelled out from outside: "Ken, come here!" That's always a sign of rare birds, or at least something worth seeing. So out I came protective blue gloves and all to see three Peregrine Falcons circling high above. What a beautiful sight it was. Neither of us had binoculars, or really the time to go get them. The peregrines soared slowly and with great loft but given their height and the wide circles that they coursed they would have been gone long before either of us got back outside with binoculars. But we saw them in similar circumstances last year and I expect we'll be lucky enough to do so again. It's something to look forward to.

Perhaps eventually they'll end up in a print of some sort.


Ellen Snyder said...

Love the young herons Ken. You know wood cuts are my favorites.

Ken Januski said...

Hi Ellen,

Happy to hear that you like the green herons and my woodcuts in general. I keep veering off to other media but it seems like linocut and woodcuts may be the best media for me to work in.

I stopped by the Manayunk Canal today as part of a statewide bird census and thought I'd be able to add some of the green herons, but not a one was to be seen. Still I imagine at least the parents are around somewhere nearby and probably the young as well. Eventually they'll strike off on their own but I think it's still a bit early.

Summer feels like it has really started here now so I imagine you'll be seeing some warm weather soon enough. In the garden we're finally finishing off our 50+ lettuces, which are all bolting. Now it's time for the beans, tomatoes and peppers to start producing.