Monday, August 4, 2014

Two Block Woodcut Coming Along

Crouching Green Heron. Woodcut Proof by Ken Januski.

Many distractions along the way but the multi-block woodcut of the Green Heron seen in a crouching fishing position a week or two ago along the Manayunk Canal is nearing completion.

I printed three colors on the second block over the past week or so: an ochrish yellow, deep blue and deep maroon. Then today I recut the first block to get just the amount of black that I wanted, though I had to make a couple of proofs to decide exactly what I did want.

It doesn't really show here but that large yellow background was also printed in black. But the first proof showed that it wasn't going to work. So in the remaining prints I just wiped it clean before printing. As a result there are small bits of washed out black in all of the ten prints.

I'm still hoping to do something more with the background, perhaps just another similar color, so that it vibrates a la. Josef Albers.

 When I start a print, either woodblock or linocut, I'm rarely sure whether I want any gouge/chisel marks to show. They are an integral part of many prints.  After the fact I realize that I would have been better off to completely clear out the white area surrounding the green heron. The bits of ink and color that show through occasionally I think are more of a distraction than an element that adds anything. There may still be time to remedy that a bit when I add the next background color. But most likely I'll just have to live with it.

I began my linocuts about 4 years ago  I think it was leaving much of the carving showing. And I'm happy with those prints. But now I often find that I prefer not to have them in many cases as in the last green heron print.

Barring some catastrophe along the way this will be an edition of ten. The image is 4x6 inches and the paper itself 7x10 inches, printed with Daniel Smith water-soluble inks on Rives Heavyweight paper.

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