Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Almost Done With the American Goldfinch Eating Thistle

American Goldfinch on Thistle. Late State of Two Block Woodcut by Ken Januski,
American Goldfinch Eating Thistle. Late State of Two Block Woodcut by Ken Januski.

Almost there............. If I didn't know better, from bitter experience, I'd just finish off the print today. As I said earlier I've run out of proofs so the only way to test the final changes to this print are by doing so on the prints I have made on good paper. Since they will be slightly different than the final print I really can't call them part of the edition. It is a choice between getting a smaller edition of what I hope is exactly what I want and getting a slightly larger edition of almost what I want.

Fortunately, I guess, there was some smudging on a number of the prints from the block that printed all the colors you see here, yellow, pink/rose, olive/brown and dark blue/green. So I've used those to test printing the final black block. I probably wouldn't have been able so salvage them for part of the edition anyway. But with all the work involved so far I hate to lose any prints from what I had hoped to be an edition of 16.

In any case I printed what you see very early this morning. I'm largely happy with it though the coverage of the black is spottier than I'd like, and in this photo you can't even differentiate the black from the dark blue/green. But it still captures the pose of the goldfinch I think, and the rose of the thistle. And it is exciting to look at. That is what I'd hoped for and I think I have it.

I recently read Rebecca Salter's Japanese Woodblock Printing. I don't print in that style though I have incorporated aspects of it and use Japanese carving tools to a large extent. What struck me though was the technical complexity of the prints and how much that was valued. It is something I rarely value myself though. I like to think that I devote my energy to compositional and artistic complexity rather than technical complexity. So this print and almost all of mine do not meet high technical standards; in fact they probably don't meet medium ones. But I do think, just as in my older abstract work, that they do meet high artistic standards. That is what is important to me.

Still you can't just ignore technical matters. So I'm going to try to get the black printing as full and smoothly as possible before I finish printing this edition. Most likely that will be tomorrow.

...A surprise cold has prevented me from proceeding any further here but I did follow through, once the print above had dried, in scanning it. The image at top is a scanned version. The image below, which is what I posted originally, is a photo. The print itself is somewhere in between. And I'm still deciding on any last tweaks before I print the edition.

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