Saturday, February 7, 2015

Completed Reduction Woodcut, Awakened Sketchbook

Moleskine Sketchbook with Woodpecker Field Sketches and Carving Tools in Studio. Photo by Ken Januski.
As I was winding up the reduction woodcut I've been working on I kept noticing my poor neglected sketchbook off to the left of my cutting area. Though I take it out with me when I'm out birding I just can't convince myself to take it out and sketch in winter. The top sketch in photo above of a Hairy Woodpecker, conveniently outside my warm studio window is from December 28th. The page to the left has an Osprey from late November.

Today was particularly cold due to the wind so even though we watched a handsome male Pileated Woodpecker for at least 15 minutes I didn't sketch. But when I got home the guilt was just too strong. I HAD to resume sketching. So the photo at the bottom is the male Pileated from memory. It's not much but at least I'm reviving the habit.

Back when I was reading a lot about Winslow Homer, one of my favorite watercolorists, I read how he worked in his studio in Maine during the winter on his oil paintings. Everything in its place more or less with watercolors in the field in warmer weather and oils in the studio in winter.

So it's really not surprising that I should do more prints in winter, and more sketches from photos. But still it's nice to work from life, or at least from memories from life.

American Goldfinch, Great Blue Heron and Killdeer Along Snowy Banks of Manayunk Canal. Final Edition of Reduction Woodcut by Ken Januski.

Another reason I felt like sketching, and birding, is that I've finally finished the reduction woodcut! And I'm happy with it. The final version is above. I'm still not sure how many of the prints will go into the edition. I started off with 16 but there are a lot more prints will small smudges than I'd like. So I still have to figure out which ones will be in the edition. The more the better though, because I really like this print!

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