20 September 2009

Back to Printmaking

It's printmaking Exchange time again over at the Baren Forum. Well, actually, the signup for this exchange was July 1st with prints due November 1st. I actually had my images partially carved by August 1, put them aside and promptly procrastinated by doing other prints.

The gory details
  • Medium:Woodblock print (hand rubbed or pulled on a press, B&W or colour, any pigments, any paper). Note: The Baren Exchange is a program for forum members to create, exchange and display editions of woodblock prints. Relief prints pulled from wood substitutes and wood-like materials, including linoleum, corian, MDF, resingrave, and similar are acceptable as are collagraphs. Coordinators are obligated to reject prints whose primary method of production is by other means. For example: monotype, intaglio, stencil, lithography, ink jet, laser, photocopy, etc are to be rejected by the coordinator.
  • Theme: Open
  • Image size: Any size and orientation within the paper
  • Paper size: Chu-tanzaku, about 3 x 9 inches (7.62 x 22.86 cm)
  • Paper type: No restrictions
I was a bit flummoxed by the paper size requirements at first.

The only images that came readily to mind were a train (horizontal), but I'm not really into choo-choos, guitar (horizontal) but I've had my fill of guitars - a later post - and a rock climber rappelling (vertical). Liked the idea, still do, but none of my sketches were coming together. Then I remembered a Japanese printmakers, Hiroshige, a ukiyo-e artist. He did a lot of Chu-tanzaku images.

Now I had an idea, a print with one of my favorite creatures, a red winged backbird sounding off.Since this was a new print size for me, I chickened out and carved in linoleum rather than the shina plywood. Until I can afford some good quality moku hanga carving tools, I'm going to stay away from anything more than the basics in wood.

Two of the carved lino images. I added some reeds to the cattail the red wing is sitting on, and decided on a fall cattail, beige and fluffing out. So five colors for this print, baby blue sky, tan cattail (olive where it overlaps with the sky color) light black bird, yellow beak, feet and shoulder patch, and a dash of red for the shoulder patch. We'll see how it goes, registration is not my strong point.

I have the paper soaking for printing in a ZipLock bag. Stonehenge Natural White, I'll probably try some prints on Masa paper, maybe some Mulberry paper also. If I'm happy with the results, you'll see a final image. If not... back to the studio and some frantic carving. Keeping my rock climber drawings close - just in case.


Gabriele C. said...

Ok, the artspeak is all Chinese to me, but the painting/carving of the bird is cute.

Carla said...

I love the bird. Can I steal the image for an embroidery? (If I ever have the time)

Constance Brewer said...

Actually, it's Japanese... but I get your point. *g* Everyone has hobbies that make their heart go pitty-pat, but leave others scratching their heads...

Constance Brewer said...

Carla - sure. I have a color version I did in Painter, email me if you want to see that one.