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Monday, April 22, 2019

Damp Details

 This Traffic signal was the original seed of this print, a childhood memory of my neighborhood. Obviously, it was not the focus, but I love that the red and green held through all of the printing.

Whether it's clear or not that there is a church among the hazy buildings in back doesn't matter -- the silhouettes are there for depth (this place exists only in my mind and, now,bon paper). However, a fun note is that the rosette window is a spontaneous tribute to Notre Dame Cathedral, which burned during the making of the print.

The block is destroyed during the making of a reduction woodcut. Trying to explain the process to non-printmakers is a challenge. This should drive the point home.









Saturday, April 20, 2019

Rainy Day

9x7 reduction woodcut, 10 colors.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Day Brightener

The mantra in the studio is "trust the process." Reduction woodcut is much different than other forms of block printing. I work from a cartoon, which is a road map for the print. I transfer the image to the block using carbon paper, though the block absorbs pigment, making the tracings almost invisible. The biggest challenge is color. Colors react to colors around them, but because I won't know how the colors will act until the print is done, I need to trust the palette I selected at the outset.

 Here you can see how the colors seem different. Another interesting thing is that the top color, a very light pink/beige, looked completely different when printed alone, more of a putty gray. But with the red under it, it casts a bit Pinker, which is why I printed in this order. I printed the brown over the green for the same reason -- printing red on green would have made the red too dark.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Thousand Points of View

 In my day job as a color master and ink technician, I know how important lighting is to correct perception of color (or at least consistency). After finishing"Harbor Lights" I felt the colors could have been more intense. I tacked it up on the living room wall to so my wife and I could study and critique.
This morning, with the room full of bright natural light, I was surprised to find that the colors were far more vibrant than I thought.

The top photo is in natural light, the bottom in the yellow of blued incandescent. Quite a difference!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

"Harbor Lights"

Eleven color reduction woodcut print, "Harbor Lights." I'm very, very happy with how this turned out. I wish I had been bolder in the sky colors, but I wasn't going for the bleeding sky of Munch's "The Scream," but more the gentle sunset of a warm summer evening on Lake Erie. But I've opened up a new avenue for the use of bright pigments in my work.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Closing Time

 Only one color left. One of the bad parts about reduction printing is that, as you pile layers of ink, the natural unevenness causes the final colors to be a bit patchy. I've seen this on multiple block prints too. I used to worry about it a lot until I got to see a Gustave Baumann print up close recently. Sometimes, as artists, we have to embrace those imperfections.
This is a very dark red. Maybe too dark? We'll see. It's hard to gauge how colors will look on completion. For example, though the sky looks really good, but I kind of wish I'd gone bolder. But then maybe it would be to cartoon?