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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Field of Dreams

Several years ago my wife and I were driving to East Aurora to see a movie. We love to take the country roads for the scenery. There is a farm just outside of town that is beautiful in any season (even the godawful endless Western New York winters). That summer, there were two haywagons and a tractor out in the field, just begging photographers. We stopped and started snapping photos, expecting to enter the into the Erie County Fair. We never did. I came across the photos last week, and they were demanding artistic attention. I recently constructed a new jig for printing that allows me to use rainbow rolls (the blend of color in the sky; also used for the grass and trees). I'm very happy how this 9x7 8 color print went.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Rainy Day Rainbow Roll

I used to work very small -- 6"x4" -- and while I loved that size, it had too many limitations for the work I wanted to do. I started the larger sizes (9x7) about 13 years ago, and it has challenges of it's own.

On the small blocks, I could easily do a rainbow roll, vertically or horizontally. My largest brayer is only 6 inches, so if I'm doing one, I need to be creative about it. The biggest problem is that -- for the last couple of years -- I have, until right now, been using a large block with registration grooves cut into the edges. While this is good for registration -- REALLY good -- it is also very hard to get full coverage with the roller.

I finally built a jig that allows me to pop out the block to ink it, which means excellent coverage, and more rainbow rolls.

Rainbow rolls allow a printmaker to put multiple colors down, and also to use the gradation to show atmosphere, distance, shape. This should be a huge gain in my work.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Organized Labor

After last week's flurry of activity with screen printing, the studio was a complete mess -- differing only slightly from the INCOMPLETE mess it usually is. I've had prints building up for years in drawers, and I finally got things organized in their own individual boxes.

Down deep in the drawer was a packet of old work from 2002 thru 2005, the beginning of my printmaking career. Some of them show hints that I had promise, but most...well, let's just say that the best part of sticking with something even when you know you are NOT good enough is that, eventually, you get to look back and see how far you've come.

So now I'm working on my next wood cut in a nice, neat and organized studio,so grateful for the space and ready toake the most of it. In those early days I was crammed into a tiny bedroom that was broiling in the summer, without a press or much light after sunset. Now I have everything I need -- but I think one thing we've learned in the United States in the last 10 years (2008, and certainly the last two) is that if fortunes can be made overnight, it can all disappear just as fast. So, time to make hay.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Concept: Proved

Pleasantly imperfect, the very first Napping Cat Press Card is born!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Burning Man

A great weekend! The convergence of time, supplies and will. Right now the big hurdle is the time it takes to dry coated screens. I put them in an old dresser to dry to keep them out of the light, but with no air circulation, they take upwards of 12 hours. It's an easy fix, but in time. I got 3 colors, and with two more to go, I'll be done tomorrow.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Exposing Myself

My new toy arrived today, a Speedball diazo exposure kit. I was pretty excited to explore the proof of concept. The FedEx transparencies weren't very transparent (the ones we use at work are generally 2.5-3.5 density unites, and my copy machine ones were barely .70du. Copier paper is denser. Because they used a scanner, the FedEx transparencies were also half-time. I've been studying solutions to the issue, if they turn out to be not opaque enough.

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. A 5 minute exposure with the 250w lamp, and I appear to have nailed it on the first try.

I'm just waiting for the screen to dry before the BIG TEST.....!

And here we are! I have to admit, this was a big surprise. I promise, there are a lot of big surprises coming!