Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Firmly Planted

Just a small teaser snapshot. The new print with just two more colors to go. I'm excited to show off the whole thing. The shading effects on the front of the terra cotta pot were a happy accident. The hard part will be to make sure they don't print with any of the remaining colors. The final approach will take a steady hand and neatness, two things I am not known for!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Opening The Blinds

Ever since I purchased my antique cast-iron book press in the fall of 2006, I've been struggling to master my process. Every step forward seemed to herald a step back. Through it all, I kep working on my artistic abilities, falling in deep mad love with cartooning and graphic novels. Occasionally, I would dive back into printmaking to test out some new theories  that I'd hope would open the doors to finally cracking the code to better prints.

Late last year I finally discovered the root of my issues: it's the antique book press itself. I know of only one other woodcut printmaker who uses one, and for good reason: the torque is not enough to allow a good smooth laydown of in. This, in addition to troubles with the wood I was using and even some ink problems, had me on the verge of leaving printmaking altogether.

Over the last year, I have studied other printmakers very closely. When you are self-taught and working alone, you need to be a good detective. You also need to be resilient. It's okay to give up, just as long as you start again as soon as possible. That's my MO: quit...for a minute.

So this week, I cracked the code. I'll get into it more in-depth later, but I have found the missing piece of the puzzle that allows me to use my press and still make prints with excellent coverage and true color saturation I demand. Here's a terrible photo of the print in mid-work. There are three colors left, and I'll be back then to give you more details, and I'll tell you how you can get a print for free!