Monday, February 19, 2018

"Canyons of Buffalo"

(For step-by-step photos, see last post, "As it Happened.)

Last summer my wife and I went kayaking on the Buffalo River, a twist industrial waterway with huge gray cliffs of ancient grain elevators from the city's storied past. The rust, concrete and water made for a striking image.

This print (9x7, oil on Masa paper, shina plywood, printed on an antique book press) was an epic joy. With 14 colors in all, it is a record for me. Can't wait for kayak season!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Expanding on the Reduction

I wish I knew how many times, and ways, I've explained the reduction process to people. For some reason, people can't wrap their brains around it.

Today's color pretty much sums it up though. I'm printing a risky layer of bright yellow over the entire print so I can have a tiny but important yellow object. I don't have to do it that way, of course. I could just ink a small area. I prefer this way as it keeps layer consistency.

It is risky because if I'm out of register by a hair, you will see that yellow peek out all over the print like little crescent moons.

So far, so good!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Just. Peek

I decided to not chronicle this print and just enjoy it on my own. Ah, but it's so nice, I thought I'd give a little peek at it. Buffalo area residents will see where I'm heading right away. Planned for 8 colors, I may have to add two for a small error I made. Haven't decided yet.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

This was a fun print, and it was a lot of fun walking you through the process.

"Buffalo Greyhound" 2018 Jeffrey Dean
Reduction woodcut, image 9"x7", Renaissance Graphic oil ink on Masa paper, 10 colors printed from a single shina plywood block, pulled on an antique cast iron book press and hand spoon-fed. Edition TBD

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Almost Home

One last color will finish the job. This building, which still stands in the 600 block of Main St. in downtown Buffalo, opened as the Greyhound Bus Lines station in 1941. Designed by William S. Arrasmith, a St. Louis-based architect who designed hundreds of stations for the company, the station was operational until the 1970s. After a stint as a police station, the building, in the center of Buffalo's Theater District, now houses the Alleyway Theater.

I first noticed the building many years ago as I took the subway down Main St, probably returning from Buffalo State College. The rounded windows, curved edges and stainless steel stripe across the canopy, along with the blue tiles, suggested that it was a little too retro to be authentic, and I assumed, up until fairly recently, that it was a 1980s homage to art deco. But authentic it is, and I'm glad that it has kept most of it's charm. As you can see, the canopy, which I'm told was neon-lit, extended up ward and included a tlied sign for the company. The sign doesn't show well here, and it has long since disappeared, but the scar where it attached to the building next door is still visible.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Live Models

I have a couple of old color postcards of this building, and I had designed the facade tiles to be green. Fortunately, it still stands on Buffalo's Main Street. Still, it's hard to tell the color. Also fortunately, I discovered an article about the opening of the building in 1941. In the article they discuss the "blue tiles." This makes sense, being Greyhound colors.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Not too long ago I almost gave up printmaking. The saga is well documented in past blog posts, but the gist is that I was having serious technical issues ultimately related to ink and and an ink additive. I finally solved the problem, but was surprised to discover that I'd been so obsessed with solving that problem, I'd drifted away from what I loved about printmaking.

Finally, I broke through the block, and I'm trying to make up for lost time. I have 3 more colors to go on this one, and I'm so happy about it!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Destination Unknown

As discussed in the previous post, reduction woodcut printmaking is different than most other graphic arts in that you are carving away what you want to be seen. And to get certain details, you need to print an entire layer of a color just to let a small bit show through.

Additionally, you should have a good idea where you are going before you start.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Slow Roll

With reduction woodcut printmaking, a print generally takes about 12 to 24 hours to dry to the touch. This means that this print will likely take two weeks to complete. Patience is an absolute requirement. There are plenty of methods of printing that offer instant gratification. But in this time of instant information, expedited service and now, now, now, reduction woodcut printmaking is my meditation, my yoga, my chapel.