It’s not uncommon for me to have a few different art projects floating around my head and studio in a few different stages, but right now I have no fewer than five, and an unusual number of them actually underway, rather than just ideas for what to do next. So I’ll share them, in order of how far along they are.
1. Unicorn. I just finished carving this today, and am ready to do a test inking and then presumably it’ll need a few tweaks and touch-ups before final printing. It’s actually a linoleum block, which I haven’t carved in a long time, and this block is dark lino with a white surface so that you can see where you’ve carved. Great idea, except that of course it’s the negative of what will be black and white when I print, so it may be rather misleading. We’ll have to see.
2. Butterflies. The first (on the right) is completely carved, tested, touched up, and ready to print. It’s only waiting for the second (on the left) which is about halfway done. I have various schemes in my head for printing using watercolor backgrounds and multiple impressions on each paper, and all sorts of interesting things. I’ll be sure to share more on these experiments… when I get around to them.
3. Grist mill. I started carving this block at my last show, but haven’t touched it since. I plan to work on it some more at the Needham Farmer’s Market, where I’ll be this Sunday. It’s got a lot of tiny details, so I’m not sure how far I’ll get, or whether it will once again languish unfinished until the next show after that, in August.
4. The piece of paper is the beginnings of my sketch for what will be, as you can see, one of my biggest blocks ever. I was quite fired up about this one early in the year, but since it’s too big to work on at shows, it kept getting set aside all spring in favor of other blocks, and I lost steam. I still hope to get back to it eventually as I think it’ll be a really cool one.
5. Industrial scene. I took this photo yesterday and am thinking of how to turn it into a block. My industrial scenes have not been great sellers (They aren’t cats, after all!) but I really enjoy doing them, so I plan to follow my muse. The fun part is how to simplify the complex rigamarole of pipes and struts and Stuff, and how to make it all show up with nice clear contrast, black against white and white against black.
As you can see, I’ve got plenty to work on, (and that’s not even counting the writing, which I’ve been working on intermittently, too). It’s a bit distracting to have so many projects, but certainly fun - much more fun than having no projects at all, for sure!
[Pictures: 4 relief block print projects underway;
Pellet mill in Québec, photos by AEGN, 2015.]