The theme of how people interact with the environment is rich with terror, beauty, fear, and joy. I find it everywhere (of course!). What still eludes me is how to make the connection in my art without using a sledge hammer. The painting that I just finished could mean pretty much anything. A pastoral scene, how nice. A sad commentary on how domesticated beasts are confined and eventually eaten, how awful. A study in a limited palette of yellows, browns, and greens, how interesting. Whatever. I like it well enough.
So, here they are; the top one has all four colors, and the bottom one lacks a final dark green pass. I will add eyes with a paintbrush when they're dry.
For next time, I'll set up my blocks so that they self-register. I'll get some sharpeners so I can make finer lines. I hope to keep the momentum going, but I have two other projects that are also important to me; getting ready for an August show, and finishing the pollinator coloring book. Oh yeah, and my day jobs. So, we'll see.
I love drawing from nature, and suggested to my friends at Kwiaht that I make a coloring book. They found me a grant! So, that's another thing that I've been enjoying this winter.
The Rough-Skinned Newt that I photographed (but didn't touch–they have poisonous skin!) had an orange underbelly and fingers. I will try two different things. The first will be to print the second layer of background after doing the entire newt, which will either give the impression of vegetation overlapping it, or of sloppiness. The second will be to print the entire background (that's the darker green prints) and then the entire newt.
I measured carefully and cut several papers to size, ending up with rather randomly sized papers (I have to replace my ruler, as many of its measuring lines have vanished with age). I did the background pull, in light green, while listening to slowgerman.com and the Balkan Brass Band. Then I cut away some of the linoleum, reducing the printing surface a bit, and did a second pull in darker green. I like the organic look of it, but you can't really tell how it's going to turn out until the end.
Next comes the body of the newt. It, too will be a reduction print. I'm almost ready to do the first color, a rather shocking orange that will be overprinted with a modulating brown.
My charming son Peter and I have entered into a Ulysses pact. We check in with each other daily, with news that we have made progress on a linocut. It would be unthinkable to fail.
For me, linocuts are relatively new. Yes, I've done a few in my day, but they all had some kind of weird issue and I'm not that impressed with the results. Peter offered to get me to the next level (actually, I twisted his arm, but he was very gracious), and over the course of a few days, we did this three-color print:
It is MUCH slower working on my own, especially since I allow other considerations to hijack my linocut work. Finally, though, I have the background for a new print all cut. If I don't wander off, distracted, I'll cut some print paper, moisten it, and then do the first color pass today.
Here is the full text of an email I got last year. It is remarkably similar to one I got in fall from another man who said he was a lieutenant on board a ship patrolling waters near Kamchatka, down to the peculiar English and willingness to pay up front:
It's my pleasure reading from you, I'm so much in love with your beautiful painting,and i want to have it purchased immediately.
I'm presently on a peace keeping mission,i have limited access to internet.I would have personally appreciate to have it purchased in person and to meet with you could have also been a great privilege.
The price is totally acceptable by me,i'm sure its framed ? i will authorized a certified check payment to you immediately i can get hold of your information,I will be relocating to Mexico soon and i'm buying this particular piece for my father in law and i want it to be delivered as a surprise.Please consider the piece of the artwork sold to me.
However, You don't have to worry about shipment, my shipper will handle it.I'll notify my shipper who's helping me move my stuffs from USA,to Mexico to get set for the pickup of the piece from your address as I do not know how long i might be away inAfghanistan.
PS: In the mean time, you could forward me your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address so I can authorized the certified check to you online,i will not want any delay due to my inability to get hold of the internet on a regular basis
I engaged with this guy, but eventually his insistence that I use his shipping agent instead of doing the shipping myself, despite the fact that I told him that my home is so isolated that no sane shipping agent would ever come personally to pick up the painting if there was any other way of doing it, led to me withdrawing from the deal.
After the second guy contacted me with a very similar story, I got suspicious. The lady I made the camas vest for did some research and found that this scam is fairly common. It works like this: I get a certified check or money order for the amount of my painting plus money for the shipper, and deposit it. The shipping agent asks for cash, takes it, and goes off with my painting. Then the bank notifies me that the check is counterfeit.