When I haven’t been working on my water linocut and waiting for the ink to dry, I have been diverted by a small linocut I am preparing for the Center for Contemporary Printmaking’s 5th Biennial Footprint International Competition. Printmakers are charged with creating a work that is 12 inches square. Here is my creation, based on clouds that I captured during an early morning drive along a road that is on a ridge, yielding spectacular panoramas.
The challenge of the contest is how you create a composition using a square. Before the advent of Instagram, the square seemed to be unpopular, except with the painter Mondrian. Photographers (amateur and professional) seem to be most interested in exploiting the square format. They give advice such as:
- Fill the frame
- Be careful about using the rule of thirds
- Exploit symmetry
- Use diagonals
I have a special fondness for squares. They show off my circular forms to great advantage. The first real reduction linocut I ever attempted was a four color reduction of the Grand Canyon. Little did I know that my first experiment would lead to many years of reduction linocuts, and many square compositions.