At the printmaking evening at WonderLab I was thrilled to unveil my bromeliad flower. I finally realized that rather than trying to put another strong color on the print, a transparent one would be best. A bit more carving and a transparent blue brought out the shadows of the very pink flower.
|Elizabeth Busey. Hope Despite the Evidence.
Linoleum Reduction Print, 17 x 25in, 2013.
In the last post I related the saga of my ruining a block and having to start over. This print is the final result of a new block, new paper and many more hours of carving. On the previous block I carved away those crucial corn stalks that extend over the water. Without them, I don’t think your brain would have been able to make sense of things.
|Elizabeth Busey. Prints on the Land. Linoleum Reduction Print, 25 x 40in, 2013.|
My first large-scale print is finished. In Prints on the Land, I wanted to capture that overwhelming experience of late spring in the Midwest – warm, moist, earth-scented, and yes, green.
|Yellow/orange blend roll.|
|Blue layer using a stencil protect the hillside.|
|A layer of magenta changes everything.|
|Now we can see more of the rows.|
|Another blue area.
Another layer of bright blue completes the print. Now if only spring would really arrive in the Midwest.
I have teenagers in my home now. But I clearly remember when they were very young, that before they made a developmental leap like learning to crawl or walk, they fell apart. Happy children became irrational, weeping, demanding creatures. Child psychologists would call this disorganization. Perhaps this is what has been happening to me.
|My newly expanded drying rack.|
In my last post, I unveiled the newly expanded press. I knew that the challenges of working bigger were not over when the Rives BFK (30″ x 44″) I ordered would not fit into my flat files. When I began preparations for this new work, I went to hang the paper up and realized that my 12″ wire shelving racks weren’t wide enough and the paper would buckle. Panic set in…
A trip to Lowes and an evening with my dear husband yielded a new wider drying rack thanks to 20″ wide shelving. Now I would have somewhere to put the paper while I was printing.
|The paper trapeze is created with a dowel, rope and zip ties.|
The next problem I encountered was how to control the paper when I placed it over the block. I really need another set of hands, but since I work during school hours, these were hard to come by. And my cats were not supportive. I worried that I would not be able to handle this large (and expensive) paper. After one small meltdown and some pacing in the studio, I came up with the paper trapeze. (I do not recall if I have seen anything like this on the Internet, so forgive me if you are the original inventor!)
|The paper trapeze is my silent studio assistant.|
|I use four registration tabs on a 30″ side.|
Gentle readers, please hear my confession. I am a greedy printmaker… Here is my story:
One of the biggest challenges for me in printmaking is getting the block and the paper to line up the same way each time. Printmakers call it registration. Even 1/16th of an inch off can make the print look blurry and the edges show the raw colors I have been using rather than the gentle color blends.
Registration has plagued many printmakers, even Picasso. If you look at his Bust of a Woman (after Cranach, 1958) you can see his problems with registering a six-block linocut. He nearly abandoned linocuts, but learned from printmaker Amera about the technique of reduction printmaking. After that, his registration improved. But it is interesting that his first attempt, even with the misregistration, is highly valued. Not so for me. Continue reading “The curse of the greedy printmaker”
|A large leaf on lino.|