The completion of a temperamental linocut

Vexing. This an apt description of the weather in my part of the world. Wide swings in temperature, plus punishing storms make for unpredictable living. Two weeks ago I wrote about similar trials in layering inks. After giving the linocut an entire week to dry, I soldiered on, armed with metallic inks.

Tempest Intermezzo
©Elizabeth Busey. Tempest Intermezzo. Reduction linocut on Rives BFK. 14 x 28in image size, edition of 14, $450 unframed.

I first printed a gold layer, which faded as it approached the horizon, over the patchy purple. Thankfully metallic inks are very opaque and tend to cover a multitude of difficulties. Another deeper blue went on the clouds, which did not share the inking problems. But I was concerned that the clouds might not tolerate too many more layers…

Strange pattern
My loose doodle turned into the most silver parts of the clouds.

I decided that this must be the last layer of ink on the clouds, but there was a tremendous amount of the clouds left as uncarved linoleum. To be believable as clouds, everything needed some texture. On a whim, I began a sort of loose doodle on the largest parts of the clouds. In other areas, I used much tighter marking, so that more of the dark blue would show through. I did not want to use too dark an ink, for fear my doodle markings would be too prominent. Enter the silver ink…

silver ink

Because the silver ink and the underlying blue were about the same tone, I was able to create the many differing planes of the clouds with only one layer of ink. The silver gives a bit of light to the broody clouds in a way non-metallic inks just can’t.

I have still not solved the case of the not-sticking inks, but at least I was able to put this temperamental linocut to bed.

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