Making the best of what you have

Sometimes things just get away from me. The reductive style of linoleum relief printmaking that I do means that I am never really sure how the print will turn out. Each layer of color changes the previous colors. Some contrasting colors make beautiful neutrals, others make ick.

My exchange prints in process. Paper size 8 x 10in.

I’m sending some small prints to the Los Angeles Printmaking Society’s Give and Take event. The paper size is 8 x 10in, so my blocks are about 6 1/2 x 8in. The prints seen here are very much in process. I used the same skeleton drawing of a lace-like cellular structure, and decided to find out what would happen if one had a white background and the other a very dark one. (I don’t use actual black.)

The print on the left has been giving me fits. The neutral between the orange and green was, well, ick.  I added a layer of intense yellow (yellow is a bit opaque anyway) and got back to a more acceptable color.

Making the most of what you have. This is a topic that is quite popular in my home right now, as we navigate the successes and disappointments that every life has. What is the very next step for me, we ask. And this is how I begin many mornings. What do I carve away next? How do I make this color behave? I have to let go of that stunning print I had in my head to make room for the reality. A reality that sometimes is more rich and rewarding than I could have dreamed.

For you printmakers, there is still time to participate. Visit and search for Give and Take for all of the details. Not only will your work be shared and viewed by others, but you will get five prints in return.

Two upcoming opportunities to see printmaking (and other art):

If you are in the greater Boston area, visit Francesca Anderson Fine Art in Lexington MA to see Prints, Prints, Lots of Prints. The show features all kinds of printmaking, inspired by the Boston Printmakers Biennial. (Show dates February 7 – March 8, 2014)

If you are in the Bloomingon, IN area mark your calendar for Saturday, February 22 from 11am – 5pm. The Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center will be filled with 70 regional artists in the Bloom Magazine Local Artists Showcase.

Brave the cold, make the best of your situation, and go see some art!

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