Relief Printmaking as Topography in Action

My new series, Beloved, looks at land areas at the edge — places where land and water combine in spectacular fashion. Places that will be lost with sea-level rise.

It is often hard for people to imagine how I go about creating my linocuts. You have to think backwards, I tell them, like in watercolor. I usually have a pencil outline of the most important features of the image — in this case, land and water. After these sections are marked, I use colored pencils to remind myself where I should carve. Here is a progression from one of the linocuts:

Water is drawn in blue. Places to carve away pink.

I cleaned off the colored pencils and printed the above block. When I took my colored pencils to it for the next layer, it looked like the block below…
Water is blue, vegetation green, carve away in red.
I had a fabulous morning grooving to Whitehorse while drawing on the (above) block. I decided how the foliage would look, and how the last layer of lighter sand would flow. I covered the entire block with pencil and used my trusty U-gouge to create this:
The blue and green areas will still catch the ink…and the beige areas won’t.

I’m almost sorry to clean off the colored pencil, but I need to start printing the water. Everything left not carved on the block will be printing blue for right now, but don’t worry, it will be OK.  I hope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *