Watching ink dry tries my patience

It has been a few months since I experienced that fabulous feeling of finishing a linocut. I recently put down the last layer of ink — my favorite metallic gold — and the work was transformed. For the final touch, I want to apply gold leaf to a few of the white ripples, so the water will be rippling one way, but the sun is coming from the opposite direction.

I was all ready with my acrylic medium, my red oxide acrylic and my sizing, when I realized my folly. From my last foray into gold leafing I learned that the printing ink must be extremely dry, or the gold leaf will adhere all over the linocut and not just on the sizing. I so wanted to show the finished work in this blog, but you just can’t hurry that gold ink. Here is a partial peek at the work sans the gold leaf…

water gold layer
A portion of my latest linocut, waiting for gold leaf.

Since my last post, a few other layers have been applied as well. You will remember that I printed an opaque yellow tint over the blues. Next came an olive green layer producing a subtle change.

olive green layer
The olive green layer is very subtle.

The rainbow roll with orange and the top and a bright yellow on the bottom brought ideas of space to the work.

water yellow and orange layer
I call days when I break out these colors (reddish orange and bright yellow) my ketchup and mustard days.
gold and bicycle glove
Cycling gloves are needed to protect my hands because the handles on this roller don’t rotate at all.

I was unsure about where to go after this roll. I love the various greens, but felt they overwhelmed the piece. What had started out as a water scape was changing before my eyes. I decided to break out my favorite metallic gold ink and see what would happen.

With my bicycle gloves and huge roller, I created the image at the beginning of this post. The last layers of any reduction linocut take longer to dry, and the gold ink is notoriously pokey. I hope by this time next week to have applied some gold leaf so I can reveal the latest linocut.

Patience is hard for this printmaker.

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