Saturday, February 21, 2015

Do not know what state I'm in?

I live in the state of Massachusetts but I'm talking about what state number my squirrel print is in its present development phase.
So I counted up the number of colors I have mixed and printed ...16! That's sixteen layers of colors to date.

Here's my palette:

One of the times I enjoy most while working in the studio is when I'm mixing inks for my prints. Piles of semi viscous batches of joyfulness. I use a very limited palette of 6 colors to create my print colors: Rubine Red, Benzine Yellow, Reflex Blue. Milori Blue, Thalo Green and Orange (plus white).  That one less color than the rainbow.  Remember the old adage for remembering the rainbow colors and their sequencing when you were a child?  Richard Of York, Grave Battle IVein: red, orange, yellow, green. blue, indigo and violet. On my studio shelf I have all but one color of the rainbow: violet.

With flexible putty knives, I mix and scrape together colors that can cohabitate and dance together on the printed surface. It's laborious thinking about color.  Do I want warm or cool? What value should I assign to a color? How much chroma?  Yes, there's a lot of critical thinking taking place before I start mixing the inks together. For example the violet color used as a second color to denote bark textures in the squirrel print came to me after eating a combination of yogurt and frozen blueberries for lunch. I looked at the bottom of my dish and there was this perfect shade of violet; what a great companion to be paired with the turquoise color I had already printed.

fifth state
So here's a look at the print so far. There might be two more colors necessary to complete the diptych.

Monday, February 16, 2015

and so the snow continues to mound higher

I might be developing cabin fever. Staring out my windows; watching the snow pile up… although at home I have resigned myself to completing ink wash sketches of Harwich Harbor from long ago summer photos.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sixth state of squirrel dyptych

I'll start off today's post with this image:

The print progress has been S-L-O-W but productive. It is in its sixth state; meaning I have printed six layers of color and it is still evolving towards perfection: (Buddhist tradition?).

I realize when I'm printing the four sets of two, 22X30: this is a lot of real estate to cover using only hand tools for carving, inking and printing. But for the love of completion I'll endure backaches, sore hands, tired feet: (Christian tradition?).

The squirrels are finished, the tree is presently being developed and the oak leaves are unfinished but will be worked on next after the completion of tree.

Here is an image of Virgin and Child by Jean Fouquet. I have always loved this image with the blue and red heavenly beings in the background and the white, translucent flesh of the earthly beings.

Similarities? Why red and blue colors to describe the squirrels's fur? No, they are not wingless celestial beings! They're wingless arboreal beings.

block is ready for fifth state inking
I just thought a color scheme of the three primary colors, red, blue and yellow (oak leaves to be developed in yellow) would add to the squirrelly characteristics of zany and whimsical in the over all print aesthetics.

addition of white poster paint to help in line development.
In a month or two the printed edition should be finished and ready for my signature.

tree development in fifth state printing