03 June 2007
progression n 1: a series with a definite pattern of advance
After not doing any woodblock work for nearly a month, I finally had a meltdown this past Thursday. I started raving about hating my illustration job, hating the fact that I spend all my creativity on projects that "end up on the bottom of the birdcage" (as a designer friend of mine likes to say), ranting about wanting to quit making images for other people so I can make my own images. My partner Lynn, bless her heart, suggested "why don't you take an afternoon off and do some printmaking?" She's very very smart.
So I had some fun this weekend with these two blocks:
(You can see my previous post about these blocks here.)
On Saturday I had about 6 hours set aside, so I prepared 15 sheets of paper (Rives Heavyweight) and did two simple impressions. I did a light whole-block print in yellow oxide and then added more yellow oxide with an egg-shaped stencil:
Added a little burnt siena to darken one edge of the egg:
And then some gray for texture:
I really liked it just like this, so I decided to call it a day and let the paper dry out. I wanted to see how much the colors would lighten once they dried and I also wanted to keep myself from marching forward when I might regret it later.
The next day (today) I still liked this print of the yellow egg just floating on the paper, so I pulled out 5 of them to keep and then re-wet the remaining 10 to keep experimenting with. Unfortunately, I got so involved in the process I forgot to take photos of each step, but this photo of the result incorporates 3 more impressions, another layer of gray, and then two impressions with the "Golden Egg" block:
Although I've been blogging my woodblock progressions for nearly two years, and I've loved the beauties as well as the trials of working with multiples, it has oddly enough never occurred to me before this weekend that I could stop in the middle of a print run and pull out a bunch to keep "as is" before going on to the next stage, to do a series that is a progression in itself. Moku hanga, with the gajillions of impressions required to make a print, is perfect for that approach.
I feel so much better now, having spent this weekend making some prints.