The Dorothy Bradford print has been bothering me ever since I finished it. It was an odd experience -- I was emotionally satisfied with it but aesthetically unsatisfied. When Beth at Cullom Gallery received the prints, she tactfully wondered aloud if maybe I could go a little farther with it, and I knew she was right. I waited a couple of days to let it all percolate and then decided to go back into the edition and make some adjustments. Here's what happened:
The shot on the left is the original "final" version. The first thing I did was darken her hair considerably. Then I added some green to the water around the figure. I also darkened the folds in her clothing along her back and on her breast and arms. Those four new impressions are reflected in the photo on the right.
In the initial version, there had been no block for her dress, just the white of the paper, so I cut a new block in the shape of her dress. I then printed the dress shape in a bright white. You can see in the comparison photos above that the white layer gives her dress a milky diaphanous quality and smooths out the goma zuri (speckles) from the previous printing. Now I was getting close!
Finally, I did some spot painting on the dress-shaped block to bring out some highlights on the forward-facing parts of the dress. Above is a closeup of that layer of printing.
And here's the new final version:
DOROTHY BRADFORD COMES TO AMERICA
Japanese woodblock (moku hanga)
Paper size: 22" x 9.5" (55.9 x 24 cm)
Image size: 20" x 8" (50.8 x 20.3 cm)
7 shina plywood blocks
22 hand-rubbed impressions
Paper: Echizen Kozo