05 March 2009

No Friends to Greet Them

Click image for larger view


Japanese woodblock (moku hanga)
Paper size: 14.5" x 10.2" (36.8 x 25.9 cm)
4 shina plywood blocks
9 hand-rubbed impressions
Paper: Nishinouchi
Edition: 17 (8 dark background, 9 light background)

Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation, they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weatherbeaten bodies; no houses or much less town to repair to, to seek for succour... And for the season it was winter.William Bradford

While I was framing and preparing for the Hosmer Gallery show I was also frantically printing this piece, as I didn't want to display "Worried About the Kids" without this one, which I consider a companion piece. I hope you'll forgive me for not documenting the progress this time. Of course I ended up printing it twice because I was rushing. I did a dark sky and then felt like it wasn't right so I did a version with a lighter sky. By the end, I liked them both, so I have a sort of double edition.

The pigments I use are pure pigment suspensions from Guerra Paint & Pigment in NY (see sidebar for link) and I love them, but every pigment has distinctive properties. The brown in this print is called burnt umber dark and it has a really interesting texture that I can only describe as fluffy. It almost whips up as you stir it. I like it, but it took a little getting used to. I'm also not a huge fan of sumi ink even though everyone raves about it. I find it kind of sticky and it seems to dry really fast and when it's dry on the block it gets almost slick or shiny. It sure is BLACK, though.

Anyhow, these poor Pilgrims have no idea what they're in for, do they?

We don't know what we're in for either.


Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

Hi Annie !
I really like the way you put these people into the wood...and ask if we know what they´re into.....good question and answer...that we don´t know.....and that can be a scary feeling......I see these people as a picture of a more general issue.....
I like the print and your human way of thinking....

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie
Your work is just gorgeous! I like the moon greeting the pilgrims behind the trees (maybe it's the sun!)
Anita's comment is right on for me too: "your human way of thinking" which shows through all your work.

My big bro gave me his old computer (upgrade for me!!) so I guess I can post now. Videos are still beyond dialup here in Ont.

Your frenzy doesn't show in your prints :o) Thank you for taking us along on your printing voyage!
And enjoy your exhibit.


Anonymous said...

Hi Annie:

I saw your prints on Baren and quickly popped over to your blog to see them "full size". Just beautiful, congratulations. I really like prints that achieve good effect using an economy of blocks and colors, and this qualifies. MY preference is for the darker blue background: it increases the sense of foreboding. And for some perverse reason, I like the combination of dark blue and brown. I look forward to more of your work!


Anonymous said...

Nice work with the circular bokashi. I guess you got yourself a big brush. I like the lighter version because it is less obvious and the lighting on the figures seems to fit better.

Annie B said...

Thanks Anita for your thoughtful comment. And you too, Oscar. Congrats on the "new" computer! Christopher, nice to meet you. Tom, yes I got a big brush. I love it.

Seems like opinions are split about the dark vs. light versions. I like the lighter one a bit more for the same reason you do, Tom -- the lighting works better to my eye. But I also like the scarier mood of the darker sky.

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,
I particularly like the glow around the figures which, I guess, comes from a circular bokashi? Really nice effect!!

Annie B said...

Thanks Lynn. Yes it's the circular bokashi that gives the glow.