09 March 2022

First Print of 2022


Watercolor woodblock print (moku hanga)
20 x 14 inches (43 x 28 cm) image
Made from 3 blocks, approximately 30 hand-rubbed applications of color
Edition of 4 on 26 x 19 Kitaro Kozoshi paper

I'm returning to my series of prints called I Was a 20th Century Lesbian, this time with a group of prints I'm calling "The Mysteries." This new group of prints appropriates religious language to sacralize lesbian/female eroticism/sexuality. 

As a 20th century lesbian I lived through many decades of having my sexuality demonized, in both political and personal spheres, and I’m seeking in this work to invoke the opposite, to claim my right as a human being to relate to the divine in my own way, and to proclaim the sacredness of the body. All bodies.

I carved the highlights in the "flower" shape because I wanted the two sides to be symmetrical and I didn't trust that I could do that with freehand brush-created bokashi (color blends), but it was very tricky to go from carved blends to brush blends. These curves were very difficult to create in the hard-edged medium of relief printing. You can see below my first attempt, which failed in a big way.

Here you can see the carved highlights, printed reduction style, and the sheen of the gold ink I used.
Still doesn't look too bad, but it turns out I had already gone astray by keeping the back portion of the "flower" too solid. I should have started the shading much earlier in the process.

I panicked as I kept going and saw that it wasn't working out, which caused me to overcompensate and add too much pigment too fast. I finally abandoned the image and started over.

The second try was much closer to what I had imagined.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Stunning! Thanks so much for sharing your process as well as the finished work.