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After the 2nd color

Where'd my red carbon lines go?


Printing the 2nd color of “The Hunt” project went much smoother than the first. Woodcut can be a temperamental medium, but once you have a handle on how a particular block prints, you just need to repeat the formula until the edition is complete. Of course, something new could always go wrong, but that wasn’t the case this time. I’m now at the last stage of carving and hope to print the final color no later than Thursday. There’s just one little stumbling block.

If you compare the photo here with the photo to the right, you might note the red lines in the former. Those are my carving guidelines. My now very hard to see guidelines. I knew this was a risk, but I had hoped the shellac I coated the block with would repel enough ink to not obscure the lines. Whoops.

Fortunately all is not lost! The lines are still slightly visible, and I do have my sketches to refer to as I work, so I just have to be deliberate in my carving.

“The Hunt” continues

Carving resumes after the first layer of color is printed

After a problematic 8 hours in the atelier on Wednesday, I returned Thursday night to finish printing the first of 3 colors. I’ll be spending today carving away all of portions of the block meant to remain yellow, and plan on printing the second color tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a smoother session than the first!

Another peek at “The Hunt” block

The hand of the artist makes an appearance

Most of the large paper white sections have been removed from the block at this point. There’s now one last text block to carve as well as the hands and some other little details. I’m looking forward to inking and printing the first color layer Tuesday or (more likely) Wednesday.

June projects

Small text is the bane of my existence

I’m working towards two major deadlines this month. First, my contribution to “The Hunt”. This piece is based upon an antique medical apparatus in the OHSU medical archives which I examined at length earlier this year. Researching its usage has lead to many revelations regarding past medical treatment — and increased my gratitude for modern medicine! Hygiene in particular stands out as low-tech yet major innovation. (Just look at the history of Puerperal Fever some of the most rampant outbreaks were caused by doctors attending births immediately after performing autopsies.) We now take it for granted that doctors will wash their hands and tools will be sterile. Of course, not all we do in treating illness is perfect; I’m certain in 100 years people will be looking back at modern practices as quaint and primitive.

The photo in the upper left is just a small portion of the block in progress. The end result will be a three color reduction print.

Also in the works is a new piece to debut at The Congregation Gallery’s “Necropolis” show opening July 16th.

Sea Serpent proof

Sea Serpent woodblock & proof

Here’s that little sea serpent block and one of the proofs. To give you an idea of scale, he paper measures about 4×6″. It really is a very small block! I have a couple of larger projects due for completion in June, but I think it is taking the time to print an edition of this block as well. I personally enjoy collecting small prints and feel I’d be remiss in my duties as a printmaker if I didn’t produce some of my own.

A breath of fresh air

Sea Serpent mini-block

After spending the last couple of months working on projects I cannot yet reveal, and looking at another month of secretive work ahead of me, I needed a break. So here it is, the result of taking an hour and a little scrap sized piece of wood to just have fun.

Speaking of fun, I’ve been talking to Jane Pagliarulo about having a weekly relief printmaking night at Atelier Meridian. We’re still hammering out the details, but the basic idea is to give beginners and novices the opportunity to carve and print woodblocks with an experienced printmaker (me) available to assist and advise. Attendees would also be welcome to bring and work with linoleum, though I can’t promise any special expertise in the material. More details as they solidify.

Free Shipping & Lovecraft news

"Flora"

Flora -- Woodcut print 2011

Given the string of local events this month, I thought a bit of free shipping might be nice for the non-locals (and stuck-at-home locals). Order from my either of my Etsy shops through April 1st and use this coupon code for free domestic (USA) shipping: SHIPFREEMARCH

Raineysmith.etsy.com General works
Lovecraftian.etsy.com Mythos works

International collectors, I’ll be happy to sweeten your order with some bonuses, or e-mail me at Liv.raineysmith@gmail.com so we can arrange an discount equivalent to the domestic offer for you.

H.P. Lovecraft fans, mark your calendars! I’m excited to announce The Lovecraft Bar is having their first Dark Art & Craft fair on March 27th. I’ll be digging out the last of my Lovecraft jewelry (still half price because it isn’t gone yet), and of course bringing all my most monstrous art out to play including the parchment leather prints.

Love Craft Fair at The Lovecraft tea house and bar.

Sunday March 27th 12pm-6pm
421 SE Grand
Portland OR 97214