Friday, February 15, 2013

The Print From Hell Begins...

All of the deadlines have been met except one:  Barenforum exchange # 55, which I foolishly signed up for on Oct. 1, 2012 when Feb. 1, 2013 sounded years away.  I thought I needed something to occupy my time, and then I turned around and flew to North Dakota for a week, and then it was Thanksgiving, and then flew to ND again for Christmas, and then it was Dec. 31, 2012 and I discovered that the Sketchbook Project was due in two weeks.  Their  "next Jan." was tomorrow and my "next Jan." had been 2014.  Well, got to work quickly and did that and the portrait and now it is back to woodblock.

It all started with a simple drawing which I had planned to do Moku Hanga.  This is the drawing:




The theme is motion in nature - immediately I had thought of my daughter, when she was a toddler, and rode on a little seat on the back of my bike.  I updated it with a helmet, but in those days the only thing I really remember was a little plastic strap that went around her middle.  All during our rides she was absolutely dead quiet and I thought she must be scared to death and certain I was out to kill us both. In contrast, her older brother when he rode back there chatted continually about everything in sight.  I never had long straight blond hair, either - call it artistic license.


OK - so got the block carved and proofed and ready to print and realized that I had no way to register this beauty.  Out came the cheater registration system. Voila!  I lined everything up, got my margins all set and pulled some proofs for registration purposes and went to bed.

The next morning the blocks were all waiting for me and I went to work.


I had blocks for blue, red, brown,  and grey and yellow on one block, and a blended blue to green background block.  Oh oh!  Right away I can't get the background to line up properly.  Finally, after hours of trial and error I gave up and carved a new background and printed it - so far Moku Hanga is working great!

But, NONE OF THE BLOCKS WILL LINE UP AND REGISTRATION IS DRIVING ME NUTZ.
It was obvious that I should throw in the towel and start over, but I was already late, so what to do? What to do?  Fuss and fury, what to do!  I did what any half crazed, previously level headed printmaker would do, I opted for hand coloring and got to work on that, which went rather quickly compared to recutting half a dozen blocks.  The only problem was that it looked really goofy with a mix of even sides and sides that went off to nowhere.  So, cut another block!  A frame block to cover all the sins.  I mixed up some blu/black Akua Intaglio ink, rolled it onto the block and to the press with paper and rubber blanket.  Moku Hanga has been totally abandoned at this point.  My patience is caput.

Toddler Flight

It worked moderately well, but this was about as far as I could go with what I had.  Barely visible in this shot is a swirl of interference pigment, added via stencil,  which shimmers when the light hits it properly.  At this point I did throw all the towels in - (the washer) and rushed this lot to the USPS.  And, I want to tell you that I really don't know what they're worried about money-wise.  The fee was outrageous and should keep the USPS solvent for several years.  And, now I need to go write another check to Monica because what I included was pathetic.

One more thing - I want to apologize to all the #55 folk who have been eagerly awaiting this portfolio. This is the first time I've ever been late.  I promise that reformation is on my resolution list.



3 comments:

Terry Sargent Peart said...

It's a wonderful image and a wonderful print. Congratulations.

Annie B said...

Way to make it work! I'm impressed

Janis Doucette said...

It's refreshing to hear the truth! And to know I'm not the only one who does stuff like this! B'sides, the print looks great!