Mr. Turtle linocut

Box turtle linocut

When I decided to make another linocut after the Japanese maple leaf one, I once again fell to the pleasure of my box turtle friends.  I recently determined that there are actually 2, if not three Mr. Turtles wandering my flower beds.  I knew for sure that I had at least two when I was able to definitely identify two separate shell patterns.  One had the markings more splotchy and melded together than the other, which had rather distinct stripes.  There was a size difference too.

I think the one depicted here is Mr. Turtle Jr. with the slashy stripes.  Mr. Turtle Sr.  is quite a bit bigger. and has the more muddled markings.

Mr. Turtle III is marked with a combination of the two others.  Also, his size just seemed to be off of what I recalled of the other two.  Smaller maybe and he seemed to be leerier of me than the others, pulling himself inside his shell when I approached.  The others just kind of look up at me and stay out as long as I don’t try to pick them up.  Whatever.  He will get to know I mean him no harm if He continues to visit.

Advertisements

Japanese maple linocut

Japanese maple print

After I sold several linocut prints this spring, I decided to cut a few new ones.  I wanted to experiment with some new printing papers at the same time, so I ended up making this new piece and printing it and the replacement ones for sale simultaneously.

I have a lovely Japanese maple tree outside my front door which provided the inspiration for this piece.  One year we had a very early spring and the tree fully leafed out way too soon.  When we had the inevitable later frost, the tree was severely damaged and I though I might lose it.  I did some serious pruning on it and after a few years of looking on the funky side, it is now back to normal and I look at it with pleasure every day.

Redoing the studio linocut

Redone linocut

Redone linocut

I wasn’t really happy with the color print of the backyard studio, so I decided to redo it. Part of the problem I have been having with the prints I color is that the heavier paper is more textured and it is difficult to get an even print.  I went to the local box craft store to see if I could find an acid free heavier paper without so much texture. They carried a pad of Strathmore acid free mixed media paper with a smoother finish that had possibilities.  I bought it and made a couple of prints.  Definitely it was easier.  This one had better ink pickup on the whole than the more textured paper.  It isn’t quite as absorbent as fast, but if I take it slower and allow the watercolors a chance to sink in and dry, it does work.  I just think I need to practice with it some.  Because the black is more consistent, the watercolors have a chance to pop the image more.  I think I’ll keep trying it for the next few linocuts.

I had some new prints made from from my digital files this week, too.  After the last few years of work, I have pretty much run the gamut of the usable photos from my old analog camera, so I went ahead and made a few from my digital files.  It is so nice now that I can just look at my files and only print up the ones that turn out.  I used to have to take rolls and rolls of film to make sure I got some good shots.  It is certainly a lot cheaper too.  I have some shots from a visit to an outdoor dinosaur museum in Kentucky off of I-65 that have the makings of a few little boy linocuts and also downtown shots from Jasper Indiana where I had the paintings in the art show last September.  Maybe inspiration is striking again.  Anyway, those projects will be up in next weeks.

On a totally different note, please indulge a little motherly pride.  Our son ran in the 2015 USA Track and Field 100 mile National Championships in Texas on January 31.  A long time runner, he placed 12th in the men’s championship field and 23rd overall out of a field of 367.  Here is a link to our daughter-in-law’s blog with a picture.  I also have her blog in my blogroll if you can’t use the link for some reason under Beth’s Healthy Lifestyle Blog.  It is the previous post to the one up. https://treetoptrainingcultivation.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/endurance/

Hydrangea linocut

Hydrangea spike

Hydrangea spike

I have two beautiful hydrangea paniculata trees (pinky winky variety if you can believe it)  flanking my front door. I had never heard of them before the landscaper put them in, but now I think they are quite lovely. They flower late summer with a large spike at the end of a branch. Unlike the blue and pink hydrangeas that we are most are familiar with, the spike doesn’t fully flower out – I would say less than 10%. There are lots of seedy looking buds that never open. The ones that do are a soft pink and beige color. I clipped off a dozen branches last fall to dry and decided to use them as a linocut inspiration.

 

Colored hydrangea linocut

Colored hydrangea linocut

I like the linocut itself, but I am not sure I like the green ink.  I wanted to use something other than the black, but I am feeling rather so-so about this color.  Unfortunately, my inking palette is rather limited in this regard.

More red linocuts

Red Chinese dragon

Red Chinese dragon

After I made the red dogwood linocut, I decided to look through my older blocks and see what might look good in red too.  Most obvious was my Chinese dragon, since they can commonly be seen in red.  I think he looks pretty feistyand dramatic this way

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Then, as I continued to rifle through the linocut blocks, I found one of the early ones I made.  It hadn’t turn out the way I wanted, but since I have been doing them for a while now, I decided to modify it.  I actually removed t most of the background and made it more of a companion print to the previous dogwood one.  I wish I could change the blossoms a bit, but it’s not bad this way and I salvaged an old block into something more useful.

Printed and colored

Black and white

Black and white

Stuck in the house after yet another snowfall and extra cold days, I printed and then watercolored the daisy floral linocut from the last post.  I use the slicker side of a thin printmaking paper for the black one.  After mistakenly using that side for prints a few months ago, I decided I like the way it turned much better than the rougher side. Directions said either side could be used, but naturally I chose the rougher texture that I was more familiar with.  As it turns out, it is a little bit easier to get a smooth even print on the slick side.  I have a heavier, more watercolor weight paper for the colored one.  It only took one experiment to tell me that the thin paper buckles badly and doesn’t look very good. However it is much harder to get an even print on the thicker paper and sometimes I have to print several to get what I need.  I have decided to get another brayer.  Mine has to be close to 40 years old as I bought it for a college class.  I’m checking into what to get so if anyone has a suggestion, I’d appreciate information.

Colored daisies

Colored daisies

I decided to make the colored flowers hues close to the the real ones.  I don’t know what species they are, but they grow prolifically on the road side in late summer and are a deep gold/yellow.  They actually make a rather nice bouquet.

Our mac is temporarily down and in the shop for a virus check so I haven’t been surfing through other blogs very much. Hopefully, I’ll get it back in a few days and be able to visit everyone more often.

Summer flowers

Daisy linocut

Daisy linocut

I decided another linocut was in order for this week. I recently sold one of the colored dragonfly prints in my etsy store and much to my surprise, I didn’t have  another black and white to paint on.  I pondered a few days deciding what to do when my eyes fell on the disaster of the coasters and saw the one with the yellow daisy flowers. Hmmmm. I need to feel some possible end to these days of snow and cold and this just might do. After a quick sketch, this is what I came up with.

Tomorrow will be a print day for the flowers and the replacement dragonfly.  Friday will be the coloring day after I am sure the ink is totally dry.  I think I will make it a yellow flower, just like the watercolor for a breath of spring air – even though I know it is a summer bloom.

Previous Older Entries