Mr. Turtle is back

Mr. Turtle

Mr. Turtle

With all of the warm weather lately, I have been spending some of my mornings in the flowerbeds.  The nice temperatures and intermittent rains have started the morning weeding chores.  I had just finished one of the lower beds to the side of my studio and when I got up, there was Mr. Turtle almost beside me in the grass.  He was trucking right along (for a turtle, anyway) to the beds next to the gazebo.  I had been concerned about him after the sticky paper incident last fall because I hadn’t seen him after we cleaned and then freed him, so this was so wonderful for me to see.

I raced back into the house to get my camera.  By the time I got back he had moved under the edge of the evergreen shrubs where I had been weeding.  Much to his dismay, I plucked him up and set him down a few feet away so I could take his picture.  Shortly thereafter he continued on his journey.  I hope to see him often over the summer.  We’re kind of like pals after all of these years.

Just a touch of color

Shore bird

Well, when it comes to the block printing, I have a ways to go.  I feel all thumbs just yet and still have to get better judging the amount of ink to roll on.  Add to it the fact that I DON’T like to get my hands dirty, and there  are still some technical difficulties.

I printed both of the linocuts and I think I am pretty happy with them. I decided to make several copies at the same time and take the ones that weren’t quite as crisp and add a bit of watercolor to punch them up. I made it minimal to start but I decided I liked it that way.  They look a little folk artsy to me so I didn’t want to get too detailed.

Turtles

Thus far I have used both the mounted and unmounted blocks and have decided that while the unmounted blocks are a little bit easier to cut on, the mounted blocks are easier to print from.  Since the difference is not that great and I need all of the help I can get printing, I probably will replenish my stock with the mounted type.

I already have the next one decided so keep tuned.  Once again the inspiration was just a knick knack from around the house.

Back to the linocuts

shore bird linocut

After I finished the commission I decided to try a few more linocuts. I bought half a dozen just to experiment with and I think so far that the 5×7 size was a good choice. I was searching for inspiration so I grabbed my little sketchbook to draw a bit and see what happened. Well, what happened is that I saw that the last sketches I had done were of my wooden shorebirds. I had an aha moment and decided to use them as inspiration.  The birds are more like folk art and are not finely cut or painted but are pleasing to look at on the beam ledge as I walk up to the second floor.  I chose one that was standing erect and had a long beak.

Turtles

I also had a turtle in mind but the sketch I had made on the block didn’t please me so I had let it sit for a few days.  When I went back to it today, I decided to add more.  I had the image of a group of hatchlings making their way back to the water.  Compositionally, it seemed to work out better when I redrew it adding more.

I have no clue what they will look like printed up because I don’t have enough experience yet.  I do think I will add the watercolor again.  My only concern is how much the printing ink will bleed into the watercolor.  The printing ink is water based and responds to the watercolors.   That will be tomorrow’s job.  I am actually looking forward to it – after I clean up the mess I made the last time.