Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Laughing Gulls Print

I signed up for a "print exchange" through the Sketchbook Project this summer. The directions were to make an edition of 11 prints for the exchange.  The paper size had to be 5" x 7" so the actual print will be smaller. One print will be kept for their library, and the rest will be sent to 10 other people involved in this project. I will also receive 10 random prints from all over the world. I've done one of these before, and it's exciting to see how other artists interpret the theme, which this time is "Greetings From A Distant Land". 

I used a vinyl-rubber "Gomuban"plate,  Akua Inks, and Rives Light paper for this image. I did not use a press this time (like I did for the lobster print), as I was home and wanted to see how the Gomuban plate printed by hand. Not bad.

Here is the finished print of Laughing Gulls.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finished a new print!

White Mountain Gorge, NH

I've been working on this print most of the summer! You can see by the finished plate below that there are a lot of different textures in this image. I've lost track of how many layers in all, but around seven or eight. Sometimes I had to print the same color multiple times to get it dark enough. This print was made using a "soft cut" block, which means I had to print all the layers by hand without using a printing press. The height and squishiness of the soft, flexible block makes it difficult to print with a press. If there is too much pressure on it, it can become distorted and stretched out.

Two more weeks of summer vacation before I have to go back to work. We are in the middle of 90 degree heat wave this week.  I'm trying to finish up loose ends before the new school year begins. I have signed up for a "print exchange" through the Sketchbook Project that is due by mid-September, as well as the Hopkinton Historical Society"s annual art show, which also has work due at that time. I'll put some photos up of my progress in a subsequent post. Stay cool!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Grow" Illustration Friday

My idea for this week's Illustration Friday prompt---"Grow"

We've had our kitten "Wiley" for about 5 weeks, and she is really growing fast! The tiny little fluff ball is getting lean and long. She's not a lap cat yet, but she likes to be where people are hanging out. When I'm on my computer or working on a drawing, she's usually laying somewhere close by.

There were a few thunderstorms going through today, and the air is still very humid. We need the rain as it's been quite hot the past couple of weeks. They call these the "dog days" of summer, but it is all about keeping the cat cool here!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Lobster Print

I just posted my new "lobster" print on my Etsy shop. I'm really excited about a new block printing material that I used for this project. I used a Gomuban plate that I've learned is a regular staple in Japanese classrooms. It's much softer than linoleum, but firmer than Easy-cut. It carves beautifully and can be printed using a press. Most of my other prints are printed by hand using the Easy-cut blocks, but this material is definitely something that I'm going to explore. The thickness of the Gomuban is only about an 1/8 of an inch, with blue on one side and green on the other, with a black core. The Akua inks that I used for the lobster print went onto the block nice and thin. Using a template on the press as well as pins and tabs, gave me strong color and excellent registration.

Plate on left with 2 color print stage on right

Final stage, wrapped and ready to go!

I'm also in the middle of another printing project using an Easy-cut block of a rushing stream. My daughter took the photo, but she is not sure exactly where it was taken---somewhere north of Plymouth.  It's similar to another mountain stream piece I finished recently. The Easy-cut is handy when I'm working at home without a printing press.

Feeling like summer is flying by way to quickly! So many projects, so little time!

*McClain's Printmaking Supply Catalog carries the Gomuban plates, and will send a free sample if requested.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Illustration Friday "nature"


Having a little fun with the mouse I like to draw! Wish I had a hammock in a cool shady spot right now. Heading into another stretch of 90 degree weather with high humidity this week. I think I'll stay in front of the fan and work on my projects. No real complaints from me--I'll take summer in all its extremes rather than the ice and snow of winter!

Posting this illustration on time this week on the Illustration Friday site! Yay!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Another late one for Illustration Friday. The prompt was "treasure" last week. I tend to be the collector of old family memorabilia and genealogy stuff. I'm always curious about the stories behind the photos and postcards, and other correspondence that has been saved.

I'm working on a couple of new prints this week. One of a lobster, and another one of rocks and a rushing river. My new kitten"Wiley" is a bit of a distraction. She either wants to play, or plop down right where I am working. She's practically sleeping on my keyboard right now, and I'm trying to type over her body!

Can't believe it's Friday already--have a good weekend!