Friday, November 12, 2021

November Days

 November has graced us with some very nice weather this year! Although as I write this, rain is coming down in buckets! 

I can't resist taking pictures on my walks. The colors of the foliage are ranging from subtle to vibrant, and it has been great to be able to get out and enjoy them.

                                                        Piscataquog River in Goffstown

Dorrs Pond in Manchester

 Uncanoonuc Mountains in the background

I have been working on some ideas for Christmas cards, and played around today with some textures using a Gelli plate. I had already carved out a series of snowflakes from small easy-cut blocks, to use as traditional stamps on a snowman design. Then I experimented a bit with the Gelli plate to make background textures for other cards. 

Golden Open acrylics

The Gelli plate can be used to make a variety of textures

                                                Some variations of the snowflake textures.

I will have some of my reduction block prints in an art show later this month at the Two Villages Art Society Gallery in Contoocook, NH. I framed five of my newest prints to hang in the show. The gallery will be running this exhibit and sale from November 26--December 24th.

You can never have too many cat pictures! Hello from Wiley.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The finished print

I finally finished the final layer on my "Cascade Falls" print. It takes so long to complete these highly detailed prints, as I have to hand print each of the 16 prints for each color layer. I think this print has about 8 different color values in it, so that's 128 individual pieces of paper that must be rubbed with a baren and wooden spoon. A printing press produces a quicker, more even print, but I like the ability to control the pressure on individual areas of the block. 

I use Akua Intaglio inks for most of my prints. They are made with soy oil, and can be cleaned easily with soap and water. I use diluted Dawn detergent for cleaning, as it cuts the greasiness of the inks. 

The prints take time to dry thoroughly, so I leave them hanging for a week or more, then I stack them in my print drawers with paper in between each sheet. The more layers, the longer it takes for drying.

A close up of the block near the end of carving

The last layer on this print is a mixture of Mars Black and Burnt Umber. 

I'll be posting this print in my Etsy shop, JGTentas when it's dry enough to package up.

Have a great week!!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Progress on "Cascade Falls" Print and Welcome Autumn

 I've been busy working on the current reduction block print of the Cascade Falls trail in Waterville Valley, NH. There are so many leaves, rocks, and other textures to carve away, that it's taking a long while to fully complete! It seems that the more prints I work on, the more complex and intuitive the process becomes. I'm fully hand printing each layer, which allows for more control of pressure in specific areas, but it also slows down the printing of each stage of the image. I have also been switching to a slightly heavier and whiter BFK printmaking paper, that holds up better to multiple color layers.

Here are a few photos of the ongoing progress.

yellow tones added to background

mixing ink for a layer of green

more green
The printing plate with brown ink

The brown layer

more green

This is the state of the print today. I have to carve away all the areas that I want to stay the current colors. I think there will be just one more layer of a dark neutral gray, which will define all of the darkest shadows.

Sunflowers blooming in the yard! Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Cascade Falls Block Print

 It's hard to believe that it is September 1st already. The summer flies by so fast, and this is my second year of not having to go back to teaching.  I miss my colleagues, and the kids, but I'm happy to be retired! I really enjoy being able to work in my studio, attend the morning classes at the gym, and have some flexibility in my schedule! 

I just started working on a new print of the Cascade Falls Trail in Waterville Valley, NH. I went hiking recently, during a weekend attending the Women's Leadership Summit, a group connected with Plymouth State University. It was a great time, and we had a lot of fun being outdoors in the beautiful White Mountains.

I just love the rocks!

This is a Soft-Kut block with Sharpie marker.

I carved out the white areas, then printed a light blue first layer.

The second layer is a light gray. 

Now I will be carving out some of the gray areas for the rocks. There are so many tones on the rocks, I'm not sure how many layers it will take to define them. I also think I'll be carving and printing the foreground rocks separately from the greens of the forest in the background.

Stay tuned! 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Piscataquog River Print

 I've been busy getting ready for the Uncommon Art on the Common Art Sale, which is taking place in Goffstown Village tomorrow. It has been a couple of years since I last participated, due to weather and Covid, but it's always a lot of fun! I'm selling block prints, and my friend Lori has gorgeous felted animals, as well as prints.

I just finished, in the nick of time, a new print of the Piscataquog River. The river runs right through the center of Goffstown Village, and is a great place to observe wildlife. I've recently seen a bald eagle, and an osprey flying overhead. 

Here's the steps in creating the new print that I just finished.

The "soft-cut" block is ready to carve. I use a black sharpie to outline the transferred drawing.

Warm yellow tone for the first color

Light blue for second layer

more carving, then a couple gray layers for the sky

First green layer
Second green layer
third green layer
Final green for the finished print!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Happy Fourth of July!

 Happy Fourth of July! Just because the weather is dreary, it doesn't mean we can't celebrate the holiday!

I was looking through some of my older illustrations, and found this cute one! Hopefully by Monday, the sun will be back out, and people can enjoy their beach day, cookouts, and fireworks! 

I posted my latest block print on Etsy today. Even though it portrays the end of the summer, you can imagine all the Adirondack chairs in full use this month.

"Summer's End, Little Squam Lake, Holderness NH"
(image size-7" x 14")

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2021

"Adirondack Chairs" Block Print

 Just taking a break from my studio work, to post the block print that I finished today. I've been working on the "Adirondack Chair" image this month, and I'm generally pleased with the way it came out. I incorporated a few stencils, as well as a small brayer to ink individual areas. 

Prints hanging up to dry

Akua Inks

                    The finished print (fuchsia edition)

The location of the original photo, that inspired the print, is Little Squam Lake in Holderness NH. 

I'm enjoying the beginning of this summer! The mask wearing is mainly over (had to wear one today at the post office), and the weather has been lovely for the most part! Picked strawberries at one local farm, and have been working a lot in the yard. I planted a variety of herbs--now have to remember to use them. When you live in New England, you have to appreciate every summer day! 

Happy Weekend!