Monday, January 23, 2023

Stony Beach Block Print

I've been working on a new reduction block print this month, of a winter beach in Well's Maine. I've come back to this same subject, one that I previously used in other print. That one focused more on the sky and water than this one, which focuses on the rocks. I'm drawn to the colors of winter landscapes. There are so many grays and other neutral tones, which really appeal to me. This color palette works well for a reduction block, as the colors layer well. I like the texture of the rocky shore with all the different shapes and hues. 

The original Soft-Kut block outlined with a black Sharpie

I used a pale yellow ochre for the first layer

After the yellow layer, I carved away all the areas that will remain that color

This image shows a light gray layer printed over the yellow one 

Carving away more rocks

This is the stage that I am at now. I went back over the sky and water to add a little more blue to those areas of the print. I have several more color layers to print before this image will be finished.

As I type this, we are in the middle of a snowstorm. Probably about 8 inches or more. It's very pretty, but I'll need to be heading out later for the second round of clean up! 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The last days of 2022

 In a couple of days, we say goodbye to 2022. The winter solstice has passed, and tiny bits of sunlight are being added each day. The pre-Christmas hustle and bustle has left us with empty boxes and wrapping paper to be stored away. The week between Christmas and New Years Day, leaves me with the hangover of cheer, along with the inclination to ruminate on the things undone,  but also the sense of a clean slate ahead. It's a time to start afresh, and to be thankful for life's blessings. Happy New Year!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Past Peak Foliage and a New Print

 As the month of October is rapidly reaching its end, I have been capturing a few images of the waning colors. 

The nearby lake has been partially drained this Fall

The bike trail covered by fallen leaves

The final harvest of tomatoes, and the last of the Orange Cosmos

We've had frost a few nights so far, and I've been taking in the plants that I want to over-winter in the house. I have a hard time letting go of plants, and I know I have way too many. So many of my house plants have a story behind them. Plants from clippings from my late grandparent's house, birthday plants, plants sent to us in sympathy of a loved one's passing, cactus that were tiny in one pot over 30 years ago, now monsters in their own containers. I have an orchid that a student gave to me many years ago, that faithfully blooms each year. My husband rescued a couple plants from his office as they weren't doing well, and now they are part of the menagerie. I complain a bit, but I truly enjoy having growing things around me!

I finished a small 5"x 7" reduction block print this week. It is another version of a winter stream that I photographed a few years ago while taking a walk around town. I created a larger, similar print previously, but this one focuses more on shadows on the snow.

Goffstown Stream

It's part of an edition of 16, and I'll be putting it in my Etsy shop soon. Also getting ready for the Two Villages Art Society's Members Show in Contoocook, NH.  The show runs from November 25-December 24th. and is a great place to shop for gifts!

Bye for now! Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 12, 2022

Island Light print progress

 Just about finished with my Island Light 2 print. I have a few individual prints that need a little touching up, but the bulk of the process is completed. I found that the darkest color ink mix that I was using, wasn't adhering to the paper as well as I would like. One issue that can happen, relates to the temperature and humidity of the studio. It has been very warm, so the ink was thinner than usual. I ordered some Akua Mag Mix, which is a magnesium based paste that can be added into the ink to stiffen it up. I think that was helpful.  Below is the state of the Soft-Kut block after all the layers. were carved away.                                 

This is the finished print made with the following layers:

"Rainbow roll" sky for a gradation of colors

Pale  blue

light medium blue

medium blue 


dark blue


I'll have this print available on my Etsy shop,  JGTentas, as soon as they are dry enough to ship!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, August 15, 2022

"Island Light" continued

  It's hard to believe that it is mid-August already! The summer always seems to fly by so quickly! When I was a full-time teacher, I'd be savoring the last couple of weeks, and trying to change my mindset about going back to work. Now I'm thinking how lovely the weather can be in September!

I'm still working on the "Island Light" (version 2) reduction block print. The lighter tones have been printed, and I've been doing a lot of carving in preparation for the darker areas on the windows and roofs.


It's tricky to cut away all the raised areas that I don't want any of the darker inks to get on. I've found that I sometimes need to create stencils to block off certain parts. 

I hope you are enjoying the process as much as I do! 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Mid-summer Printmaking

 I'm writing this in the midst of a summer heat wave. Looks like a week of 90 degree weather will run through the weekend, with occasional thunderstorms and high humidity. When it's this warm, I like to hunker down by the fan/AC, and catch up on indoor tasks!

Thanks to air conditioning I've been able to work on my latest print. This print is a re-do of of an older one using the same subject matter, but a little larger, and hopefully as well-liked as the first.

"Island Light" the original

First layer with a blend

Edition of 16 printed with the blend of inks

The block with first areas carved out

                                                                     Close up

                                                    Inking the plate with a light bluish gray

                                                              Second layer printed

I'm using Akua inks, a Soft-Kut block, and an Arches white acid-free paper for this edition. As I am printing without a press, it takes a lot of time and effort using a wooden spoon, to evenly adhere the ink to the paper.  For the next layer, I will first be cutting away the areas that I wish to remain this color, then printing again with a bit darker tone.

Stay cool! I'll update my progress on the new "Island Light".

Monday, June 6, 2022

Happy June!

 It's so wonderful to see the flowers blooming again, to hear the wrens trilling in the early morning, and to get out and enjoy the warm sunshine! Of course it's not all wonderful, with the black flies buzzing around one's head in the garden, and the woodchucks popping by to nibble the perennials, but overall it's still glorious after a cold winter and rainy spring. We finally had to put away all the bird feeders after a few nocturnal visits from a bear. We're still hanging up a suet feeder during the day, and bringing it in at night, as there is constant activity from catbirds, nuthatches, a variety of woodpeckers, blue jays, sparrows, and mockingbirds. Also the hummingbirds are back after their incredible journey from the southern hemisphere. It's hard to imagine those tiny birds migrating great distances!

Inspired by all the irises in bloom, I made a small 5" x 7" block print last week.

The first layer was pale purple, and the second layer a bit darker.

There was one more layer of darker purple, then a layer of green.

The final carved layer.

The finished image of an edition of 16. I used a Soft-Kut block, Akua inks, and BFK paper.

Have a great week!