A while back I mentioned I was thinking about making a print from this drawing, and I finally started working on it. Here are some of the stages the work has gone through so far.
An initial sketch, trying to hone in the forms and the interplay and balance of the positive/negative. After this, which I didn't like, I decided to try it as a two-color print, with the fern leaves indicated in a second color that also underlies much of the darker one and defines the overall rectangular shape - but obviously you can't see that here.
This is a sketch for the primary (darker) color and main block. I wanted this block to basically stand on its own, so the forms needed to be strong and work together.
Here the shapes are more refined and I'm starting to think about how I might do the carving.
The sketch transferred to the linoleum, first by transfer-paper and then with the lines darkened by an indelible marker.
After a few hours of carving. I'm learning as I go, here, knowing I may have to start over again. That's OK. A important challenge to me in printmaking is keeping as much of the energy and vigor of the original drawing as possible. That means not planning everything to a T, and cutting with energy and spontaneity as well as care, to put both variety and vigor into the lines. Designing the print itself is a challenge that flows from all my years in graphic design. But it will be years before I feel like I've gained real mastery in this medium.
We were in Ottawa on Wednesday and Thursday, where I saw some truly wonderful art -- I came home inspired. More on that tomorrow!