Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Northern Flicker -Linocut

As promised- the linocut I carved and printed last night. The scanner at work is broken so I had to take a picture of the print with my camera- it came out looking like black ink on gray paper, but it is actually dark brown/umber ink on "natural" off-white Kitakata paper. I have never used Kitakata before (have I?) and I really liked it, especially since I didn't print this on my press but just rubbed the paper against the inked block with a wooden spoon. The Kitakata drank the ink right up- nice, nice paper. The only thing I don't like about it is that you can see the machine lines in the paper- they look like veins almost. The lady at my local art store told me what this is called but I forgot (anyone?). I would rather not see veins in my paper- I like it bland!

I'm really happy with how this linocut turned out- my first successful print in months lol! I like the graphic quality and the expressionistic background. And the bird came out looking like a bird. There are some things I'd like to fix of course, but overall... I am happy.

Back in April, a flock of 5 Northern Flickers settled in my backyard to forage in the grass for bugs. I have never seen this type of bird in "real life" before (and in the city, too!) and they are so strange looking- striped backs, spotted chests, a black mantle on their chest and red teardrop shapes on the sides of their heads. I couldn't believe I had all of these strange creatures suddenly poking around outside my kitchen window! It was an amazing feeling and I made a mad dash for my bird book to verify my visitors. I found out later that flickers are a member of the woodpecker family but unlike most woodpeckers that are seen hanging on trees, flickers are most often seen on the ground looking for ants.

I wanted this linocut to somehow capture the beauty of the flicker and the feeling of -luck?blessing?- I felt to be visited by them. And after that week, I never saw them around again until... this afternoon. Believe it or not, I was preparing the dogs' dinner today and was attracted by a movement outside the kitchen window. I looked out and sure enough... a single flicker, poking around in the grass! What a beautiful critter!

I am now off to read for awhile and will pop outside now and then, hoping for a peep at the big meteor shower that is supposed to happen tonight! We'll see-



Bridget said...

Jennifer! It is stunning!!!!

Constantina said...

Oh Jen! It's lovely!

All my tomorrows said...

That is beyond beautiful..and I LOVE birds..love it love it.

Just a comment on Lucy from several posts under: it sounds to me like she has LP (laryngeal paralysis). It is very common in older greyhounds and causes the weezing, shortness of breath and such that you've been hearing. One of mine has it. I try to keep him cool, not too much over doing it on walks in the heat and I give him an antacid (prilosec, tagamet, etc) once every three days. That seems to help for whatever reason.

Worth checking with your vet on this. There is a tie-back surgery they can do it if it gets REALLY bad, but mostly you have to "lijoanieschaefer1@yahoo.come with it" :-(

All my tomorrows said...

Wow not sure what happened there but it should have said "but mostly you have to live with it" in the last bit. Weird. I don't even know what all that stuf is...

Sarah said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it...I think you should do more birds!!! Maybe a woodpecker series...woodpeckers are my favorite!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi jen!

it is fabulous!

i love the flicker and the background you surrounded him with!


Katka said...

I LOVE this print. You're right, it has the beautiful graphic quality that makes linocuts so appealing.

And I admire your courage to sketch in public. I haven't been able to work up to sketching in as public a place as the zoo.