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-