But it's a new year, time for a new start, and first on the docket was a White-Breasted Nuthatch. I really want to do a series of linocuts highlighting the animals of Upstate NY. Two weeks ago I went x-country skiing at Beaver Lake and saw one of these guys, a little gray and white puffball, trying to keep warm- and I thought, "that's it-! That's my first subject!"
This was my first reduction of 2010 AND the first time in years I tried a piece of linoleum with the wood already factory-glued to the back. I had a bad experience with this backed-linoleum years ago (it was REALLY old and hard to carve) so I've avoided it, but cutting lino yourself, finding a backing board, cutting the board to size and gluing it yourself is a PITA and I was having problems with my self-glued boards going through my press adequately. I decided to give the pre-backed lino another spin, and bought a 5x7 piece at the city art store. It was really nice, a bit more crumbly than some battleship lino I've carved but not bad at all.
I carved away all the parts of the print I wanted to keep white (the paper color) and inked up a with a mix of very light grey (black, process blue and titanium white)...
...it's always so fun to see the picture start to emerge!
Second reduction meant carving away more of the block, and printing in a slightly darker gray...
Finally, last reduction! I carved away even more and then printed in a dark gray/black:
YAY! I loved the way it came out. Unfortunately I forgot to carve my chop in, though. Can you believe it? I tried adding it later as a stamp but it came out really badly, so I nixed it. I think I'll have an edition of about 10 on this.
Here is the last stage of the block: