Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Stick With What You Know

A couple of days ago, I had the bright idea of adding color to my linoleum block prints. I've been in a Gee's Bend frame of mind, lately, and thought that I'd honor the work of the women of Gee's Bend by creating a few lino prints with a quilt motif cut somewhere within the image. I'd then take my Winsor & Newton Drawing Inks and, with brush in hand, I would add a bit of color to the patches. Wrong! I knew the minute that I brushed the first stroke of color onto the newly pressed print that I was going to regret it. I did. But, I didn't stop. I thought that since I had come this far I would just see the project thru and then critique the work later, instead of stopping mid-stream (or mid-stroke as the case was).

Most of you know that the quilts of Gee's Bend are saturated with color. I tried to match the colors using the many resources (pictures, books) that I had close at hand, but my drawings inks were much too bright and transparent. Awful. I kept at it, thinking that I could will the inks to do exactly as I wanted them to. Wrong, again. I printed a total of 7 prints on my "good" paper. By the time I was down to my last two "good" prints, I realized that I was going to have to throw my hat in the ring. Bummer. But, wait!! I had another brilliant idea. An epiphany! I decided to take the print to work with me and select five individuals whose judgement I trust. I'd email the print and let them decide if the color worked or not. If the majority voted thumbs up . . .then I would continue to work with color on future projects. If voted thumbs down, I'd put the inks away and stick with my tried and true formula: black ink; white paper.

This post shows the yet to be titled print with and without color. Shannon, Kim and Stacey voted "no", without hesitation. Makeda and April gave the color print a thumbs up. Darn, that meant 3 no's. Okay. Hmmmmm, I decided to do the next best thing (this is a democracy, right?) so I emailed the print to my brother, Robert, who loves me. He voted "yes" for color. Ha! A tie!! Now I was faced with a dilemma. I needed one more person who I could count on to vote "yes", to break the tie.

Who am I fooling? When I got home today from work . . .I put away the drawing inks. I'm going to stick with what I know.
Back to the drawing board.


Blogger janey said...

It's amazing how you can get such a distinct line in these cuts. At first I thought they were papercuts. JYour work is just beautiful. I just started woodblock carving and it's fast becoming an obession. I found you via your daughter's site. And I've just linked to your blog from mine.


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