Sunday, August 31, 2008

Setting the Bar (for myself) a Bit Higher

You've seen this image before.
I created this design as a needlepoint about four years ago and then recreated it as a linoleum block relief print. It's one of the first images that I printed on my press.

A few months ago, a friend of mine (we'll call him S.R.) implied that he was slightly disappointed with my prints that he had seen in the Southern Roots exhibition. He said that he had expected to see something slightly different. I was a bit shocked by his comment but realized that he had a good point. I entered the juried art festival circuit in October 2006. It's now 2008 and although I am not lacking in technical proficiency or new imagery, I haven't pushed myself. I've become a bit comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. My prints are basically all the same: 5 x 7 or 9 x 12, double matted and framed in black.

Okay, so S.R. challenged me. . . and I've accepted the challenge. This print -shown- is one of three blocks that I cut and printed this month. And they're large!! I hand-printed (meaning that I had to use a baren to apply pressure to create the impression) the images. Printing 12 x 18 has taken me out of my comfort zone. But believe it or not I like the larger size. . . a lot! Rubbing the baren over the back of the paper transfers the pigment from the inked block to the paper. I'm acting as a human printing press! The energy to produce the perfect print has to come from me! Imagine that. It's very physical and I've discovered that I really don't mind that the finished prints are not stark, opaque black. I printed on paper with a lot of tooth, initially, and the paper did not take the ink as smoothly, but left some interesting textures.

I'm very pleased with my large prints. I've also stepped outside the box and I've selected a different type of frame. Silver. Lovely.

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Blogger Donna Branch said...

I love the larger prints and enjoyed visiting your current exhibtion at the Central Main Library Gallery. Congrats on your (first?) solo. Kudos.

8:54 AM  

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