I have been working on some new images, three of which are going along with my urban landscape series, and the fourth is one I have been toying with for a while. I have decided to do all four in linoleum, and to make them reduction prints. Why all four? Mainly because I have been wanting to play with the reduction method of color printing recently, and I plan to use similar colors in several of them.
Since most of the time I have to work in the studio comes in chunks I find it easier to work on several prints at once, trying to keep them all at similar stages in the process. I will spend time creating images from my ideas, determining what size, shape, and material the plate should be. After making those decisions (sometimes they are made by what scrapes I have ready) I will start transferring my designs to the plate.
I have two basic methods for drawing the image onto the wood block or lino. For the first method I like to have a base idea, and actually sketch my thoughts directly onto the plate, erasing and reworking as I go. I have done several prints like this, and find it enjoyable to let the plate size help determine my final image. For an example of this look at Stage Fright, Moving On, and Cityscape #4 in my printmaking gallery. All three prints started with an idea that was pretty well formulated on how I was going to print the image. The only thing I did not have figured out was the exact final image. While Cityscape #4 the latest of the three to be printed, I actually started the drawing and inital carving shortly after I started working on Stage Fright.
My second method invovles a more techinical approach. I have a list of ideas that I keep, some with images already in development, others just passing thoughts or images in my mind. Working from this list I start to gather photographs, during this step I often drive through Tulsa, taking countless snapshots of all sort of objects and people. Sometimes I ask friends or family to pose for reference shots (see Be the Change). From this collection of images I select the ones I will meld to make a new image, a sort of collage that I use for a reference. While I normally use Photoshop in the collage process, I do occasionally make a physical collage depending on whether I start with digital or print images. From this point I tranfer the image onto the block using transfer paper, altering the final image as I go.
Below are the prints I am currently working on. At the moment I have the background on all four plates already cut, and ready for the run of printing. Unfortunately I have been trying to get over a chest cold, and have not been able to work in the studio. While I do have heaters to warm the area up, it still remains to cold with my persistent cough. I am hoping to get out there and print these in the coming weeks.
Small Lino cut approx. business card size, 2-color, I am thinking white and black on light cream color paper.
Small Lino cut approx. a little larger than business card size, 3-color, I am thinking white, yellow, and black on light cream color paper.
Reduction print, approx. 4 in x 8 in, image inspired from a recent trip while passing box truck. 3 color, black, gray, and tan.
Reduction print, of a photo I took of my grandfather several years ago. Not sure on the number of colors as of yet. I currently have it set up for at least 3, but may use more.