Waiting for the Big Snow

The weather reports keep pushing the start of snow here out by an hour at a time. I hope it misses altogether. So far just intermittent drizzly rain. The other day I walked the dam. It was lovely to be out there after a workout at the gym.

Near the car park.

At the place I turn around to head back.

And the downed trees cleared off the path.

Lots of time to draw in the Bird Stories book.

A rock pigeon. Lots of them under the pier at the dam.

And a starling to finish off the four sides of rusted pages.

I think I should do a whole page of bird legs and feet to get more practice in. I did all the carving on the owl wood block. At least I think this is all.

I am intentionally leaving some vertical marks in the background to add atmosphere.

Looking at these photos I think a bit more black carved away on his face.

Yes, definitely, now that I am looking at this full view. His face and a bit more of his body needs lightened. The knot in the wood will have to be ground out because it resists my carving tool. Later this afternoon I might go back to it.

When I got this far I decided not to do an inking up to test it until I invested in a new brayer. All the other ones I have are cheap ones and no wider than four inches. Which means I have to roll over several times in different directions to cover the block. I went online to McClains printmaking supply and ordered a new Japanese brayer that is a bit over eight inches wide. Nothing quite like Japanese printmaking tools for wood blocks.

I just now spent the last half hour or more looking at wood block printmaking online. Some blocks took three years to carve and it is reflected in the finished print. I am not at that place where the perfection is most important. What appeals to me about the wood cut over wood engraving and linoleum block printing is the mark of the wood itself. It is a less perfected image and more obviously made by taking tools to wood. There is a simplicity and direct communication from a pine board and carving tool. The images I saw were either extremely well done or super simplistic. Not much in that in-between range of wood cuts associated with early printmakers. But not Japanese…those are beyond perfection.

I got my confidence back up before going back at it by typing in “white line printmaking”. I felt chuffed seeing my name come up fairly often in that category of block printing. I can do this. I can get this owl right….or at least right enough.

Til later…