Friday, October 30, 2009


I hadn't done one of the Different Strokes from Different Folks challenges for quite some time and had been thinking about doing the latest one ever since it was offered; but with the woodblock due and paintings to finished, and numerous other things, all I did was just think about it.... every few days I'd go over to the site and see what had been done... and think about it some more. I knew when I first saw the photo that I'd like to do a painting with some collage in it. Thinking the deadline was Thursday night, I pulled out the collage stuff on Wednesday and started cutting and pasting and kept it up all day. I ended up covering what painting I'd done completely with collage. Luckily I looked at the site that evening and saw that I was wrong about the deadline.... it was Wednesday, not Thursday night that it was due...I rushed to the studio and scanned what I'd done and cropped to just part of it which is here. Maybe I'll work on it some more... how I love cutting and pasting. But I'm back to less fun things now. I cut mats all day today and tomorrow will do some framing. Much to do in the next week before I take off for a two week trip to Washington and California.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I finished the nasturtium print for the Baren Exchange 42 last Sunday. Here is a bit of some of the process:

I decided to do something a little different..... use linoleum for the key block.I had never printed with lino using the Japanese method (pigment, water, and paste) and was planning to do the key block with oil base.... but happily found that the watercolor and methyl cellulose that I'm used in this worked fine.

And I also was surprised and pleased that I could do somewhat fine lines using the linoleum. I have never been able to get much detail with wood. And it was so easy to cut and my arthritis didn't flair up at all, though by the time I'd cut all the wood blocks I had a pretty painful blister on my middle finger.

Most of my prints in the last few years have been reduction. This is a small print and I'd at first thought I'd might do some reduction, but like the idea of doing more prints later. I might do some reduction later in a final edition.

After trying different ways of registration, I find the following gives me the best results:

I cut my key block and then cut my kentos in all of my blocks before transferring my key block to the additional blocks.

This poor picture shows me rolling oil base ink onto my linoleum key block. I will print onto a piece of tracing paper.

Here is my piece of tracing paper on the lino block after I have rubbed the back with my baren.
You should print a new piece of tracing paper for each color block.... If you use the same one the ink will build up and make the lines print on the block wider than they are.... I found this out and it caused problems on one of the blocks.

On the bottom I have placed the printed tracing paper face down on to the block into the kento marks that I'd already cut. The kentos aren't very evident in this picture. I will rub the back and it will off set (transfer) from the paper onto the wood. I had already offset the key block image on the other side of the block (on the top of this picture). You can see the kentos better in the top one.

I was taught to transfer the kento along with the image from the key block and cut along with each color block. But when I did that, I seemed to always be off on the registration.... its easier to get the paper in the kento correctly than to cut a kento correctly. After I cut each block, I clean the oil image off with paint thinner. (I had of course cleaned the key block and roller off after printing the tracing papers.) Some of the oily ink image stays on the color blocks (you can see some in the following pictures of the blocks) but doesn't affect the print.

I didn't take pictures of the prints in each stage, but here are the blocks.

No need to say what color they printed. The yellow and the aqua combined to make green. The while speck is something on the scanner.

I cut a seventh block with just the bloom on the bottom and the bottom of the larger bottle.


Here is the final print.... at least what I hoped for. Thanks to my too thick lines when I reused the tracing paper when I transferred my image I had some mistakes in the background block .... I've corrected it here some with a brush and watercolor.

Since my finger was in no shape to cut anymore, I decided to leave out the yellow background for this edition.
It wasn't just the yellow background block that wasn't right....the stem just below the yellow flower is the most obvious which I thought I'd fixed but made worse and didn't realize until I was done.

I used a product that I'm sold on..... DAP PLASTIC WOOD CELLULOSE FIBRE FILLER. I corrected several little mistakes and will fix the background block. I don't know if it will adhere to the linoleum, but will try it as there are a few slips there too.

Now the printing things are put away and I'm back in painting mode.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I have 2 big pots of belladonna amaryllises which bloom often and are often the only thing blooming around here. I painted the flowers last year and did the jar and background this week. I'm thinking I'd better put a shadow or maybe paint on a table to ground the jar and flowers... or maybe not.

Me and my 25 pound cabbage. I made sauerkraut out of most of it.

Monday, October 5, 2009


So far, this and my other blog have been just current work. Well, today I am starting showing some things from the past. I just haven't been productive enough to keep this blog active.... just not much enthused to get much work done. My little postcards are about all I've managed to do all summer. Well, hopefully my looking and thinking about these older things will get me going in the right direction again.... at least in some direction.

But first I do have something new to show. I finished this painting today. The flowers were painted from life a couple of weeks ago. It took me a while to decide how to do the back ground. I had first painted the gray with gouache, but decided it needed something more, so added the design today. This is the way I approach most of my floral still lifes.... paint the flowers then decide what to put around them.

And the name of this post is Nasturtiums, so I've found a few old paintings of them.

This was a small study I did of the same flowers and jars.... if you follow my Watercolor Postcard blog, you would have seen it there.

This is the oldest of the paintings here..... it was probably done about 15 years ago. The color is way off in the photo and its blurred. The black is gouache, painted after the flowers.

This was painted from life in the Gustavus Inn green house in 1996.

This has a gouache background too.
This one is small, though the image here seems big compared to the others. In all of these but the second one, the flowers are pretty much life size, so you can kind of guess at the size of the paintings.

The top of this one was cropped in the photo.

I don't know what to say about this one.

And lastly, this one which is my favorite.

Looking at these, I'm remembering that most of them were done about this time of year...... when nasturtiums were the only flowers left in the garden and usually a somewhat productive time.