Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 Day Challenge : Block Prints!

Challenge Two!
This challenge is a minimum of 5 block print projects. The basic rules are the projects must involve blocks I've already created or new ones. I can make prints, carve new blocks or at least the blocks must be used in a finished piece.

This is day two so there are two projects to report on. (I missed yesterday due to the Holiday here in the USA)

When I first put this idea into my list of future challenges I thought I would be just doing block printing. Then one day I was reading a chapter in Pam Carriker's Book “Art at the Speed of Life”. In it she uses single ply toilet paper as a paper mache technique used over forms she's made that when dry the paper has fit the form. If you want more information about it: and it's very cool, I recommend getting the book (or check your library system). The “ah ha” for me was I could do something similar with the blocks I've been carving over the years.

It worked well with some: not so well with others. Older ones the paper stuck to the block. Newer ones not at all. I think because of old ink and paint on the older blocks.

What happens is the paper fills the “negative” space and when dry and pulled off create a relief of the block. I found some that make great prints don't make great paper. Others do. One thing I tried this morning; and haven't quite finished is to print the infamous lizard block onto a blank block. I then carved it reversing the positive and negative spaces so that the paper would fill in the lizards body rather then the space around it. (hopefully these photos will help explain).

I then painted it with acrylics. Turquoise and silver. I think I'm going to redo it with copper. As soon as I buy some :)

The photo above is for the first project. You can see the original lizard on the left with the paper mache made from that on the bottom. The new lizard, made as described above and it's paper mache image on the right:

The next project was done to a block I call Owl's Roost. I loved how it looked and I painted it with Iridescent Bright Gold (fine) acrylic paint. Then sprayed it with red alcohol ink and watered down burnt umber to give it a tarnished gold patina. I'm really happy with the results. I'm going to try to actually gold leaf the second one I started at a later date to see how that looks over the faux painting style below. The image here doesn't show the gold showing through very well as well as I apologize for the glare. The image below that is the finished project, with the block in the center and on the left the paper mache dried, removed from the block and ready to be embellished.

Tomorrow I'm going to return to doing a regular block printing. I had an inspiration this morning while writing my morning pages today. I'll report back on Friday; the last day of this weeks challenge.

And for the gardeners I'll be reporting on how the garden is doing during my crazy summer. So stay tuned!! :)

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