Monday, April 10, 2017

Bundleflower Linocut - Carving

This post was supposed to be the final post about the bundleflower...but I had no idea after I cleaned the red color from the last print that the plate would be so "pretty in pink".  So again I had another long photo session to document the carving. (This is the third post in a series - here are Post 1 and Post 2.)

Below you can see what the plate looked like before and after carving for the final color.  I had to remove all the seeds so those sections would remain red and it felt a bit like carving the seeds out of a pumpkin. In the beginning it was hard for me to "destroy" the plate, but once I got going it felt good to clear it away.

Here are a few photos of the plate mid-carving where you can still see lots of red.

Once I cleaned up all the shavings and finished carving, the plate seemed so "clean" and I noticed how nice the colors of the pink and cream plate were against the brown fiberboard of my carving table.

As you may or may not know, when I take photos I am the opposite of a landscape photographer.  One of my favorite things is getting up really close to my subjects because when you are that close you see things and learn things you never could have known were there.  Its like getting close to a mystery and, perhaps if you are lucky, a few secrets will be whispered in your ear.   

When I started photographing this plate I looked down and realized I had created a landscape... a vast panorama in which I intimately knew every pathway and gulley.  And it made me wonder where it all came from and what else was inside of me waiting to be known?

(Maybe it is weird to quote myself, but this photo called for it.)

In some of the photos the plate looked bubblegum pink and the whole thing seemed so "girly" it made me laugh.

The photo below reminded me of a big, fat, pink fiddler crab with two eyes poking out at the top and pincers everywhere (or a character from a Miyazaki movie).

The video shows a short clip of me carving the plate.  I am taking away the sections where I want the red color to remain.

I was going to post a video of me pulling the final color from this plate but I decided to save it for the last post. Instead I will leave you with this lovely quote:

“One of the strangest things is the act of creation.

You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument.

You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena.

And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form.

It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble.

You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing.

You have glimpsed the divine.”

― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

The final print is now available on my website,


Frances said...

The plate itself is so beautiful, I would mount it and present it as an artwork of its own. Gorgeous plate and prints!

Nessy said...

Frances, thank you for your kind words. The final plate is dark brown now and not as "pretty" as it was in pink, but I do think it would be fun to show it next to the final print. I will think about that when I show it. Thanks again for checking out the blog!