Here's my second white line woodcut. Below left is the white pine wood cut to about an 8" square. Below right is the finished print.
A BRIEF WHITE LINE HOW-TO
Here's how I made this print - first, I transferred my drawing to the wood using transfer paper. Then I used an x-acto knife to cut along the lines of the drawing. Using thumbtacks, I pinned my paper to the right side border (this kept the paper out of my way when I was painting since I'm a lefty). To print, I painted watercolor onto a section of the wood up to the edges of the carved lines, then lowered the paper onto the surface of the block. To transfer the color to the paper, I rubbed the backside of the paper (in the general area where I'd just applied paint) with a spoon. I continued painting and printing until I was finished.
Ink, pad and brush + a spot in the shade = the perfect afternoon.
This past week I received a request (by an non-profit that produces secondary school courses) for permission to use one of my comix from the late 90's. I'd originally created this piece - entitled "My Body" - for publication in Mind Riot: Coming of Age in Comix - a collection of coming-of-age stories. My comic addresses body image, encouraging young girls to disregard outside influences suggesting how their bodies should look, and embrace themselves just as they are.
Coincidentally, just months before receiving this request, I'd been reminded of this same piece when, much to my dismay, my TEN YEAR OLD daughter asked me the following question:
"Mommy, do you think my thighs are too fat?"
I knew this day would come, just didn't think it would come so soon.
Of course, we had a conversation (in which I tried to determine just where that idea came from - and wound up with no answers), but ultimately I dusted off my copy of Mind Riot and showed her the piece that I'd written before she was even born. It felt great to share it with her, and I believe it answered her question to boot.
If you'd like to share this comic with your daughter (or niece, or grand daughter, or Girl Scout troop...) feel free to download and print a copy here.
Just returned from our annual week-long vacation in Truro, MA, where I'd been thrilled to find a class in "White Line Woodcuts" being taught at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum during our stay. I immediately registered and I'm glad I did. The class was taught by artist Sally Brophy whose work includes white line woodcuts inspired by nature. You can see more of her prints here - my favorite is the one with mermaids, which coincidentally, I had purchased (in the form of a notecard at the Pilgrim Monument gift shop) several years previous to enrolling in her class.
Highlights of the workshop included:
Learning the white line woodcut technique.
Seeing original white line prints from the PAAM collection by artist Blanche Lazelle and others.
Visiting the Bakker Gallery to see more prints, including an origianal Sally Brophy!
Watching the documentary "Packed in a Trunk" - which uncovers the story of artist Edith Lake Wilkinson (one of the originators of the white line technique), who was "committed to an asylum in 1924 and never heard from again".
Working alongside classmates and seeing their work in progress.
All in all, a great experience - more white line woodcuts to come!
Greek vases I photographed at the Art Institute of Chicago, love these. The surface illustrations as well as the silhouettes inspired the potted plant piece below...