Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Woodcut done in Belmar....for now

Tonight is the final night for the current woodcut class running in Belmar.  The good news- no rain in sight, so for once I don't have to drive around floods and worry about getting all the paper stuff safely from my apartment to my car to the art building and back again.  And the main air conditioner at the Boatworks has been replaced- stopped by the other day to make sure and to get a quick lesson in how to adjust it if need be.  And it's a good thing, too, as we are in the midst of our fourth official heat wave of the summer, although there have been so few not oppressively hot days this year, it all seems like a summer long heat wave.  Actual temps would be getting to the upper 90's, heat indexes (did I not mention the record humidity coming?) well over 100.  Limited my outdoor work today to mowing the front lawn and gradually loading my car for tonight's class.

Left home around my usual time, about an hour before the class was scheduled to begin.  Found parking, walked up to the corner for my traditional pizza slice, bought it back to the Boatworks and had that with a beverage from home, then unloaded my car.  Took about 4 trips, but at least the trips are shorter than the ones to load at home.  The new air conditioner was working well, but I plugged in the front one as well- figured the day the way it was, it couldn't hurt.  We moved down to 6 students officially last time, and the 6 all showed up right about the official start time.  The way that the education room was arranged it would not be practical for us to use it, so I set up 3 tables in the back gallery space and reserved the side room to be our print station, since this was the last night and I expected we'd do a bit of printing.

And it was as busy as I expected.  The six students had all worked on their blocks since last week and had either finished them, or just needed a few minutes of my tools to get the job done. A few did quick pencil rubbings to see if they had missed anything.  Early on, mostly discussing ink and paper choices for the proofing.  Thought I would try to keep the number of people down in our print studio, but they all wanted to gather and watch.  Well, they were excited to get their turns, and at least I didn't have to explain too many things twice.

My typical procedure is to pull the first proof for each student, demonstrating how to get ink from the can, how to prepare it, how to roll ink on the block, how to place the paper, and how to print using a wooden spoon.  Working as efficiently as possible, pulled a proof for all 6 in attendance.  Below are some examples of the proofs.

These two black and white proofs demonstrate well one of the great things about woodcuts, how the basic process can be so many things in different hands.  The beach scene on the left has marks in every direction and a very complex scene with a variety of textures, yet completely readable.  The ship on the right is a simpler image, with the boat dominating the scene, using perspective to leap out at us.

The next two were very popular with the class.  The one on the left was planned all along as a chin colle project.  The artist didn't quite know what it was, but she trusted me that it would work, and it did.  The one on the right was the largest single print in the class. This artist was the first to buy his own tools and worked steadily over the four meetings.  Looked at a lot of historical examples and gave a lot of thought to how he would use textures.  The big chicken shows he figured something out.

Some students got to make their second proof, some didn't, but at least everyone had a chance to get a print, which is one of my main goals with my print workshops.  Some were already talking about plans for future prints, and they all know how to do them.   I collected contact information, potential recruits for Mary Lane's woodcut show next year.  They all cleared out on time, leaving me with all the mess to clean up and organize.  Maybe it was dark when I left, but the air was still warm and steamy.  Checked the news when I got home and it said we were still in the upper 80's and we aren't expecting it to cool off much before tomorrow's heat wave.

As for future woodcut classes, I have no idea what they want to do.  If BelmarArts wants to put one on the schedule for the fall, I'm game, as long as it makes sense within my college schedule, and then we have to find people who want to sign up.


Post a Comment

<< Home