Monday, January 13, 2020

Deer Print part 4

Got up to the Studio after an early lunch.  My last visit included a dark pencil over everything, which didn't take that long.  As a result, I only got to listen to one of my first two compact disc albums that day, the double album of the Beatles White Album. So today I decided to continue where I had left off with the other disc I had bought in that first purchase, the Beatles Abbey Road.  Last time I wrote about that whole transition from vinyl to compact discs, including how that was handled by the Beatles, so no need to do that again. And if you don't know anything about Abbey Road, nothing I can write here will help you very much.  But then I realized that I had a problem.  While I am very sure what my first two compact disc purchases were, I'm a bit less sure what the third one was, and I had more work to do today than would be covered listening to one disc.  (by the way, still no Molly around today, though Nichole assures me she came by to renew the lease for 2020, which meant I could enjoy music while I worked) So while I am not sure exactly which disc was my third purchase, I knew of one that was an early purchase and grabbed that from home, Hard Again from Muddy Waters.  Not nearly as important an album in any genre as the first two discs, but still one worth having.  Muddy's biggest success was in the 50's, when he travelled from the fields of Mississippi to Chicago and became one of the biggest stars of the blues world, so still less known to much of the rest of the world.  One thing he was famous for was a loud, amplified sound, not the acoustic style he practiced back home, but something suitable to the loud blues clubs in Chicago.  Another thing he was known for was all the people he had played with.  Signed with Chess Records, and almost every up and coming blues artist was in his band or played on his records, and quite a few established artists as well. But by the late 70's, the music industry had moved on, and all the big blues labels had folded, leaving Muddy a mostly forgotten man.  However established rock guitarist Johnny Winter had fond memories of his music, and managed to join his band and get them signed to a deal with Blue Sky records (part of Columbia) and they put out a series of albums, as loud and raucous and bluesy as any he had done before, records that were successful both artistically and commercially.  The result was two rarities for a blues musician, Muddy went out on top and got to die of old age and natural causes.  Hard Again was the first of these releases.

So with good music to listen to, I was able to get some work done.  With black and white woodcuts I sometimes like to go over them with a brush and ink- drawing ink (or india ink if you prefer) and ink wash, loosening up the drawings a little, making them feel more like charcoal. The fine details on the cranes meant they had to remain pencil, but everything else black got the brush treatment today.

Besides making the shapes more organic, the process gives a better representation of the high contrast that relief ink will have on the paper, as you can see above.  I will probably go back tomorrow and use a permanent marker to add some texture to the ground and stumps, but otherwise the drawing is just about done, and I can begin the cutting soon.  May get a lot of it done before classes start up again toward the end of next week.


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