Thursday, February 13, 2020

Deer Print part 15

I may have finished cutting my new deer block, and taken a suitable proof, but the life of a print goes well beyond that.  The original print of this scene has appeared in numerous shows, even in recent years decades after I created it.  The reason I decided to redo it was because recently I had a few people specifically ask about the possibility of buying it.   So my first big project in 2020 was to do a new deer print, since the original block was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  Got the block done (copied from the one surviving copy of the print, so it is actually a mirror image of the first print), got a suitable proof of the image, declared that part done, and sent a jpeg to the person who was most insistent on buying one.

Last night she finally replied, citing computer issues for the delay, which I have dealt with sometimes myself.  (one nice thing about woodcut is that it always works, even when the power is gone for days at a time for weather related issues, and no computers are required) But I figured I should check the proof to make sure it was ready to go first, and maybe pull another one to have one ready if this one goes away.  So after my lunch break, I set aside my newest block and got the deer print block back out.  Removed the blue tape from the previous printing and used gouges to cut away the extra ink that it had picked up.  Then put out some black relief ink and inked up the block.   The repeated process of cutting away places that took unintended ink may be having an effect, as I needed significantly less blue tape for this 3rd printing, or maybe I'm just getting better at inking this block.

With our perpetually gray skies and cold rainy weather, it felt like a blues day, so I chose something from my library there- a home burned disc of Buddy Guy concentrating on two loud albums- Stone Crazy (1981 Alligator) and Sweet Tea (2001 Silver tone). Once long ago I was asked to put on some blues music and chose the Stone Crazy album, and my friend thought it might be too much, describing it as "end of the night, dreading the hell you know you will have to pay tomorrow and being too drunk to care about it kind of music."  Probably an accurate assessment, but I always liked this album.  Though I have great appreciation for his 60's Chess releases, what I liked about Stone Crazy was that with it's simplified sound (during my radio years, his new albums won grammys, but were way too overproduced for my tastes and never made my playlist) it sounded most like his live band.  During one of his live shows, when someone from the audience shouted out a question about whether he'd be doing any more albums for Alligator, he gave an emphatic no, putting down all things Chicago.  Sweet Tea lives up to that idea, a North Mississippi blues sound, very heavy and raw, and the first album in a long time I thought worth owning.

The two Buddy Guy albums got me through the process of pulling my proof, and then ended, so for clean up I put on The Devil's Slide by Bob Brozman.  Since my radio show was blues, when I started it was decided I would be part of the jazz department, and so I trained with a jazz dj, and he was a fan of Bob Brozman.  And during the time I was there, the Devil's Slide album came out, which sat on our B list (new releases, not college rock) shelf for a while.  The whole album featured slide guitar in all kinds of forms- blues, jazz, Hawaiian, calypso, etc.  I liked it enough to add it to my own collection years later. Took the time to number the two prints, but I'll save the titles and signing for next time.

When I got home, I sent my patron an e-mail to suggest Saturday as a day to meet. No time today (plus rain is no friend to works on paper) or tomorrow. Haven't heard back yet.


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