Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer inspired sunsets - block prints

Sunset
2012
four colour block relief print
varied open edition

I recently found the four blocks from a linocut I created back in 2006. This was inspired by the wonderful oil studies painted in the early part of the 20th century by Canadian Tom Thomson (who was the inspiration behind the formation of the Group of 7).
Below is an example of one of Thompsons famous sunsets from an evening here in Ontario, most likely from his time spent canoing and camping in Algonquin Park in the central part of the province.




Sunset
oil
1915
Tom Thomson
ã National Gallery of Canada
 Ottawa ON

At that time I printed a small run of an open edition using Speedball water based ink onto Stonehenge machine made rag paper.
This time around I have been experimenting on Awagami fine art bamboo rag and using Graphic Chemical water base relief printing ink (pigment is binded from food grade glycol).
I really like the open air time factor with the inks and that fact that they dry literally to touch within a few hours once they are absorbed by the paper surface. These are the same inks I have been using exclusively the past year in schools since they are easily washed up with warm water and liquid soap.
The blocks have been printed using my three hole punch registration system on my small press. I set a piece of book binding board over top of the paper on the inked block and this provides an nice even pressure to make good contact with the two surfaces. I haven't used damp paper and ink transfer has been fairly even. I am however adding a little extender to the second & third block inks to create a little transparency effect in the cloud shapes. (more visible in the second photo example)