This quick leaf print too four months to accomplish. Actually, that is how long this huge once green leaf was in the vase in my house. In October someone gave me a bouquet of flowers that included this lovely shaped leaf. The flowers died within a week of being in the vase but this leaf remained. I could not in my heart discard it because I was so impressed with its’ size and the nine bladed leaf’s color of vibrant forest green. Bigger than my hand, it remained on the counter until I found something to print it on.
Thinking all the while I wanted to preserve it’s shape, I remembered I had a roll of brown shipping paper. The roll’s 30″ (90 cm) width would be wide enough for the task. Inking the behemoth was harder than making the print. The leaf wished to adhere to the brayer when rolling it out.
I was able to print the leaf three times before it became an inked mess. The results were as I expected and I really like them. Because of their size this paper may not make suitable wrapping paper. With the tough nature of the shipping paper I may continue making it a larger mixed media experiment. As you know art is never finished, that’s why artist have so much stuff in their studios. Unfinished projects are hard to depart with.
In the North winter is blue. Freshly fallen snow has blue overtones. Once the sky is lit the gradient blue is endless. The blue birds chest remains blue all throughout winter. When you miss the sun you feel very blue.
I’ve been thinking of changes, not because it is January but because of winter. Winter doesn’t always remind us to sleep, to hibernate as bears do. It reminds us that this is the time for action, for preparations to be made going forward. There are things in my life I’d like to change, goals I would like to see met are in motion this January. I hope to be sharing more of these changes soon with you.
It’s quite a process moving forward with new ideas. I’d very much like to hone in on how far I can take my printmaking experience. I’ve decided to explore more creative avenues starting with this medium. Who knows, perhaps I will be morphing into my own style and make something of it.
In the meantime, just remember winter is blue.
Continuing on my Scandinavian print project here is the latest installment entitled Red and Blue Nordic Mittens. This linoleum print design includes two pairs of mittens. The first pair on the left are red. On the top of the mitten you will see a snowflake pattern that includes four white diamonds with branches splitting them and small white leaves at the tips. The rest of the pattern is thin white lines also making up a diamond stitch.
The second pair of navy blue mittens includes a “v” shaped pattern of white stitches. This design is inspired by a sweater I own purchased in 1974 from L.L. Bean called the Norwegian, Nordic Wool Sweater. The cuff of these mittens have a thick white line stitched into them.
I truly had fun creating these Nordic mittens. Part of the exercise was to find my own personal style with this thing called “art”. If you look through my blog I dabble in many mediums. I enjoy them all though some days I feel like I really have no “presence” or style of my own. With this project I have noticed I do enjoy the more whimsical side of design. This is something I will probably continue to explore.
The third of my Scandinavian series of linoleum block prints is called Two Swedish Yule Goats. The Yule goat with its Germanic Pagan beginnings has always intrigued me. In Sweden the goats first origins of Pre-Christian lore to when the people worshiped the Norse God Thor. It is said Thor rode a chariot across the sky drawn by two goats named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr.
The history of the Yule Goat takes various twists and turns with various traditions interwoven in the Swedish culture. Most often you can find woven straw goats adorned with a red ribbon as ornaments, illustrations of St. Nicholas riding a goat or giant erected goat placed in town centers for the Christmas holiday.
To the sketch book I go for the last and more complicated project. There will be more to follow soon.