Colorful Birch Leaf

My favorite time of the year is fall. Perhaps because I love change and become excited in the changes found in nature with each season. The cooler days, different smells from the forest and cooking with gourds gives me that feeling of nesting to come. Farmer’s markets brim over with jams, homemade pickles and lot’s and lot’s of apple products.

Strangely enough I start reading more poetry during the fall and winter months. I enjoy the poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning such as her 1833 poem “The Autumn”. I give you the first stanza below.

“Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.”

Capturing the colors of fall are easy however, finding those leaves or scenes that are unique are harder to find. When I was younger I would draw the individual leaves during their transformation from green to brown. Admiring each leafs individual color patterns always intrigued me.

Colorful birch leaf of gold, green and rust brown.
Colorful Birch Leaf

I don’t draw them now though occasionally I still find ways of capturing them into immortality. The colorful birch leaf below is an example of the symmetry of changing colors. The veins of golden yellow, what is left of the green and its fringes of brown on the tips creates a magic only nature can know.

I share this image with you on a wooden canvas print. It is available in 8” x 10”, 11” x 14” and 18” x 24”. The wood is high quality birch wood (how fitting) and printed with eco friendly inks. A beautiful presentation with wood grain accents, this wooden print is stunning. Click on the image above to find pricing.

Enjoy your Autumn season.

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Two Quick EZ Cuts

At some point I ended up with a 4″ by 6″  pink Speedball Speedy-carve block. No doubt I purchased it for my young daughter to play with. I decided to give it a go and here are my results. The first design I decided to try was simple. Never having to cut this material before I wanted to see how it worked with my current carving tools. Using the chunky circular tree design I had in my sketch book I thought this would work well. Because I had a 4″ by 6″ block I thought I would create a square design (cut round) from 4″ by 4″ of the original size.

Round pink stamp designed with tree, leaf and acorn.
Simple circular tree design includes a leaf and acorn too.

This first design worked well. True as advertised the lines can be easily cut as thick or thin as you’d like. The only different is while printing with the block, I found a little ink goes a long way and there is no need to press very hard to print the relief.
The second 2″ by 4″ of the remainder of the block was designed for a water fairy sketch I created. This experiment would use thinner lines to see how the pink rubber block would hold up.

The Water Fairy stand in a lotus flower and is printed in blue ink.
The Water Fairy stand in a lotus flower and is printed in blue ink.

I actually like this water fairy and may try to use a larger block with more detail. But for now I’ve had fun using this pink rubber speedy-carve block.

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Quick Leaf Prints

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.

Large green leaf laying on newspaper.
Large green leaf ready to be inked.

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.

Large green leaf covered with black ink.
Big Leaf Inked with Black Ink.

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.

Three black leaf prints on brown paper.
The results of the Quick Leaf Prints project.

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Two Swedish Yule Goats

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.

Linoleum block print of two Swedish Yule Goats, snowflake and leaves..
Linoleum block print of two Swedish Yule Goats.

Like the other Scandinavian holiday printmaking projects found on this blog, I’ve found wonderful ways to create Christmas products to share. Visit my Lasgalen Arts Christmas category in my Zazzle store.

 

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October

Inspirational October is full of promise with the colors, smells and feeling in the air. I search for inspiration in nature as do so many other artists and writers. One particular pairing I’ve wanted to do is Autumn and the American poet Robert Frost (1874 – 1963). Robert Frost’s words from his poem October and my own surroundings outside my window gave me the spark to create this mixed media piece.

October - mixed media
Mixed media piece October. An homage to a poem by Robert Frost of the same name.

October is a mixed media piece using acrylic paints, Sharpie pen, torn paper and construction paper. The bright red, orange and gold background is reminiscent of Autumns colors. A black crow flies from a bare tree. On the bottom of the piece are two leaves fallen over a paper that includes a piece of the Robert Frost poem October which you will find directly below. I hope you enjoy the Autumn season and appreciate change.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

If you enjoy this mixed media piece I have created blank greeting cards to sell in my Lasgalen Arts store on Zazzle.com.

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Art Nouveau Floral Mono Prints

A style of art I enjoy creating with linocuts is Art Nouveau. I like the simple lines used to create nature themed designs found on adverts, jewelry and furnishings. Art Nouveau was most popular between 1890-1910. Not only were floral designs part of this style but also curved lines and also architecture.

Closed Lotus Flower With Two Ivy Leaves

mono print of flower and two ivy leaves
This first mono print shown is one I had designed to look like a window you’d find at church. The squared off Tudor arch effect also has two flower buds on either side. The focal point is a lotus flower not yet opened. And lastly an ivy leaf can be seen on the bottom right and left of the lotus stem.

Lotus on a Pedestal

mono print of a lotus flower
I chose green ink to press Lotus on a Pedestal. At the top corners of the print can be seen three leaves. There are three pedestals on the bottom, the center holds a lotus flower while the pedestals on either side hold buds. This green print is one of my first attempts at cutting a linoleum block. Though it may appear crude I still like it. I do enjoy creating Art Nouveau floral mono prints.

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