methods

Carving in the Cold

Like just about everyone my days are very busy and it is often very hard to carve out art time during the day. Unfortunately I typically don't have much creative energy left in the evening after the kids go to bed. Which is a pity since that is sometimes the only time I have to make art. Thankfully carving is totally different and doesn't take much creativity or energy once I have a drawing already mapped out on the woodblock. Carving is a mentally minimalist and meditative process that gives me a chance to unwind at the end of a long day. Not too many things out there get me to slow down but carving a block of wood is one of those things that does force me to slow down and narrow my focus to the quiet and labor intensive careful task of carving a block of wood to print in the spring. As the days get shorter and colder there is something just right about spending the evenings in my little studio carving while drinking a cup of hot tea. As summer ended I found myself craving to have a large block of wood to slowly carve away so I got started on the planning and sketching. That is what I did during most of October. Now I am ready to carve.

Transient

Challenges

Most of the time I draw directly on a block using a sketch of some sort to guide me. Sometimes I draw completely free on the block or even just carve and make marks without any guide at all. But sometimes I transfer a photocopied image from a book onto my block. It's kind of a pain in the butt but the results are worth it. I'm trying to do that in places with my latest block but the photocopies I made at the library just aren't transferring. Using fresh photocopies and using oil of Wintergreen has always worked but leaves my block so stinky that I don't want to be near it for a week or two. Now that the toner on the library photocopier must have changed I am going to seek out some less stinky transfer methods rather than hunt down a photocopier that uses carbon toner. The wax paper transfer method is the most appealing right now because I can use my own inkjet printer. But I could also damage my own inkjet printer which is less appealing. A trip to Staples for some transfer paper may be on the schedule today. I need to get this drawing finished so I can start carving. I need to start carving soon! I am feeling rather impatient at the moment.

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