Saturday, July 30, 2016


Every now and then, when going through the process of creating something, the final decision is not always final. In Carpe Diem that was the case. When I was satisfied with the latest proof and I made the decision to stop engraving, I ran the edition, let the prints dry, signed them and filed them away. I was tearing up the proofs and as I looked at the last one, on which I based my decision to stop engraving, I realized there was something that was bothering me. I was NOT finished with the print after all.

Here is a cropped scan of the area that bothered me. I had hoped to create a sense of the white area of the paper around the image flowing into the arm and flowing into the composition. But by showing an abrupt change  between the arm above the water and below the water, that wasn't working. 

I hadn't realized how important that issue was to me. So I decided to make the changes in the block and run the edition again. 
Here's a cropped scan of the area after I made the changes in the block and opened up the area so the white had a better chance of flowing into the composition.

This brings up the issue of what happens to the 34 prints in the edition that I now don't like. Thankfully this hasn't happened to me before. There is always a need for paper to run proofs upon and the back side of proofs or, in this case on the back side of an edition is the answer for proofing paper. The paper I use is expensive and I try not to waste it.

Now the issue of "limited edition" comes up. What happens to the edition that I printed first? Well, I have made an X across each print in that edition with a permanent marker and I will use the edition as proofing paper by printing future proofs on the back side of these, then tear them up and send them to recycling.

On my previous post I mentioned that the block had a subtle cancellation, in preparation to sending the block on to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. Can you see the "cancellation" change up there in the crop of the revised area by comparing the "before" with the "after"? I will now find another area to create a subtle cancellation in the block.

In conclusion, I find that (for me) one of the most difficult moments in the process of creating a print or drawing is making the decision of when to leave it alone and quit.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


"Carpe Diem" (seize the day) is the title of my latest wood engraving, and it's part of the "See What I'm Saying?" series. The phrase, when first heard by one (such as myself) who has not studied Latin or the classics, sounds like it has something to do with carp. The image was engraved on a maple block, supplied by the Wood Engravers Network for a project titled "Seize the Carp" to benefit the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers Wisconsin. Two Rivers has a yearly carp festival and participating members of SWE were asked to include a carp in their image. As you can see, the block I was sent is a section of a maple end-grain slab that includes the edge of the slice of the log, so I incorporated that in the image.

The block will be sent to the museum for their collection and use. A minor alteration was created in the block, after this edition was completed; meant as a subtle cancellation of this edition.