Students' Art from Sitka Center Workshop
2019 Birds Calendar, Published by Pomegranate Communications

Sitka Spruce Woodblock Print: Another Version

Sitka Spruce for webWe've endured some very hot days recently in Seattle. It makes the memory of cool days on the northwest coast even more enjoyable. I carved this woodblock a few years ago, and used watercolor in the Japanese moku hanga style to create my first version of this print. After studying with printmaker (and master carpenter) Charlie Spitzack at Pratt a couple of times this year, I decided to give it another go, as I wasn't very happy with my first attempt, where colors were bright, and not entirely convincing--somehow I didn't feel I had given much of a sense of a coastal forest, enveloped as it is so many days of the year in fog, mist and rain.  In this latest version, I used Charbonnel oil-based etching inks, thinned out with burnt-plate oil. I mixed ultramarine blue, soft black and titanium white, and printed on kozo-shi Japanese paper,, which I order from McClain's Printmaking in Portland. It's  a somewhat thick paper that has  a bit of texture. I found the texture helped to give the impression of moisture in the air, as the tooth of the paper gave some variation to the ink values.  I plan to offer a free demonstration of this type of printmaking (done without a press) at Seattle's Daniel Smith store on October 7th.


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