Four minute video of Cool Printed Bag

Prints, Small Print Store

I am very excited to share the latest addition to my Etsy Store, a demonstration of the cinch bags and how they are printed. You can even custom order your bag color and what linocut you want on it!

The first bags hot off the press:

Cinch Bags, Coffee, Pink, Khaki, Red and Tan

Cinch Bags, Coffee, Pink, Khaki, Red and Tan

Khaki  Cinch bag with Feral Kitty  Linocut

Khaki Cinch bag with Feral Kitty Linocut

Coffee_Bag_coyote

Coffee Cinch bag with coyote

Red Cinch bag with Coyote Linocut

Red Cinch bag with Coyote Linocut

Tan Cinch bag with Coyote Linocut

Tan Cinch bag with Coyote Linocut

My Daily Print Project

30 prints 30 days, Prints, Small Print Store, stonetrigger press

We are now in the middle of March and I have printed and posted 69 items to my Etsy Store, some of which are now sold out. This all started as an experiment to make one print a day, open up an Etsy store to sell inexpensive high quality hand printed linocuts. These prints  reach a far wider audience and collector base  than the larger and more expensive projects that are made for gallery and museum exhibitions. And quit frankly it has been far more gratifying because of my direct interaction with people. Well, my virtual interaction with people, but never the less, it is far more engaging. In the two and a half months, I had 163 transactions on Etsy, with most people buying multiple prints, some even bought the whole first month’s 30 day set. There were just over 250 prints sold.  Of course I would love to double, triple, even quadruple that.

Starting this project is making a tremendous difference in ability to also work on larger pieces and to become self-sustaining. That is my real goal. You see I have lived in NYC for the past 21 yeas, teaching at Long Island University in Brooklyn and coming to Abiquiu, NM in my summers. I bought my NM house in 2010 and built the printmaking studio. It is my goal, to create a solid business where I can move out to NM permanently. So, every time you buy a print, not only are you getting a really great new original hand signed and dated artwork, you are helping me create the dream of living a simple life of making art, walking my dogs, running in the mountains, and enjoying the quiet beauty of New Mexico. Today I put three new prints to my Etsy Store. The super awesome bat, a beaver which I printed over the summer and a fox. If you like my FB page, and follow my blog you will get all the Etsy updates as well as my larger exhibition updates.

Right now my drawings prints and journals can be found at The Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs, KS, The Fuller Art Center, Los Alamos, NM, The Printmaking Center of NJ, and this summer it will be at  Lake George Arts Project’s summer exhibition Art @ The Lake, NY which will be followed by a Solo Exhibition in November.  And of course at my studio in NM,(until August 1) and on Etsy. Yes, it is an exciting time and I am always looking for new venues, recommendations, collaborations so please keep me in mind and please recommend my store to your friends. I really do appreciate it. 

Annie the Dachshund Linocut

30 prints 30 days, Prints, Small Print Store, stonetrigger press
Annie linocut on Japanese Kozo

Annie linocut on Japanese Kozo

Each time I make a dog portrait I try something different. It may be in the size of the block, a profile vs. full body, changes of paper or changes of color. Each one is very personal. I began “Annie” last week. Annie, one of the sweetest dogs I have had the pleasure of meeting, passed away a couple of months ago. After looking through a number of photos of her, I kept melting in her  side looking gaze.

There were a couple of things I knew I wanted. First, I wanted to show the pink and blue blanket, though there was only a sliver of it. Two, I wanted to have a separation between her brown and black. The only way I knew I could that is in a reduction linoleum block. This block got carved and printed 4 times over, pink, blue, brown, then black. Once all four layers were printed, I printed what remained of the block, which was quite a bit, onto 300 pound buff Rives BFK paper. In total I have 18 prints. Some were thrown away for begin off register, too dark or too light. I finished with an assortment 4 color prints on very thin Japanese paper, type types of Japanese paper.

I am beat. It was a super busy week. Spring is here and I had fences to mend, a race to run, orders to fill, grants to submit and groceries to buy. For those of you in the know, grocery shopping involves a 100 mile round trip, so it is time-consuming. But these are complaints, on the contrary, I am so lucky that I am able to do so much and have so much fun.  As I await the cinch bags to come in, I am starting on a 22″ x 30″ linocut. I will shoot a photo of the daily carving process. In the meantime, there are 64 items in my Etsy store, so check it out!
B_W_Annie_linocut

 

Completely out of Printmaking Paper, Now what?

Prints, stonetrigger press
Pigment dyed hand printed backpack

Pigment dyed hand printed backpack

I use my weekends to rest from my intensive printing, I have pulled more than 650 prints since January 1 with 60 new carved linoleum blocks. I use the time to run, attempt to be social, I say attempt so that I don’t have to hold myself accountable to actually being in  public, draw and come up with new ideas. Since I have also exhausted my entire paper supply, it is a good time to come up with new ideas. Should I buy more paper OR perhaps heavy duty cinch bags?

I did some mock-up’s today with the coyote and really like them. I love these bags. They are 100% cotton, pigment dyed, heavy cotton webbed straps, a zippered front pocket, 14.5″ wide by 17.5″ tall, 9 different colors. They are really strong, great for books and big enough for picking up groceries, and of course CUTE!

Nine colors of Stonetrigger Press hand printed bags.

Nine colors of Stonetrigger Press hand printed bags.

I mocked them up with Stonetrigger Press Abiquiu, NM printed under the coyote, but in linocut I can’t print text. I don’t want to go to silkscreen because everyone silkscreens. I want to keep these one at a time linocut printed.  I will work out whether or not I have the press name, and it is possible I print it separate or get a woodblock laser cut to print it. Now there is another good idea.

So if you had a bag what color would you want?

Steps to a Happy Dog and Happy Printmaker

Prints, Small Print Store
Shadow, custom linocut dog portrait

In Progress – Shadow, custom linocut dog portrait

I love my dogs. You love your dogs. We all love doing things for our dogs, and we love to give gifts to friends who have dogs. One can never go wrong with a dog gift. Unless of course you are giving a dog as a gift which is I highly discourage. Unless of course you are a parent giving it to your children, but secretly you wanted the dog and you plan to take care of it.

This is a gift being given by a sister to her brother. “Shadow” is a very important family member and seen by his pose, a little character.

I began Shadow a week ago, looking through several photos. I was struck by two of them, one a close up profile which I love, but I kept coming back to this pose, it became my favorite.

Shadow, photography for linocut

Shadow, photography for linocut

I often have to tease out details by lightning the photos or sharpening them in order to see disguising characteristics. I then draw it onto a linoleum block.

Drawing of Shadow, reversed on the block

Drawing of Shadow, reversed on the block

Once the block is drawn it can take anywhere for 4-8 hours to carve. Normally I carve from 4pm until bed time, so that I can print during the best day light.

First carving of linocut

First carving of linocut

This is how the linocut looked when I first printed it. I made one print, then carved a bit more, made another, printed again. I generally make 3-4 “proofs” that is seeing what it looks like, cleaning the block, inking it again and reprinting until I get what I want. On bad days that can take up to 10 separate inking, printing, cleaning, carving inking, etc.

The final print I made of Shadow is dark grey, despite looking black in this photo, he is grey:

Shadow, custom linocut dog portrait in dark grey

Shadow, custom linocut dog portrait in dark grey

I am hanging on to him a few more days as I may want to do a little more carving, and experiment with the ink to make him just a bit more grey.

If you want a custom dog portrait it takes about 1-2 weeks, and you can order from my Etsy Store. The details are there.

A custom carved linocut portrait of Sam.

30 prints 30 days, Prints, Small Print Store
Sam Linocut Custom Dog Portrait

Sam Linocut Custom Dog Portrait

Lisa Studier left this morning and I got into the studio to catch on  a portrait that my dear friend Peggy requested. Honestly, at first I was not so sure I could do a pet portrait. But have already done one for her I welcomed the second opportunity and it was a blast.

The custom linocut dog portrait is a gift for her daughter, who also supplied the photos for me to work from. I drew “Sam” onto a 5″ x 7″ linoleum block, carved him out, and set out to print.

Carving Linocut of Sam

Carving Linocut of Sam

It was a rough day in the studio. It was very cold, colder inside  than outside, some ink colors appeared almost frozen where others were way too runny. I printed and printed and got nothing. I cleaned up, came in the house, and tried again today. And it was perfect. I got a great print of Sam. In addition I made 5 folded gift/greeting cards. These cards are pretty sweet and since it is a gift Peggy can write a message to her daughter in it, plus her daughter will get 4 others she can send out. She can always get more later if she likes.

4" x 5" folded hand printed linocut cards with custom carving

4″ x 5″ folded hand printed linocut cards with custom carving

I am going to offer to make up to 3 dog portraits a month. They can take 10 to 15 hours to make, so doing three a month would be super fun. I am beginning some big 24″ x 36″ linocuts all based on mountains, hiking, wilderness adventure in for my fall exhibition and I need to make sure I leave time for those. They take about 60 + hours to carve, but they will be amazing, just as amazing as little Sam here. You can order a custom dog portrait at my Etsy Store. 

P.S. The color is the same on all of them, despite looking different here.  The photos are a bit crappy because they are from my cell phone. I still need to get a new camera.

Sam, Linocut Dog custom dog portrait

Sam, Linocut Dog custom dog portrait

Mystical Monsters and Maidens Linocut Series

30 prints 30 days, Prints, Small Print Store
Cyclops with UFO's Linocut

Cyclops with UFO’s Linocut

That’s not a chicken. Nope, it is not. After a great 10 days with Lisa Studier at the Press working on her reduction technique Chicken Prints, she flew back to NYC, and it is back to Print of the Day Project.

Mermaid

Mermaid

What is new is that I swapped out my 4″ x 6″ linoleum blocks for 5″ x 7″ blocks in order to be able to make more detail and more complex prints. The great thing is, while the prints are larger they are only a couple of dollars more. I want to keep them very inexpensive so that people can feel free to collect as many as they like.

Cyclops with UFO and Mermaid 10" x 8" linocuts

Cyclops with UFO and Mermaid 10″ x 8″ linocuts

I did a three mock ups of rooms with this new series of Monsters and Maidens.

Mermaid Linocut by Stonetrigger Press available on Etsy

Mermaid Linocut by Stonetrigger Press available on Etsy

Cyclops with UFO's  Linocut by Stonetrigger Press available on Etsy

Cyclops with UFO’s Linocut by Stonetrigger Press available on Etsy

There are now 59 prints and drawings available on my Etsy store. and by the end of the week I plan to make that 62 items. More mythical monsters tomorrow night.

Reduction Printing Day 7 with Lisa Studier

Uncategorized
Black-tailed Japanese Bantam finished print

Black-tailed Japanese Bantam finished print

Today is my last blog post, as I’m heading back to NYC tomorrow morning. My time here went by so fast, and I’m sad to leave, but I’ll be back this summer.

I managed to complete three prints during my time here, and I hope you all enjoyed the blog posts and my explanation of reduction printing. It really is a fun technique once you get the hang of it.

These three limited edition fine-art woodcut prints will be on the Stonetrigger Press Etsy store later tonight or tomorrow if you’re interested in adding one to your art collection! (They will be available on Etsy soon but will not actually ship for at least two weeks due to drying time–I just printed the last color today and they are drying slow in the cold weather)

Thanks so much for reading, and see you again this summer!

Silver-spangled Hamburg finished print

Silver-spangled Hamburg finished print

Blue Andalusian finished print

Blue Andalusian finished print

Reduction Printing Day 6 with Lisa Studier

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Picasso is often credited with inventing the reduction printing technique. From 1958-1963 he created approximately 100 reduction linocuts. I haven’t been able to find much information online about the history of this technique, but from what I’ve found it seems to have been in use by small commercial printers and taught in art schools for some time before Picasso brought it to wider attention. He was probably introduced to the technique by a commercial printer, and adopted it due to his frustration with the slowness and discontinuity of having to cut each color area on a separate block.

Today I printed the fifth color on all the prints. Tomorrow will be my last day in New Mexico, so be sure to tune in to see the finished prints. For now, here are all five stages so far of the Silver-spangled Hamburg.

Fifth color

Fifth color

Fourth color

Fourth color

Third color

Third color

Hamburg chicken, second color

Hamburg chicken, second color

First color

First color