I’ve been making lots of linoleum cuts in the past three years. When you work for some time in a medium you start to get a good idea how to work with the materials – how they behave and what to expect. Also, I get ideas about new images to cut and print. Lately, I have 2 driving ideas for linocuts.
A linoleum cut series I’m working on now is revisiting some of the personalities that I’ve known through the years and making small linocuts of them. Many of these images have passed from my hands very quickly and I hadn’t had a chance to really examine them. So this gives me an opportunity to go back and catalog these figures. This is a kind of visual lexicon of Pavy iconic figures, or “Pavicons” as a friend of mine likes to joke.
I was digging through my flat files the other day and I ran across some 40 x 27 in Rives paper. I measured and figured that I could put 15 small prints on a page this size – 5 across and 3 down if I made the blocks 9 x 8 in. This would enable me to cut more images in this size and print many different images using the same blocks. This fits into my ideas about modularization of imagery that I’ve been working with for the last four years.
After I ink the 15 blocks, I can print in one pass. I’ve been wanting to do some one-pass prints instead of the 20-pass prints that I’ve been doing lately.
This spring I cut a block that depicts a snake in a blackberry bush. It’s a memory of when we used to go pick blackberries when we were small children with my mother. She would take a large stick and beat the bushes to make sure there were no snakes (especially poisonous ones) hiding in there. Anyway, after cutting and printing the block I thought it would be cool to make a series of work on the “Adam and Eve Story,” the ancient morality tale about reason and feeling. I have the bush, I just need to cut Adam and Eve. As I was thinking of this, I thought of other variations on this theme: Elvis & Eve (an old theme of mine), Adams and Eves (multiple Adams and Eves), Adam and Adam, Eve and Eve. This could go on forever, but I’ll at least do the four themes above.
When you’re up to your neck in creating, thinking of ideas, making things, time passes very quickly. There seems to be an endless flow of ideas. I’m cutting these blocks this week in preparation to print them next week, but I keep getting new ideas and I want to explore them too.
I guess that’s what a Sketch book is for.