Nymph among the Gunnera

Nymph among the Gunnera

This hand-made lino print is based on an 18th century statuette by Falconet and images of Gunnera found on the web. Gunnera, or ‘giant rhubarb,’ is found near ponds and rivers as it likes a lot of water, so it seemed appropriate for this nude lady dipping her toe in the water.

Not a perfect print, but I have yet to settle in my mind how perfect hand-made prints ought to be. There is some charm in what the Japanese call wabi-sabi, which according to Wikipedia is ‘a world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.’ In this and similar artist’s prints I am aiming for near-perfection in the nude figure, emphasising the pure line and form, and am more tolerant of accidental effects in the foliage or landscape.

This print will be available on my Etsy site when I have time to edition it.

Venus lino print: the finished block

Here is the finished lino block, inked and ready to go. (Image size A4 (8.3×11.7 inches or 210x297mm.) I am still working on making a good print, because some of the cut away sections acquired ink during printing, and I shall have to cut away the stained sections.
Here is the first print being pulled. This is quite exciting, but this print is only on layout paper as I didn’t want to waste expensive Japanese paper on a test impression.

I am finding that an oil-based ink gives a more even result than water-based, without having to put the print under undue pressure in the press. Too much pressure can blur the edges of the image, and the joy of lino depends on crisp simplicity.

With oil-based ink, if the lino is damp then the ink does not take well, so I clean the block with a little white spirit or methylated spirit before drying it and applying the ink. I need a new roller as the one I have is past its best.

I hope to post a print on high-quality Japanese paper soon, when I shall then edition it for sale on Etsy. Watch this space!