Alpacas in Progress
The carved key block
I was asked to create artwork for an Art in Hand deck of cards. Art in Hand decks are unique playing cards designed by local artists--each card in the deck is designed by a different artist. The deck I'm participating in is a USA deck, with an animal theme, and each card is assigned to an artist from a different state. For Maryland, I'm working on the Queen of Hearts! I chose to depict two alpacas (or llamas? I don't know the difference!). I photographed them at Shiloh Farm, during the same visit when I photographed sheep for this print a couple of years ago. I've been holding onto the photographs, hoping these guys would make it to a woodblock some day.
Key block on the left, yupo on the right.
So I made the sketch and carved the keyblock, then inked the block and printed it on yupo. Yupo is synthetic watercolor "paper" that is non-absorbent, so the Akua ink is not permanent on that surface. I basically use it like mylar, to transfer ink from my key block to the color blocks.
Yupo on the left, color block on the right.
Here, I have printed from the yupo to the next uncarved blocks, and they are ready to carve once I make some decisions about the color.
Black and white proof on Rives BFK
I also proofed the key block on Rives BFK. My next step is to hand-color the black and white proof, to make decisions about the color and then use as a reference when I carve the color blocks.
The finished artwork is due May 1, which is a full month later than the original deadline, but still somehow managed to sneak up on me.
It will happen. It totally will. Fortunately, I just need one good print to submit for the deck, and then I can print the full edition at a more relaxed pace.
Until then...hurry up and print!
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I'm a woodblock printmaker who is committed to a non-toxic (or less toxic) art practice. I started out as a painter but found my way to printmaking through a love of paper and process. I seem to be falling for papermaking in the same way. I went to Syracuse University, where I studied painting (BFA) and museum studies (MA). I was a Resident Artist at the Howard County Center for the Arts for five years and previously worked at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This blog is for posting works-in-progress and new works, as well as a few creative projects I've done with my kids.