The Reduction Process

I hope you all had a refreshing holiday. Ours has been hot…. pretty hot! one would think that as time goes by we get used to the climate where we live, but it does not feel that way.  The fans are on 3 at night or reluctantly we have been putting the air conditioning on (it is nice to think that we ‘adapt’ but too many bad nights of sleep is a recipe for grumpiness!). However, it is still beautiful, the birds are active, the plants are green from the recent rain and I have been plugging along in the studio, full of plans in my head but also needing to give time to some projects that must be completed soon.

I received a beautiful small print from a dear friend, a linocut from the artist Anne Curtis, who is based in Port Douglas.  She makes linocuts and uses the reduction method. The work is very impressive, even more up close than when you see it in photos. The colours are very bright and there are lots of details. Here is a close up detail of the work I now own.

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Detail of ‘Native Garden Grasstree’ by Anna Curtis

I like the idea of the reduction method, it seems that registration should be easier and one uses less blocks. So I decided to have a try by making  a small woodcut, 15 by 10 cm.

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I missed the first two steps in the photos, where I used a light pink/flesh colour and a slightly darker one for the darker value in the face. I can see what went well and what didn’t. It was interesting to add a white final layer over the black background. The white does not really become white, which was the goal, and I think the bandana looks better without the dark surrounding… perhaps more natural?

Still lots to learn. Registration was easier but not perfect (I am just not very good at precise work!) and the order in which to apply colours needs careful thought.  But definitely will keep trying!