Relief Printmaking Process
The process begins with my vision; a response to a personal experience or certain emotion. I have the majority of the work accomplished even before I begin to draw.
Drawing is the foundation. I often spend 3 – 5 days in this developmental stage. I do all my drawing directly on the wood surface of the block. My compositions have changed over the years; however, I tend to enjoy the highly charged contrasts and brilliancy of color that the woodcut provides so well.
Carving is the stage in which a print either comes alive or dies, so remaining active and intuitive is very important. I never know until I am in the act of carving what I will take away. I often find myself in a meditative state that facilitates a fertile ground for intuitive choices in pattern and extraction of surface.
Once the carving is done, the printing of color begins. The printer’s ink that I use is oil-based and can be manipulated in translucencies and in boldness to create atmosphere and space.
As my work is very large I roll up the paper so that I can then roll it out onto the inked block. I then hand press the back of the paper so that the ink will transfer, and when this is done, I then pull the paper back up off the block to view the resulting image.
Each color must be carved and printed separately and pressed until the palette is complete.