Linocut: The Maid

The Maid - July 2013

The Maid – July 2013

A new lino cut, finished and printed yesterday. With this one I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to finish it – white or black cap? Plain background or patterned? The ‘photo corners’ were a last-minute addition too, and overall I am pleased I didn’t cut them away. I found this one really fun to do for this reason; it felt a bit more spontaneous than any of the designs I have done so far, which were sketched out first and followed as they were, with little deviation or embellishments. This works well for me for some things as I tend to go overboard with adding extras that end up being taken away again because they add clutter where there should be something simple – I like a good white background!

But I also like the feeling of ‘building’ art, of piecing things together and playing around with different elements. Whether or not these elements will form part of a busy background or will sit alone against a white one depends on what I am doing, but with this lino cut I really enjoyed adding things on the spot – making decisions and then cutting away something that just moments before I had thought necessary to keep. I will challenge myself to take more risks with lino cut because that is part of the fun: one slip of the blade and the whole thing could be ruined. Or, depending on how bad a slip it is, a decision could be made right then and there to work with it and take the design in a slightly different direction than was originally planned.

Next on the linocut list: learn how to print properly. My prints are  still plagued by patchiness, and these are mistakes that can’t be disguised with improvisation! I know what the issue is – dodgy inks and a technique in need of a lot of practice – and hopefully a printing course with a professional will set me right.