linocut

Author, Author!

As regular visitors to this blog may already know, I am not afraid to show whom I admire, whether in music, graphics. print, art, literature or voluptuousness. If you make a visit to The Department of Something Else will find Linoprints of the cellist Pau Casals, and the actress Christina Hendricks. There are a number of other projects that have been inspired by what I have read or heard, with Tom Waits featuring fairly high on the list!

 
I needed to step away from skulls for a while (I’m not through yet though) and as I’ve not long finished re-reading Franz Kafka’s The Castle, I thought that I would take a closer look at some of my favourite authors. My original list was quite long, and I needed to refine my choice to a more manageable number, so I sorted them into various categories and whittled them down to five contenders in each category. I won’t tell you what the categories are just yet as I may expand the set if this goes well.

As Kafka was a motivating force for this project, he formed the theme for the first category of my favourite iconic non-english authors, which also included Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, André Gide and Jean Cocteau.


I began with some sketches and decided that Camus and Sartre fit well with Kafka. I still may add Cocteau though but I couldn’t get Gide to the same level and have abandoned him. I also simplified the design, which began with decorative borders and the like, and opted for a simple border framing a coloured block, out of which would sit each author. Once happy with the composition, each was transferred to lino on separate blocks:


After Kafka I cut Camus, and as you can see from the image above, decided to use a marker to give me a clearer view, but chose not to do it on the next one as I didn’t think it helped me all that much.


These close-ups of the lino blocks remind me very much of Alberto Giacometti’s bronze sculptures, especially the Head of Diego:


Of course, the cutting is only the first part of the process, so after all the preparation it was nice to get down to some printing, and especially good to ink up a new block – this is the first time that the cutting of the block can be really seen…

I first did a test print of each of the faces, so that I could make any adjustments before going into production. These can also be used to aid the registration of each colour.


I decided to use a variety of paper stock for these, and began printing on watercolour paper, card and handmade paper – a few of each.


Time to get the second colour on; a good, strong straight black.


Me likee.

ADDENDUM
This post was originally written in June and July, but a number of events has prevented me from continuing this project. My garage print studio is slightly out of action (needs properly organising and some serious sorting out!) but I will finish this one soon!

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