Day 101: Garden Flowers, a linocut

It’s been lots of paintings lately, so today I thought I’d bust out the linoleum and carving tools. The flowers I’d clipped from the garden to bring to the art show for a bit of nature’s cheer on the display table had opened up a bit more and looked at me and said, “Hey. You cut us and now we’re going to wilt. Why don’t you immortalize us in a linocut to make up for it?” I don’t draw a lot of flowers, but I figured the bouquet had a point there.

What I like about linocuts is the simplified mechanism of the stamp, the focus on contrast and the need to make my brain work in reverse, which it doesn’t like to do and complains about. Even with sharp tools, there’s only so much detail you can get, so you have to work with line and contrast. I even like the bits where the ink collects along the edges. It makes me think of centuries-old German woodcuts.

I think this one ended up a little busy; I will probably do a few more with more focus on individual blossoms.

Day 50

Today is my mother’s birthday! She is visiting my grandparents in Paradise (the city in Northern California, not a figurative wonderland) for a few days, and I drove up there to see her and go out to lunch today. It’s only about an hour and a half from Sacramento, and while some people might find the drive dreary, I enjoy it. I see it as tons of little paintings. I snapped a bunch of photos of the little farmland landscapes that will be appearing shortly on more woodblocks, but having arrived home fairly late in the day and not having tons of time to paint, I decided to go with three lovely flower photos I took today.

These are from Camellia bushes in my Grandma’s garden. She clipped a few and had them floating in bowls of water. It was as if I had just walked into a wedding planning meeting. There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous blossom. When life gets tough, it’s important that we remember to be happy for the little things. And for me, that’s my wonderful, supportive family full of fabulous female role models and other things like fresh flowers. Although I guess an awesome family really isn’t a “little thing”. I love you mom!