Linocut Christmas

I had such good intentions to post more this holiday… ah well. I was busy making more art!

Last year I made everyone’s Christmas cards by hand and decided to do the same this year. While I chose to do them in water colors last year, which was a blast, this year I wanted to use some skills that I’d learned at NSCAD. When we did our linocut prints in printmaking a few months ago, I knew immediately that that was how I wanted to do Christmas cards this year.

I bought some 4″ x 5″ linoblocks (linoleum with wood-backing to make them easier to carve), two large sheets of Stonehenge paper, a couple tubes of water-soluable print-making ink and was on my way!

Linocut Xmas Cards by Jess Lingley

Linocut Xmas Cards by Jess Lingley

I think they turned out decently, though I’m still not sold on the owl. I wanted to keep the designs minimal so I wouldn’t break my back on them. Carving is hard work, and even these had my elbows and back aching the next day… but enough whining! These were fun to do and not that difficult, either! If you want to do your own linocut cards there are plenty of great resources to help you online, like this Instructables tutorial.

(via Instructables)

(via Instructables)

They suggest printing on papers that have patterns on them which can yield some interesting results. Overall, I found print-making at school to be a very finicky business. If you don’t ink the plates enough, or don’t put enough pressure down, you won’t get a clear image for a result. This can be desirable at times, however. It can be very unpredictable which some people like in art. I tend to like things to be a bit more controlled, but it was interesting to push my boundaries in print-making class. Linocut prints and dry point printing were my favorite techniques by far, but dry point isn’t really possible unless you have a proper printing press to get the right amount of pressure down.

If you don’t feel like making your own linocut prints, but would still love to have one or gift them, Etsy carries a ton of beautiful linocut prints from hundreds of different artists.

(via redcatpress on Etsy)

(via redcatpress on Etsy)

(via AtlantisPrints on Etsy)

(via AtlantisPrints on Etsy)

Finally, though technically these next prints are wood cuts and not linocuts (the technique used to make them is identical as far as I know), they’re absolutely stunning. I was introduced to Tugboat Printshop through BOOOOOOOM’s website. A two-person operation, they do large-scale woodblock prints.

"The Moon" 35.5" x 30.5" Woodcut Print on White BFK Paper Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

“THE MOON” 35.5″ x 30.5″ Woodcut Print on White BFK Paper Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

"THE FOUR ELEMENTS SET" Four 12" x 10.25 " Color Woodcut Prints on Ivory Somerset Paper Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

“THE FOUR ELEMENTS SET”
Four 12″ x 10.25 ” Color Woodcut Prints on Ivory Somerset Paper
Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

The amount of tiny detail in these equates to hours upon hours of careful carving, but even if you ignore that, observe the multiple colors. In order to do multiple colors in a linocut or woodblock print, you need to have different blocks for each color. You basically need to carve the same thing for as many colors as you wish to include in your final print. There is so much room for margin of error in these kinds of works. I can’t imagine how long it would take to go from start to finish. Paul and Valerie talk about their process a bit here.

People wonder why prints like these are so expensive; beyond the insane amount of work that goes into them, there are a limited amount of prints that can be done before the wood wears down and becomes unusable. These beautiful prints are worth every penny in my books!

This may be my last post before going back to school, so everyone: have a great holiday and a happy new year! I have so many things to look forward to in the new year and I’m totally ready to get started! Let’s go, 2013!

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Flowing Summer Prints

The trend of bright colors continues, from neon in the spring to bold colors and patterns in the summer. What better way to show them off than in the bright sunshine?

Retroactive – Ranya Mordanova (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

Retroactive – Ranya Mordanova (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

Retroactive – Ranya Mordanova (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

Retroactive – Ranya Mordanova (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

Prints have really made a come-back. The dress on the top is gorgeous, modest yet chic for summer. The pattern looks like it’s been taken from a kaleidoscope and is easily accessorized with anything black. I really like the super-high-waisted skirt in the bottom image, with a simple top (though not one that cuts down quite that far). I’ve been seeing a lot of dresses and skirts paired with leggings, making this look great for spring and fall as well. Accessorizing with prints is easy; stick to colors found in the prints and you’re good to go! It’s really cute how she’s used bracelets over-top of her heels, whether they’re part of the shoes or not.

 

The Fashion Aquarium – Marte Mei van Haaster (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

The Fashion Aquarium – Marte Mei van Haaster (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

The Fashion Aquarium – Marte Mei van Haaster (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

The Fashion Aquarium – Marte Mei van Haaster (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

The Fashion Aquarium – Marte Mei van Haaster (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

The Fashion Aquarium – Marte Mei van Haaster (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

The photos above caught my attention because of the model; she looks like she’s sweating from heat. Displaying summer clothes on someone that’s sweating (or made to look like she was) makes sense! We should embrace the weather instead of trying to hide from it. The peplum top is very cute and is hopefully made of a thin shear fabric, otherwise, and the shiny silver may generate more heat. The second outfit is really cool; I love the mix of the netting against the overalls, though normally overalls don’t do it for me (perhaps the bottom half is a skirt?). The mix of textures continues in the third image, swirly cotton against smooth silk. Her fire-red shoes really pop against the cool colors of the rest of the outfit.

 

Florence Welch, July 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine (via Print and Pattern)

Florence Welch, July 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine (via Print and Pattern)

Florence Welch, July 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine (via Print and Pattern)

Florence Welch, July 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine (via Print and Pattern)

I really love the color palette in the shoot above, so warm and dreamy! The whole care-free-flower-child look is really cool, even if I wouldn’t wear it myself. Long flowing fabric is in this summer (think maxi skirts/dresses) and can be worn tons of different ways. The dress above is a little shear in my opinion, but with another layer or two it’d be very wearable. I would like to see different skirt-length options for dresses this summer, though. I’ve seen lots of skirts I’d love to try but they end up dragging behind me and I can’t help but cringe thinking how dirty they’d get.

 

Photography of Joanna Kustra for Factice Mag (via 79 ideas)

Photography of Joanna Kustra for Factice Mag (via 79 ideas)

Photography of Joanna Kustra for Factice Mag (via 79 ideas)

Photography of Joanna Kustra for Factice Mag (via 79 ideas)

The subject matter above is very interesting; a black wedding gown instead of white, flowers hair pieces, the block of black against the top model’s forehead and the orange eye makeup framed with the very popular beachy-waves hairstyle. These portraits draw your attention more to the model and her expression, rather than the fashion, and I like that. The second photo is a bit more traditional but still beautiful, especially her hair.

Looking at what ties all these images together, I think it’s safe to say we should keep the makeup and accessories simple this summer; let the prints and fabrics speak instead!