Woodcut: Avocado Pit Still Life

reductionwoodcut
reductionwoodcut
Avocado Pit Still Life 5 x 7 2-color reduction Woodcut with Watercolor Sold

This reduction woodcut goes wayyyy back, so I’m posting it as a nod to Throw Back Thursday. The first printmaking experience I had was at UMASS in the mid 1980’s. As soon as I walked into the print lab, and heard the clank of an old metal proofing press, inhaled a whiff of ink, and stepped on a cushion of wood and linoleum curled shavings underfoot, I was in love. In a blink, I had a bench hook in my apartment, and carving tools on my desk, with a slab of glass edged with masking tape to roll ink out.

 

The woodcut above was made during that time, as a family portrait: the african violet on the left was my paternal grandmother’s favorite house plant, the sprouting avocado pit suspended in a glass of water by push pins on the right was for my maternal grandmother’s amazmo gardening abilities, the figures in the abstracted photo in the center are me & my siblings, and the cassette deck in the foreground was homage to my step dad back in California; we sent letter recordings back and forth for the duration of my college years.  So, yeah, that’s my 1980’s abstracted still life reduction woodcut, printed in gray and black, and painted with watercolor.

In other news, I’ve moved. As in, packed everything we own in boxes, wrapped large objects in moving blankets and cellophane, dismantling my 480 pound etching press into 4 parts, wrestled Scout-the-cat into a carrier, and moved from the desert to the coast.

 

The delightful part of the process is unpacking. It’s a chance for clearing and culling and organizing.  This results in new relationships: I’m on a first-name basis with my new friends at Goodwill.  This stage is also steeped in possibilities, and fresh starts which require 500 small decisions every-single-day. This will exhaust the decision-making brain till is whimpers for mercy, which means its not a good time (for me) to make art. I need that decision part of my brain to paint and carve, and it’s definitely flashing a Do Not Disturb sign this week. In red neon. Should I stash the matting hardware in the [un-insulated] garage, or climb it up into the attic, or squeeze it into the studio? Can I fit all watercolor and printmaking paper onto one book shelf? Where are my brushes? Will all the carved and yet-to-be-carved blocks fit in one carton, or should I recycle the carved stuff?

scoutbeinghelpful
Scout in the new space – helping me unpack and get organized.

I’ll do a post on the old vs new studio as soon as I get settled. The old & new rooms are almost identical in size, but there are differences in the rest of the house which grossly prohibit my stealthy scope-creep of art supplies elsewhere, if you catch my drift (wink-wink). #artistchallenges

Have you moved your studio recently? Did you take the opportunity to lay things out differently?

Art Quote

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.

Eric Roth; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

12 thoughts on “Woodcut: Avocado Pit Still Life”

  1. Your Avocado pit print is really wonderful, and the colors are fantastic. I hope you will accept this with the humor with which I’m giving it, but the shirt colors in the family portrait….well, when I first saw the print online, I thought it was the Star Trek cast!

  2. Pingback: Pen & Ink: Afternoon Snack (& a video of the process) - Belinda Del Pesco

  3. Love the print, the post and the quote. Huge! Moving your studio, which is probably why I
    haven’t. Love the avocado in this. Love the colour and design. We used to grow them. They are so satisfactory.

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

  4. Move to the coast? Awesome!
    Your posts inspire me to carve Lino, so my printmaking supplies survived my harsh cull and reorg of my studio this past week. Going in there now is fantastic and I’m feeling the creative energy revving up. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Love the quote, and congrats on dealing with the move. I’m still at the place where I’m trying to carve out a little studio space instead of working on our dinner table.

    1. Have faith, Kathleen! I painted at the dinner table for years! Making art at the same place where one’s family gathers for meals adds a sweet ingredient to the art! 🙂

  6. Joanne Kalvaitis

    Glad you got moved and more or less settled. Nice to see your work, as usual, and I hope the new place inspires many more posts of your work.

  7. GLad to hear you made it! I’m very good at organizing if you want some help. Final school project due next Tuesday and then I plan to paint the summer away!

    1. Thanks for the organization offer – I’m almost all set. Very excited to be near this ocean-laced light! I look forward to the results of your Summer-of-Painting! Get blogging, girlie!

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