Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tesla Woodcut started!

My Friday night plan was to watch a movie while working on my woodcut. Except it turns out the chosen film was in French and I was required to read subtitles so I didn't get far. The flick? Seraphine, about Séraphine Louis, known as "Séraphine de Senlis." The picture to your left is Seraphine's Les Grappes de Raisin. Here's the Storyline from

In 1914, Wilhelm Uhde, a famous German art collector, rents an apartment in the town of Senlis, forty kilometers away from Paris, in order to write and to take a rest from the hectic life he has been living in the capital. The cleaning lady is a rather rough-and-ready forty-year-old woman who is the laughing stock of others. One day, Wilhelm who has been invited by his landlady, notices a small painting lying about in her living room. He is stunned to learn that the artist is no other than Séraphine. Written by Guy Bellinger   

My goal to study one artist per quarter took a nose dive early on. I got entrenched in Grant Wood, never to emerge. Q1 2011 was to be Basquiat, but  honestly I haven't gotten very far. This film just reinforced my goal of reading about other artists and seeing their work. This Seraphine--I honestly had never heard of her but the film was thankfully autobot recommended by Netflix--painted beautiful and mysterious paintings. How wonderful to know a little about her now. She had an incredible drive to paint and it was inspiring to learn about her life and discover her paintings. 

I did manage to transfer a blown up postcard image of Tesla onto my piece of board. The board measures approx. 15 x 11". I don't have the entire board pictured. Tesla's head takes up about 1/2 of it. I have a plan for the top part (same kind of schematic as the postcard but I think I'm going to do a trace monotype or a screen print). I used a blender pen to do the image transfer. The wood absorbs the pen ink very quickly so it's best to secure your paper with some low-tack tape and use the pen on 1-2" square inches and then burnish. I tried large areas then went back to burnish and didn't get a very clear transfer in some areas. It worked well enough, however. Now I just need to sharpen my tools and start carving. Ugh. I'm always afraid to sharpen since I know they can be screwed up if it's done incorrectly. I'll do a search on youtube and I bet I find something. If I do, I'll post it.

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