Awhile back, I met someone on Facebook who enjoyed the same novel I did (Night Owl by M. Pierce) and she posted a picture of an owl sitting on a book. It was so neat I asked if I could scan it with MTC and cut the image out with black vinyl.
I also asked Erin to describe her art process with me because I loved what she was making and I’d never heard of it before.
So, in Erin’s words (mine in parenthesis and bold because you know I have a big mouth and have to comment on stuff)
My art process is very similar to the writing process of pre-write, draft, revision, edit, and publish (I’ve never asked, but Erin must be a teacher. I have the writing process posters on my wall so I get it).
1. An idea. As you know, this image was inspired by Night Owl. This particular idea came to me while I was sitting in morning traffic while on my way to work. I did a quick sketch and jotted down notes in my sketchbook. I also researched owls, trees, bird silhouettes, and open book photographs for reference.
2. I used the first sketch and the researched references to do a sketch that is more in the style for a linocut.
3. Revision- At this point, I have a pretty good idea of where the image is going. I made some changes to the owl details, but was happy with the background.
4. I made an initial linocut so I could see if I needed to make changes. I did not like how it came out, so I edited and revised.
So, I went back and changed the details that didn’t work for the print.
<–worked and made to be the final print.
Nocturnal. Linocut Print. 2014. Erin R. Remaley. Pittsburgh, PA
Linocut is a form of relief printing. A design is carved into a piece of linoleum using gouges. This is inked with a brayer, and a print made by placing a sheet of paper on top so the ink is transferred to the paper. Pressure is applied to get an even transfer of the ink by either running the linocut block and paper through a printing press or using a burnisher or brayer.
Isn’t that neat? Anyway, she posted a picture of the linocut and I asked her if I could try to scan it with Make the Cut and cut it out in vinyl. Since she said yes, I did. I first brought the image into Photoshop and took out the yellow tint in the picture because I needed good contrast to get a good scan. A lot of the details didn’t scan so well (the book pages and lines around the eyes) so I used the editing tool in Make the Cut to fix the areas so that they would cut nice.
I actually did my final cut in a 4 x 5.25″ size because I thought the owl would look great on greeting cards.
Here is the first one I did. I noticed that the eyes weren’t correct and the lines around the eyes were too small to cut out. So I went back in and edited those along with the left side of the book. I cut the image again with KNK Maxx, weeded it, and added a little red bow after applying the vinyl to kraft paper and gluing it to a white card.
I am cutting out a 5×7″ version for her because I thought it would look really neat applied to a piece of glass.
However, I discovered the picture frame I used was a cheap IKEA frame and it was plexiglass, not glass. I took a picture of it on a letter and one of the bookmarks I received from the awesome M. Pierce.
oops. My watermark covered the website address: www.mpiercefiction.com
Well, I learned something cool and neat and if you haven’t heard of it before, hopefully you did as well.