Sketchbook Project, Page 3 - Dragonfly

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This dragonfly began the completion of the dream of the “Shrine to Fun, Silliness, and Creativity” in the telephone nook in my house.  I researched images of dragonflies and, because I’m not a great sketch artist, I printed, adjusted to my liking, and then traced my final image to an 8”x10” mounted linoleum block.  I work full-time and have a traveling husband and two kids, so carving this much detail seemed to take ages!  I’d work on it almost obsessively after the kids were in bed and again early in the mornings.  When the house was quiet, the dragonfly gave me something to focus on outside of the physical pain and emotional distress that had become my recent reality.

After it was finally complete and I was in love with the paper trials, I made many different, experimental efforts to print on the wall.   I learned a heartbreaking lesson that it’s not really possible to print a linocut directly onto a plaster wall; the surface isn’t flat OR smooth after so many years and layers of rolled-on paint.  The gloss of the red paint I’d chosen for the wall didn’t help to hold onto the ink I was trying to apply either.  Nearly in tears, I phoned my artist friend, James, for advice.  He called me into his Secret Studio to smooth my feathers and gave me a quick-and-dirty lesson and the supplies for using gold leaf to get my printed image onto the wall.  Not only did Plan B make it so much more special, but it also gave me a-whole-nother skillset, and the confidence to keep on truckin’ with the original printing medium. 

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