Pictures of pictures

I kind of hated to do it, but I changed the banner picture at the top…Those truck pictures are ancient history, it’s time to move on! But before we say farewell, maybe we should take one last look at the printing process one rainy day last February, because I have these beautiful pictures of the day and it would be a shame not to use them.


These pictures were taken last February. It was a typical California winter day: gray and overcast and not particularly warm, but not anything to complain about compared to most parts of the world. I did find it interesting, though, that as soon as we plugged in a baby spot outside the kitchen window, just how much lighter I felt! (This was a full-on professional photo shoot, I tell you: lighting, and gels and the latest in camera gear and all that good stuff!) So, this is a post about making prints, again, where I’ll get pretty geeky about those moments of perfection that keep me coming back: every printing day is different and exciting.

In this picture, I’ve pulled one good print already and I’m preparing to ink the block again. I love ink in a tube, because it is less exposed to the air and it doesn’t dry out before you get to use it. That’s a big deal to me, honest! I had no idea how much I loved ink tubes before last year.

spreading the ink

I get to use cool tools on printing days. So you squeeze out a blob of ink and then you smear it around with the pallet knife and the brayer until it is worked and ready to go.
Spreading and working the ink.

ink with grooves

I love the grooves in the ink.

inking the block

Quote from Mick Shelton: print with ink, not pressure!

Inking the block — not unlike painting a wall, apply the ink from every direction and well past the point where you think you got it all…


my hands got in this one


Ink and pressure

So the next thing to do is to make sure that every bit of the paper is touching every bit of the ink. This is easier when you’re printing with ink and not pressure, but it’s also how novices and others (me!) sometimes get confused. The process of smoothing the paper out over the inked block can seem like applying pressure and why wouldn’t pressure make it better?


every single inch!



I love this process in the print making: I love the relief that becomes evident as you have determined contact between all the paper and all the ink.

Tell me that’s not beautiful, I dare you!

(You are free not to accept that challenge, actually.)

Checking it

The revealsa far, so good...

So far, so good!

getting better!

Showing more…
all of me...


Pulled a truck, all by myself, despite the enormous disparity? I don’t think I’ll start a tow service anytime soon, though…

examing my work

Examining my work


I like what the photographer did here with the light, I disappear into the background. Artists appreciating other artists…

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