I love nautical folk art. When I was a kid, my mom would get me a doughnut at the little cafe in our grocery store. There was an old-fashioned-looking, carved panel of a whale on the wall that I remember very well. It represented everything that Ohio was not. It seemed to be from another age and another world; a world of stormy seas, sailors, and tall ships.
Linocut seems like the perfect medium to pay tribute to nautical folk traditions. It is inherently imperfect and it can have a charmingly primitive look.
This piece was easy to envision, but unfortunately a little difficult to execute. It was the first time I’ve done a reduction (more than one color) print on my little letterpress. I sized 30 pieces of paper for it, assuming I would have a lot of throwaways.
However, when I got to the last ten prints, I realized that the carved linoleum plate had slid gradually, even though I had affixed it with spray adhesive.
The only reason I can think why this happened is that there were some mineral spirits still on the surface of the printing press where I glued the plate. I readjusted it and kept going, but then it was nearly impossible to line up the images for the second color.
Out of thirty, I only ended up with nine decent prints. Oh well! That’s life, I suppose. But I am happy with the successful prints. Check them out in my Etsy shop.