Today I saw a group of blackbirds harassing a red-tailed hawk as they all flew overhead in a small group. The nerve of those birds! They were swirling around, under and over, slapping the hawk with their wings, pulling feathers out of the hawk’s wings. I’m not sure why they do this but I’ve read smaller birds, such as wrens, will “draft” the hawk, fly in its wake and be pulled along.
This little block print was inspired by seeing the similarity of these shapes up in the sky. On the left, the wren “drafts” the red-tailed hawk, rising higher than the tiny wren could ever achieve on its own. On the right, Venus as the evening star in February appears next to the new moon.
Again, just a little illustration, and in this case I didn’t begin with a finished drawing and transfer it onto the block. Instead I sketched directly onto the block then began to cut as if I was drawing with the linoleum gouge.
It’s a tiny linoleum block print in black on white silk paper made of recycled cotton fiber with white silk threads embedded in it and flecks of gold and silver foil randomly sprinkled throughout. The art size is 2″ x 4″.
Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.
I print this one on all sorts of paper in all sorts of ink colors–lime green paper with purple ink, for instance–and I often add color to any print with watercolors. I’ve also printed it on t-shirts. You can find it in my shop on Etsy or if you are local to me I actually have these on display in my shop in Carnegie, in the back room at Carnegie Antiques, 423 West Main Street.