Winnipeg Neighbourhood II.
32" x 40". 2010.
What a fun invention -- the steamroller festival. Tomorrow Martha Street Studio will close off Martha Street, rent a steamroller and print giant linocuts on the street. For the past two weeks I've been carving on my sheet of linoleum like crazy to finish it on time (thank God for audio books...). It actually went faster and easier than I thought thanks to my good carving tools and the hot plate, which helps to soften the lino when the wrists get too sore. Today I finally pulled my first successful test print (see image above). For those of you who don't know how a linocut works, here is the basic breakdown: first you carve an image into a linoleum plate with lino- or wood carving tools. Whatever you cut away will be white; wherever the surface remains intact ink will be rolled on and it will be black.
The image I worked with is another Winnipeg Neighbourhood. I've been wanting to work with the Neighbourhood I live in now for some time already. I didn't really want to work with it in etching, but I thought that the spacial breakdown of my etching Winnipeg Neighbourhood, which depicts houses from Dorchester Ave., McMillan Ave., and Wolseley would lend itself wonderfully for a linocut. I haven't worked much with this medium. I've done some small scale linocuts, mainly cards, but I've taught linocut for the past few years and now I finally got to try out all that good advice I always give to my students on a large scale piece. I always say that a great variety of textures makes linocuts interesting and somewhat breaks down the stark black and white contrasts by forming halftones. So I experimented a lot with different textures and patterns within the houses. These textures make the image quite busy, but the regularity of the houses and the pattern of the trees I find hold the image together. The streets depicted in my new piece are Jessie Ave., Warsaw Ave. and Mulvey Ave.