Summer is speeding by and right smack dab in the middle of it I get sick. This happens to many of us and puts a damper on the outside activities. With my creativity at a low ebb along with my energy, I picked up my carving tool and some Jack Richeson Easy Carve Lino and used some of the designs I’ve been creating for stencil products. This is one of the ways I like to reuse artwork, by making art tools from it.
Focusing on the positive and negative space and the lack of color to distract, forces you to simplify and make every line count. The art becomes a sort of puzzle that you carefully put together to create impact. Less is more when carving stamps. There are no shades of grey, just black and white. Positive and negative.
Summer is a busy time, but it is still possible to carve time for art out of each day. Try something new like carving stamps, it only takes one tool, you can do it outside, and the stamps can be used for future projects.
Use a sharp blade
Start with simple designs and work up to more intricate ones
Never cut towards yourself! Carve away from your hand holding the Lino
Use a bench hook/inking plate to carve safely http://www.dickblick.com/products/speedball-bench-hookinking-plate/
Cut a groove with V shaped tip around all of the design out lines and the carve away lino to that groove. This will help prevent cutting into the design lines.
Take your time and enjoy the process. This is something that takes time, it’s not a fast process but you can come back to it and spend a few moments on it throughout the day.
Ink your lino cut with a stamp pad to see areas that still need carving (see last two images)
I show some carving tips on my newly released DVD from Interweave Press, you can see a preview and order it HERE