Hello and Welcome Friends,

  January 2008
volume 7 number 1

There are plusses and minusses to receiving my new printing press. First the plusses: The quality of the prints is very fine. It is much easier on my arms and shoulders. I can produce larger editions of prints. I can emboss prints. I can work in a variety of techniques that I could not before.

And the minuses? Well, actually there is only one that I can think of. I get so tied up in the printing that I have not been doing any oil painting for more that three months.

There. I said it. I confess. My wife is right. I am obsessed!

But all good things come to an end. I ran out of printing blocks and paper and the materials I ordered were very slow in coming. So I was encouraged (shall we say) to get back into some painting. And now that I've done it, I'm glad and pleased with the paintings.

So the paintings are what I'll start with this month. This painting began as a sunset along the coast in Nova Scotia about six months ago. I blocked in the composition and then it sat at my easel for a long time. I thought that this would be a good canvas with which to start in painting again.

    "West River Sunset" Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

I've continued to use the very limited, 4-color palette that I started with back in June. The next painting is a very different use of the combinations of these four colors. It is based on a quick visit to the ridge line of Putney Mountain that I made back in October with my wife, Patricia.

    "Passing Storm From Putney Mountain" Oil on Canvas 28" x 38"

The next painting again takes different approach to using the limited palette. It is inspired by a print that I showed you last month by the same title. If you are interested in seeing the progression of this painting on the easel, take a look at this series of photos as it takes shape.

    "Forest Light" Oil on Canvas 38" x 28"

And that's all the paintings that I've been able to do this month. But, I do have a couple of prints for you to consider as well.

The first is inspired by a late painting by Winslow Homer. The print itself has little to do with the painting that inspired it, "The Fox Hunt". Nevertheless, that's where I started. I've had the idea for a composition such as this for as much as ten years. Now, I've finally come around to doing it in this linocut block print. Ultimately the only aspect that is retained from Homer's painting is the point of view, that of another crow.

    "Gleaning Crows" 5-color Linocut, 9" x 12" edition of 38

Next I experiemented a little bit with embossing. I did this simple, one color print utilizing the pressure of my press to stretch the paper into the open areas that are carved away. The resulting embossment is subtle and accented with a single color of a pale gray-violet.

    "Winter Waterfall" one-color Linocut 7" x 5" edition of 18

Finally, this print that returns to that subject which entices me all winter long - light on snow. This small print was a challenge to carve due to the delicate lines of the bare foliage that are actually printed in two colors. This is where good tools come in handy. This print is one of my favorites so far.

    "Delicate Light" 5-color Linocut 5" x 7" edition of 30

And so ends another month of work in the studio. I hope that you've enjoyed what I have to show you and I look forward to hearing from you. If you are interested in purchasing one of the prints, they are available online on my "Prints" page. Of course, you're welcome to come by the studio to see them in person, and if you are in town for the evening of the first Friday of the month you can enjoy Gallery Walk downtown.


William H. Hays

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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
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