December 2011   volume 10 number 6 The Artist's Loft logo The Artist's Loft logo

William H. Hays  Hello and Welcome Friends,

Christmas is this weekend and the busy-ness of the holidays has made our time in Vermont fly by. We enjoy referring to the hubbub as the "Annual Christmas Triathlon." That seems to sum it up pretty well. That's not to say that we don't enjoy ourselves. Patricia, in particular, is a great fan of Christmas. And so I'll take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. (This, sincerely to you, even though you may not celebrate the holiday.)

My brand new, snazzy, red ukulele threatens to make me an international sensation. Well, not really. But it is fun to plink away at this new acquisition, though I think I should stick with print making and painting. Music is not necessarily my strong suit.

And with that in mind, let me introduce you to the latest of my multi-color linoleum block prints. This one addresses a subject I've considered doing for almost 20 years - a farm in Putney, Vermont. I've passed by this lovely farm for many years and always admired the architecture. Finally, I worked up a composition that allows me to enjoy it as the subject of a work of art.

Putney Farm

    My original photograph of the farm in Putney, Vermont

I talk about how I went from this photograph to the composition on my blog page, if you'd like to see how that was done. The post is called "Coming up with a new idea" and was posted in December of 2011. But here I'm going to show you how the print came about in a few steps. This first image (below) is the print with four colors printed: the yellow first, then three pale blue grays. By this time, I've been working on the print for more than a week.

One more blue just to bring it all into focus.

Next is a brown.

Now a dark violet (that looks like a black really).

And finally, the sky. This is a much more pure color than the muted tones I've been using and I enjoy the contrast in intensity that livens up the whole image.

    "Midnight Clear" 8-color linoleum block print 12" x 9" edition of 44

And with that, let me share a poem which was sent to me by my friend, Michael McCarthy in response to the finished print:

Moon beams dance
this icy field tonight
only buried fence posts watch...

I mentioned my blog page above. This (almost) monthly newsletter is something that I've been doing for ten years. But I've never had a mechanism in place to receive your responses and have them viewed by everyone else who reads this. So I started the blog to open up a more public, two-way communication and to allow for some additional material that occasionally comes to mind.

Along with the post I mentioned already (which deals with the composition of the image for this print I've just finished), I've also posted some musing concerning a woodcut print we own, done by Albrecht Durer. The post is entitled, "Thinking about prints... and Bridgette of Sweden." I hope you'll enjoy that too.

  Woodcut by Albrecht Durer from "The Revelations of Saint Bridgette of Sweden", plate 16, circa 1500

And that about sums it up for me this year. I always look forward to hearing from you and seeing your smiling faces walking through my studio door. Gallery Walk in Brattleboro is a regular, good excuse to come by. But the door is always open and you are most welcome to visit and see what is underway at The Artist's Loft.


William H. Hays

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