Sultry Evening and Kissed By The Sun

William H. Hays  Hello and Welcome Friends,

I guess I've been thinking about the coming of some warmer weather. My explorations in printmaking with linocut continued this time with images of the sun - and the theme is continuing into the print I'm working on right now.

I've had this image in my head now for nearly 30 years. It's from a photograph I took one evening on the Connecticut River, looking west in the early evening on a misty day. The print is significantly different than the photo in the use of color and the way the whole sky area is depicted.

I wanted to take a look at beginning a print with a fairly deep blend of colors which would heavily influence everything that followed. I also wanted to impart the atmosphere of a hot, steamy evening as the sun nears the horizon. So I chose a salmon orange and a violet blue for the first impression, without any carving. All the subsequent colors had their tone set with this first impression. 

On the second impression I wiped away a smudge of color above the sun and also down in the water, as a reflection. As a result, each print within the edition in unique in that the skies are all different to some degree. Here are all the steps and the final print.

Sultry Evening, impressions 1-6

"Sultry Evening" impressions one through six

Sultry Evening, impression 3

"Sultry Evening" impression number three

Sultry Evening, linocut print by William H. Hays

"Sultry Evening" 6-color linocut print, 5" x 7"

As always, I learned a few things from doing this print and I was pretty happy with the results. For the next print I began with a sketch in pencil. I decided to take this print a step further and begin with a really intense foundation of color. Here are the sketch and the first impression of color.

Sketch for "Kissed By The Sun" by William H. Hays

Preparatory drawing for "Kissed By The Sun", pencil, 12" x 9"

Kissed By The Sun, impression 1

First impression for linocut print, "Kissed By The Sun", 12" x 9"

Like this first impression all of the rest required using more than one color of ink at a time. The second impression (using three colors) I used a wash cloth and wiped away illuminated clouds above the sun. Again, as a result, each print has a unique sky. Looking at the three prints photographed below, you can see that each is different. The third impression was made with four colors in horizontal bands. The fourth used three colors.

Kissed By The Sun, impressions 2-4

Impressions 2 through 4 for linocut print, "Kissed By The Sun", 12" x 9"

Just two more impressions finished the print.

Kissed By The Sun, linocut print by William H. Hays

"Kissed By The Sun" 6-color linocut print by William H. Hays, 12" x 9"

That kept me busy for almost two months.... I hope you enjoyed seeing these two new prints. They can be purchased from this website (unframed or matted) if you'd like to add them to your collection and your home.

My work is being shown in two new areas of the US (for me). At the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts (Texas), two of my pieces are in the 45th International Art Show (March 22 – April 5), "Skimming The Sunset" and "Halifax House." In Garnett, Kansas, my print "Summer Moon" was awarded Best In Show at the Walker Art Collection, Open Exhibition National Juried Show (April 3-May 28). They are using my print in their promotions of the show. 

I enjoy hearing from you.


William H. Hays