One of the great privileges of being an artist is being able to preserve a special or beautiful moment in time and share it with others. I was painting the other day when the moon rose above a line of fir trees. I did the above watercolor sketch quite quickly, before moving on my next planned, much more detailed work.
The scene stayed with me, as several moon rises through the years have done, and on Saturday, I sat down and did a small carved block from it. Yesterday, I ran the block on the letterpress for new note-cards.
Most of the cards look like the one above, but instead of mixing the ink on a palette, I added the green and blue separately on the ink disc itself, so the first several (before it got mixed thoroughly by the rollers) have a more tie-dyed appearance (called a "rainbow roll" in printmaking). It's more subtle than the tree I did in yellow and blue (mostly because of the darker colors involved), but it's there.
The light and dark contrast of a single color block really changed the feel of the image away from the lightness and color of the original watercolor. I'm now working on a three color block that would let me get a little more of the original feel in a print. This scene hasn't quite let me go yet.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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