Roots of Red Maple. Carved Art Process.

Sometimes you wish you’d left well enough alone…sigh. But of course, you only get to that after you haven’t.

After years of virtually no carving, our carving group has revived, an unintended benefit of the pandemic downtime (not that I have any downtime in reality). So, I joined a swap in which each of the participants create a page using our carved art and send in the required number of pages. The host then creates a book with these pages and we get our page, along with those of all of the others’ pages, back in book form. And yes, there’s a deadline to get our pages in to the host, thus, the pressure is on if you fail in this process. Each time you make a fatal error is time lost and mounting pressure.

Roots of Red Maple. First. .

This one is printed in Sienna because after years of not carving, almost all of my ink pads were no longer any good.

Roots of Red Maple. 105.2.

So, seeking to improve on the first one, I added the red maple leaf to help define the tree in the bottom left corner. I also further defined various areas, such as inside the bottom tree hole in the right hand tree to include the build up of leaves in there and carved out a bit of the black spaces to add some lighter values…and here, I should have stopped!

Roots of Read Maple.106.

First off, I wanted to add some of the grasses growing around the roots but then thought I’d get fancy and stylize some…sigh… This is the conundrum with carving! Once you’ve taken out from the carving block, there’s no going back! So, the whole block is ruined.

Roots Block.

This is the block itself, a piece of Nasco Soft Block left over from the years before. The block is done in the reverse of what you want the image to be, so it appears backwards.

I just threw in the towel on this one and plan on returning to it when I can – when I haven’t taken on too much to handle! The reason I wanted to put the grasses in, in the first place, is that I realize it’s difficult to tell that this is an image of the roots, not the upper part of the tree trunk and I was seeking a way to help make this more apparent.

Original Reference Photo, Red Maple Roots, Sullivan Park, Wakefield. Courtesy of Walter Kittredge.

Thank you Walter! I’ll try again to do justice to your photo!

I have to move on. I’m ditching this image for another because I’m tired of working on it and need to return to it with fresher eyes.

Again, I thank you for watching my progress as I attempt to become the artist I want to be!

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays

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