Today while Calvin was napping, Levi and I did some printing. I have been wanting to get back to printmaking for quite some time now and I figured that playing around with the medium and introducing it to my son was a good way to ease back into it. So, I opened up the garage/studio door to let in the morning light, cut up some potatoes, recycled a piece of styrofoam and got out some tools. Levi of course was thrilled that I was letting him use my “very sharp cutters”, as he calls them. I taught him how to hold the cutter, how to push it away from his body and to never let his other hand go in front of the blade. It only took one little nick into his finger for him to learn that I meant business. Good thing there is always a stash of band-aids near by.
He loves using tools, as do most little boys his age. Getting him to understand and follow a process however takes a bit more orchestrating. He was way more interested in actually making the marks in the potatoes and on the styrofoam then he was turning them into inked stamps on paper. With a little coaxing though, he saw the magic happen and then he was on a roll. The mood of the day was red apparently, because he didn’t want to use any other colors. We had fun together and that’s all that matters. After about 15 minutes of printing he was off bouncing a superball down the driveway and chasing it down the street, which gave me a bit of time to work on my own printing.
I started this linocut a few months ago when I was working on my holiday cards. It’s been sitting on my studio table since then, just waiting patiently for my return. It’s a sweet little print and I’m fairly happy with the result. Today I just printed it on the cardstock craft paper that I was using for Levi’s project and I used his cheap craft paint. I will reprint it using my good ink on high quality paper, which will allow for a lot more of the details to show through.
The ink was barely dry before I was being called out into the yard to come play ball. All in a day’s work and fun.