WHAT THE HAY

written by NANCY GORDON, editor + publisher

I’ve been publishing CREATIVE MAINE, and the digital version of its predecessor ZEST, for over three years now and I must tell you all what a kick it has been to meet everyone we feature in each issue.

Doug Frati’s woodcarving, in the March–April 2022 issue, inspired me to look into carving. Amidst all the true artistic talent that CREATIVE MAINE profiles, I’m a little shy to show my new start in lino-block carving and printing … but what the hay.

Having grown up on the boards in magazine production at New York Magazine, I’m used to cutting tools like X-Acto blades and single-edged razor blades. I still have my X-Acto knife, now an antique.

Carving lino isn’t a big jump, but finding my style in this medium has been. Everything I’ve looked at is decorative, with lots of detail. I’m a modernist, with a love for clean lines and blank open spaces. Many of Maine’s landscape painters have the wonderful ability to see the shapes within the shapes. Artist Richard Keen's Little Long Pond No. 2 comes to mind first:

But first, I had to learn the process ….

After watching countless videos, I finally found Rich Fowler of Boarding All Rows. An extraordinary artist in this medium, his website is very instructive and introduces you to the full scope of tools. Brilliantly done!

I signed up for his beginner video class series. The best thing about lino blocks is that they don’t require dedicated studio space, which I don’t have. By clearing a small space on my desk, I was ready to begin carving.

Here are couple results so far, along with Whittaker above (apologies for the photography):

Thinking of starting something new, but a little afraid? BE BOLD! Making a fool of yourself is fun, she said with a head toss and a giggle!

Enjoy!
Nancy
nancy.zestmaine.com

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