Hi Everybody, it’s ken from the log cabin print shop, and today i’m going to start a new linocut.
Right now, I’m going to start carving my tree, and let’s see how it turns out! I’m working in a size that’s a little bit new to me. It’s 6×8″ which is a little bit bigger than a notecard, but it’s not so big that it would take me days to do all the carving. I like that it’s big enough, i can get some details that I can’t get in a notecard.
I’ve already worked all the composition out, so it’s a meditative process to just follow the lines and to cut the design into a block of linoleum. I’m working on a theme of a tree with birds and cats. I’d like to have 4 new linocut prints that all relate to each other.
Keep checking this post for updates. I’m printing the blocks right now, and will be able to share them real soon!
I have some new colored paper, and thought this new design featuring a goat eating tulips would look good on orange with brown ink. This short video shows the hand carving and printing process with a traditional press to make a unique linocut notecard. If you’d like to support my work and add one of these cards to your collection, you can order one here:
I’m close to the elliott/carter county lines, and am going to try to get a painting from this view
Here is my sketch
The cell phone reception is not super, but I’ll try to post updates as I work, check back later ..
Setup and ready to start painting!!!
I more or less have the values and composition worked out…I’m painting on a board slightly wider than a traditional landscape proportion, so my center of attention keeps falling into the center…supposedly a no no in art, but I think I can make it work…time for color!!!
This scene is backlit (I’m facing the sun) so I’m having a lot of fun, experimenting with some new color combinations in the shadows
It’s backlit ( we are facing the sun), so I didn’t get the best photo of the painting with the landscape. When I get back to the studio, i’ll take a better photo to share with you all.
What an enjoyable experience: painting from life out in the country! I don’t consider myself a representational painter, but I REALLY enjoy the exercise of working from life, learning about light and color. I did some things with color that I never would have tried on my own.
Some of my friends and family make fun of me. They think I’m becoming agoraphobic during the pandemic. It might be true. I was camping and doing my best to avoid people and indoors while on my recent road trip, but there is a problem of using public bathrooms. I don’t want to use them while Kentucky and Indiana are having record breaking highs in COVID infections.
I skipped over some of my original plan, to arrive at my destination (The French Paper Company), where I stocked up with more paper than I could ever use in a lifetime! Now I’m going home, where I plan to make a lot of woodcuts and never leave the house again!
UPDATE: 10/8/2020 I might have a paper problem…not sure where to put all of this. I came up with this idea of a shelf to stack the paper over a set of drawers. I used the 3d Modelling software, Blender (normally for animation and 3d graphics), to plan the design
it WORKED!!! The lumber was a little bit longer than I thought it would be, so I’ve extended the height…there’s room for one more shelf
I’ve pretty much stayed put since march during the pandemic, so today is a big deal. I’m going to leave my house and the 5 miles radius in which I live..maybe for a few days. I’m off to madison, indiana to do some painting…then. Brown county indiana (see the awesome guidebook my friend Diane sent me?). After that: michigan!
I take the pandemic serious, so I’m bringing lots of sanitizer and masks…doing to sleep in a tent. No indoor spaces, or close proximity to other people for me. Wish me well, and check this website from time to time. I’m going to share trip updates here.
4:30 pm UPDATE
I have been nervous thinking about painting in a public place. Normally I welcome people to look over my shoulder, but not during a pandemic.
I decided to stop and paint a country scene before getting to madison. There was a classic looking farmhouse on a hill by the highway.
A nice thing about the country, there aren’t a lot of people around, which gives me the opportunity to focus on the painting
There was no cellphone signal at this spot, which disconnected me from any distractions. It’s been a long time since I’ve painted plein air with no company…in person or virtual.
I tried some experimental things with color that I never would have tried if people were watching. Halfway through the painting, I was really frustrated, and thought I was going to lose the painting
As luck would have it, I didn’t give up, and the painting came together. I’m happy with how it came out. It’s possibly one of my favorite plein air paintings.
The first photo was with the painting in the shade…here’s another in the light!
Now I’m in madison, indiana. Instead of put myself in a situation where someone can stop and breathe all over me, (setting an easel and paint up) I’m going to walk around with my sketchbook, and do some pen sketches of the river and old houses. Stay tuned!
While on a painting trip out in the country, i watched a sheep dog, herding a group of horses into the barn. The farmer, cussed at the dog, and told it to quit, but I think the little pup, couldn’t resist it’s instinct. When the horses ventured outside of the barn, it would herd them back inside.
I knew that I wanted to make a print about the spectacle. When I returned to my studio, i started carving the image into a block of wood. I quickly realized that the wood wasn’t the right material for the image I had in mind…i have learned with art, that it’s ok to fail and start over…that’s how we learn and get better.
I started over, this time cutting into linoleum
I was a lot happier with my second carving of the scene. Linoleum was a better material to carve the thin blades of grass and fur of the dog and horses
Going to try something different today…I’m WALKING to a location to paint. Since I’m carrying all the video and painting gear, it’s forced me to get down to basics. Will try to live stream, provided I didn’t forget my cellphone or brushes.
Going to try something different today…I’m WALKING to a location to paint. Since I’m carrying all the video and painting gear, it’s forced me to get down to basics. I really want to paint this goldenrod (kentucky’s state flower) and ironweed…but not sure how close I want to get to the ticks?!
The weather is cooling down, so I have the outdoor painting bug!
I decided to visit my friends, Mike Averdick and John Gerwe. Two friends that live nearby, who have been restoring an old stone house from the 1700’s.
Most of the trees still have their leaves, which makes it a little tricky to get certain views of architecture. Behind the house are some apple trees, and a clear view of the house, so I decided to paint there.
Here’s a 1 1/2 hour long LIVE video with a walk around the house, and the first hour of painting
Thanks Mike and John for the hospitality! I had a great time painting at the house! I want to come back later, when the leaves aren’t in front of the house 🙂
The weather is finally cooling down. That means it’s time to get the paints out and do some plein air painting!
Some artist friends and I (8 of us) decided to meet at the river park in Aberdeen, Ohio, to paint from life. Since we’ve had a sudden drop in temperature, the cool air hitting the warm river water caused a lot of fog.
I’m used to using the directional light from the sun to make colors and shapes look good in a painting. Fog diffuses all that light, and mutes the colors of the landscape…making painting from life a bigger challenge for me.
Every now and then, I have been broadcasting LIVE videos on facebook, while i make art. With this scene being such a challenge, i thought i’d try to tackle it with an audience watching the struggle. If you are interested, you can see a replay of the video here:
During the live demo, I decided to challenge myself, and use a limited palette. A palette that does not include the color BLUE. My goal was to demonstrate that the color choices aren’t as important as values (dark and light). To my eye, a foggy morning scene has LOTS of blue in nature, so painting from life without using blue would be tricky…but if i am careful about my values, it should still look ‘right’
Another challenge of painting ‘plein air’ (from life) is that the sun moves, and the scene is always changing. Towards the end of the painting, all the beautiful fog has disappeared!
In addition to the challenges of the limited palette, fog, and a changing landscape; it was the first time I had ever seen many of my artist friends in person since the pandemic started in March…so there was some long overdue socializing as well.
In spite of all that, i’m happy with the finished painting. I learned a lot about fog and color theory…and captured a memory of a really fun day!
We had so much fun, we are going to try to meet (weather permitting) again in 2 weeks (september 30, 2020). If you live close to the Maysville area and want to join us, send me a message for more details.
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, and pottery. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
Before the pandemic, You could visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Now, he's mostly sitting on his front porch ,keeping a social distance, in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.