Posted by Dave Bull at 2:07 AM, July 27, 2012 [Permalink]
Today's single impression (!) looks pretty much the same as yesterday's:
... but if we zoom up, we can see a bit of difference:
The idea is simply to print this a bit roughly. I don't want my typical smooth impression for this print, and tried (not so successfully actually, as at least one webcam viewer this morning can testify!) to produce a bit of mottled tone. One reason I had trouble with doing that was that this block is a wonderfully smooth one, with just the perfect ability to drink in the pigment mix and give it back to the paper on demand from the baren.
But the reverse side of the block, which I hadn't used because it was such poor quality, seemed as though it would work better for this purpose, so I quickly cut out the shape and tried it, and it did indeed give me basically the kind of tone I want.
But this is still nowhere near 'rough' enough for what I would like to have for this scroll, so the next two impressions will have to be done in a bit more slipshod manner for sure!
And in a bit of non-woodblock news, I had a few more adventures down in the river the other day and today. I've had some sightings of a new (to me) visitor. The first time was a few days ago when I was sitting on the river bank shooting some video of a couple of fish either fighting or mating in the water (I have no idea which it was). I'll try and get a chance to upload that video later, but for now ...
It wasn't easy to shoot down into the water to see the fish because of all the reflections from the sky and the overhanging trees, so I just kept shooting and shooting, hoping to get something out of it later. And at one point, the camera started beeping, and I got the display "Card Full". So I shut it off and placed it on the riverbank at my side. But before I had even let go of it, there was a rustle in the bushes on the opposite bank, around 4~5 metres away, and a little critter popped out and stared at me.
A ferret/weasel/mink type of little guy, I had no idea which. He had a lizard (or perhaps snake) in his mouth, and bounded off into the distance along the top of the embankment.
If he had shown up not ten seconds earlier - while I was still filming - I would have simply lifted the camera from the fish, and caught him!
Act Two was this afternoon. Visitor Kato-sensei (one of my oldest and most reliable collectors) had dropped by, and we were standing at the railing just outside the workshop. And yes, out he popped again, from the same place. This time he had nothing in his mouth, but scampered down the embankment, splashed through the shallow water beneath us, and disappeared up river. This was enough of a good sighting to make a good mental note of his shape, and colouring, and a few minutes with Wikipedia gives me a provisional ID of an チョウセンイタチ ... Siberian Weasel.
Act Three was this evening, and I might as well show you right away all that I managed to catch:
Again, I was sitting on the embankment, again with camera in hand, simply sitting there hoping that he might come along. While I waited I 'practiced' a bit - I trained the camera on a little bird that was down below me, taking a quick 'bird bath' in a shallow pool. "Let's see; if he comes out, I'll focus like this ... then press the zoom ... and I'll have him!"
I went through the motions ... no problem. I'm ready. And again, the instant I put the camera down, he appeared. He darted from the undergrowth, and had that bird in his mouth in a split second. He then bounded across the scene in front of me, disappearing off in the distance at the right, as you see in that photo, taken as I frantically turned the camera on, waiting through its interminable startup routine before it was ready to shoot ...
I tell you, this guy has been sprinkled with magic dust that makes him immune to cameras!
But as it seems that he has settled in here for a while, I'll keep trying!
There is however, another aspect to this. The number of fish in the pool below me has dramatically decreased over the past few days. I have had no idea where to, as they can't swim away because the river is too low. But I think I now understand ...
I suspect this guy isn't actually so 'cute' after all. I think we may be dealing with a mass murderer here, and all I can hope is that once has has basically 'cleaned out' this little corner of the river, he'll move on somewhere else! But not - hopefully! - before I can get a clear shot of him!