I took a brief break from working on my “Eagle” drawing to carve up this gift for a friend of the family. This will officially be my last carving. Although I really enjoyed doing these, over the last year my enthusiasm has waned and my focus has been more on my drawing, which is what I want to be known for. To add to making this decision was the challenge of getting the materials.
I don’t keep carving materials on hand due to space hence the need for ordering which I only do when I get a request or whenever I feel like doing carving project.
Originally this gift was supposed to be a 12×12 mandala. Michael’s nor Amazon carry 12×12 linoleum blocks so I have to order them from a wholesaler. So I put my order in but after 2 1/2 weeks of being in the dark on my order for the materials from the wholesaler, I ended up having to cancel and make different arrangements. Apparently they didn’t have the supplies but wouldn’t bother to let me know that. At this point I had to inform my customer, who had already put in a down payment on the project. Fortunately she was flexible and chose as a second option the “Peace, Harmony & Love ” design of Chinese characters I had on file. I was relieved because I hate to disappoint people and plus I knew I could easily go to Michael’s and pick up supplies. So I went to Michael’s the next day. They were out. 😖 Talk about immediate frustration. So I checked Amazon. One 5×7 linoleum block on Amazon cost twice as much as it did at my local Michael’s store. It was ridiculous. Luckily the Michael’s website had access to the inventory to all Michael’s within a 50 mile radius of my zip code. So online I was able to find a Michael’s that had the supplies I needed. It was a 30 minute drive away. I was able to get the blocks but it was on my drive back that I realized I didn’t have enough enthusiasm or interest anymore to go through this kind of ordeal again just to do a carving. So that’s when I decided that this would be the last one. And frankly, I’m happy about my decision because honestly my heart is in drawing and that’s what I want to focus my energy and attention on. 😌
With “Antelope Spirits” now complete I’m ready to get back to drawing now. Currently I don’t have anything specific in mind, I just know I want to curl up on my couch with my mechanical pencil and a sketchbook and see what comes out. Along with wanting to get back to scribbling on some paper I’ve also been tossing around the idea of doing another little art zine, this time filled with well drawn out sketches and maybe even adding in some prose or micro stories. I’ve done one once before a few years back which you can glimpse a few pages of down below.
Zines (short for magazine) are a neat DIY way of self publishing. If you have a printer, a stapler and some paper you can pretty much create your own zine. And they’re pretty fun to make if you have the patience to put one together. I can see myself doing a few more in the future but for now the idea I have in mind will probably be a long term project, so in the meantime I have some sketching, writing and planning to do. 😊
I keep a list of art ideas for those moments where I’m not inspired by anything new to create. This design for my next lino carving is from that list. It’s called a Chiwara, an antelope figure of the Bambara people of Mali, that represents the spirit that taught humans the fundamentals of agriculture. There’s two different styles of the Chiwara, one is of a male antelope featuring curved horns and the other is of a female antelope featuring straight horns with a baby antelope. The one I’ve drawn here is female with a few personal stylized additions that are similar to the male version. The Chiwara is one of the handful of designs I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo of but have been far too much of a chicken to go through with it. Maybe one day I’ll get brave and get that tattoo. For now though, I’ll just enjoy making a carving out of it. 😌
For my first piece back to lino carving, I think this turned out pretty decent. I’m not quite ready to get back to doing pointillism just yet, so I’m currently mulling over a new design for another carving, so stay tuned. 😊
So I’m back to lino carving and I set up for myself a project with a bunch of swirls, curls, nooks and crannies. I just got the outline done and I’m already exasperated. In need of some carving stamina today. 😌