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. 😌
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. 😌
Got a design all drawn out and ready to carve for my first lino carving in over a year. I’m excited and a bit nervous. Linoblocks are harder to carve compared to erasers so it’s easier to wind up with gouged hands and bloody fingers, so I’m hoping I’m not too rusty. But I’m excited because, well, I’m back to something familiar. With patience and a steady hand, I know how this will turn out. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something different, like with the stamp carving, but it also feels good to come back to something you know. There’s nothing wrong with staying in your zone.
…now, if I could just come up with a name for this piece. Any suggestions would be appreciated. 😌
I’m used to being the kind of person who can get the hang of something by the third try. As of today, I see I’m going to have to throw that thought out the window with this stamp carving. So far I’ve mutilated somewhere between 20-25 erasers and my carvings are still not up to par with say my linocut carvings, which are now proving to be much easier. These designs I create look deceptively simple when drawn out in paper but once I transfer them to the eraser they can turn out to be somewhat of a pain when it comes to carving them.
Now don’t get my grumbling wrong, I’m a trooper and sticking with it and working through this journey of creative growth, although I now can clearly understand why some artists just go out and buy the stamps. This stuff ain’t easy. But you really can’t beat the satisfaction of creating your own unique designs, so I’m gonna keep marching on. 😊
It’s official, no eraser is safe in my house. They will get sliced, diced and turned into a stamp. Although I have some Speedball Speedy carve to work with, I’ve been using erasers to do the majority of my practice work, while saving the Speedy carve for more serious projects. Working with rubber is definitely much easier than linoleum yet I’m discovering it is also much easier to over cut and mess up a design. Like most things that I do, patience is needed with this. Practice and patience has been my motto for the day. 😊