New Year’s Greeting

Warm by the fire...

Well, it’s done. The cut for the front of the very extremely late Christmas card worked out relatively well. Holly’s been lobbying for years to do a card featuring our beloved pets, so here it is. She loves it, but I see some problems that may be addressed in future efforts with the same illustration:

1) the floor grain is too pronounced, causing an imbalance with the white walls in behind. However, there’s no mistaking that it is a pine plank floor!

2) Sneak (the dog) in the chair needs a bit of work to define his parts properly. Where the tail comes across his tangle of legs does not telegraph to the viewer as clearly as I would have hoped.

3) Tennyson just kind of happened, without a great deal of thought which sometimes work (I am a lucky guy) but not, I think, in this case.

4)I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking with the bookcase behind Sneak’s head. I guess that combined with the art on the wall top left makes the visual tally for our studio motto: “Books and art in a house give it a soul.” However, we run into a black hole of clarity in the area where chair, book case and the dog’s ear collide ungracefully. These are all fairly minor problems that could be solved with a second cutting, which I may do for a limited edition run.

There are aspects of this particular run that I like very much:

1) the contours and textures created by line-work in the chair works very well IMO.

2) anyone who has been to our wee mid-19th century house will recognize the window and trim. The window reflects very much the style and feeling I am trying to achieve with some of my more recent cuts: loose, more free, less slave to the rigidity and exactitude of “photographic” reproduction, more illustrative and stylish.

3) the stove worked, although it’s very simple, just white line technique, but it scans well with the window, creating a horizontal (or rather perpendicular) balance.

Overall I’m pleased with the result, and Holly loves it. It goes in the mail to friends and family this week.

As for the inside, I turned to my old friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge. For certain I studied Coleridge’s depressing poem Work Without Hope back in the day, and learned about the brilliant poet’s tragic addictions and troubles that kept him from finishing most everything he set out to achieve (in poetry at least). That is what the poem is about; however, it is the brief lines which serve as a paean to the subtle promise of spring that I remember Bill Murray reciting in the brilliant movie Groundhog Day, and not melancholic ode to procrastination, that stay with me. I know: that’s a lot of deep stuff for a greeting card! Here it is set in the elegantly practical face Italian Oldstyle designed by Frederick Goudy:

Explore posts in the same categories: Block Printing, Lino Cuts

One Comment on “New Year’s Greeting”

  1. Deb Says:

    Thanks so much for the card, Larry! It’s sitting on the mantel now, and is no doubt destined for a picture frame. And Tennyson looks great, by the way; very languid, as a cat should.

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