Finding Inspiration in Polish Folk Art

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Working on my linocut

I’m always in search of inspiration and recently I found inspiration in Polish Folk Art. It is often very colorful and uses flat, simple shapes.

I started this project by first sketching my idea and transferring it to the speedy carve plate. It didn’t transfer very well so I ended up re-drawing pencil lines on the plate so I would be able to see the line work easily while carving.

After I was satisfied that I had carved enough detail, I inked the plate with speedball water based ink and hand printed it onto kozo printmaking paper.

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One of my prints with black ink.

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A good day at the studio! More than one print.

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The first attempt adding color: FAIL! (Watercolor)

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Hand printed linocut colored with oil pastels.

In keeping with the Polish folk art tradition, I wanted to add some bright colors. I’m not happy with the results yet, but I’ll keep working on it! The first sample I added watercolor. The kozo paper is far too thin and absorbent to stay within the line work. I thought the color would bleed a bit, but I was unpleasantly surprised at how much it bled.

For the second color attempt, I used oil pastels. I’m pretty happy with the color and I like the vibrancy. However, I don’t like that the oil pastel lightens the ink where it overlaps.

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A glimpse into the studio. 

Do you hand color your prints? I’d love to hear your tips and what you’ve learned!

Whatever you do in your studio, remember the process of art-making is a gift you give to yourself.

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