San Francisco Bay - "Golden Gate Net" - Linocut Print

Back in the spring, I read that during WWII a seven-mile anti-submarine net was laid in the water across the Golden Gate in San Francisco Bay. This strange little piece of local history stuck with me. While the Bay's famous sites, like the Golden Gate Bridge (finished in 1937), Alcatraz and Angel Island, dominate the view, I'm also fascinated by what is lurking under the water's surface. With all that in mind, I made this limited-edition linocut print titled, "Golden Gate Net," using the reduction method.

"Golden Gate Net" Linocut Print

Reduction Linocut Print - "Solitude II"

Mt. Shasta provided the inspiration for the mountain in the background of this two-color, reduction linoleum block print that I finished a few months ago. Beforehand, I did a lot of experimenting with different ways to convey the campfire smoke.

I think of the print as the second in a series of camping prints - this camping print was the first.

"Solitude II" - Camping Linocut Print

Mark Twain's Lake Tahoe

" last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still!" - Mark Twain, from Roughing It.

"A Noble Sheet of Blue Water" - Linocut Print

Medium: Seven-Color, Linoleum Block Print

Titled: "A Noble Sheet of Blue Water"

Edition Size: 9

Measures: 13"x19"

Available for purchase at

It feels great to have finally finished this print, though it wasn't without its challenges! I've included some work in progress shots below and the first shows the finished carving for the first layer of colors of the print. I laid out my colors of ink, which I mixed on glass for a blue roll on the bottom (water), with a separate yellow roll on top (sky). The top roll is a "rainbow" roll with two tones of yellow, creating a color gradient, which adds a little more time to the printing process but creates a cool effect. I made a little template, which is above the linoleum in the photo, to help keep ink off the middle area of the block, while I rolled ink on the linoleum with the two brayers (rollers).

The wooden device on the right is a homemade registration jig that I put on the etching press to make sure the paper and lino block are lined up correctly, so that each subsequent color layer is printed exactly on the layer below it as the printing process continues. Most importantly, there's coffee.

Next, is a shot of the Lake Tahoe print after the first four colors. I used the reduction method for the second layers on the sky and water. Now, I'm ready to carve the mountains on the second block of linoleum.

Too Much Information About Paper and Ink

Printmaking is a little like cooking, trying to find the right combination of ingredients for the perfect recipe. I spent the weekend trying to find the best combination of paper type and press tension for a new type of ink (Daniel Smith oil-based relief ink) I'm test driving. By Sunday afternoon, after countless test prints, I happily found the right mix. I often print on Stonehenge paper, but from time to time I've had a problem when the paper slips ever so slightly as the etching press roller pushes the print through. The front half of the print looks crisp, while the rear half of the print looks a little fuzzy and I end up having to recycle the prints. But Rives heavyweight paper worked fantastic. It's a little lighter weight than the Stonehenge paper and laid nice and 'snug' to the inked block. The result, after going through the press, was a nice clear image. To add another wrinkle, I decided to mount the carved linoleum block on plywood, which I never do, and I see some benefits. The photo shows the first layer of my newest edition of Italian car prints.

Car Linocut Print

New Wood and Albany Arts & Green Festival

Yesterday, I found myself roaming the dark aisles of a specialty lumber warehouse in industrial west Berkeley, looking for enticing leftovers of cut hardwood, while wheeling around a little baby sporting a cast the color of pink cotton candy. If you had told me that this would be my life five years ago, I'd have told you to stop sniffing your Sharpies. But there I was and I came across quite a find. They had salvaged these huge, old Douglas fir beams from a 100-year old building on Harrison in San Francisco and I walked away with this four-foot long plank, with the most rad striated grain, for dirt cheap. I need to do this wood justice.

On Sunday, May 19, I'll be returning to the Albany Arts & Green Festival. Hope to see you there.