Issue 014 — Starry mountains

Issue 014 — Starry mountains

Originally published on Apr 24, 2022

Starry mountain

[detail shot of starry mountain print]

This week, I get to share with you the process behind another print that was inspired by the great outdoors. Being in the mountains has always brought me the same level of peace as being on the ocean or among deep forests. The common theme—I realize enough to admit—is that I’m drawn to the full immersion of nature’s sights, sounds, and smells. Those moments where you can’t seem to hear or see anything manmade are enough to make time slow down and bring focus back to life itself. And when the sun sets and you get an unfiltered view of the starry night sky above your mountain peak campsite, it’s as if nothing else matters beyond where you are right then, right there.

[image of carving]

The base for this print was sketched directly onto an unmounted linoleum block. Much like our Waves print, I wanted to work from vague guidelines and put more effort into the motion of the carving in the sky. This method results in a much looser—but still quite detailed—field of overlapping cuts that can spiral and take their own, unplanned shapes in the final print. That freedom in a print is often the creative boundlessness I chase in printing, though struggle to consistently replicate.

[image of inked block]

There’s a subtle mixed gradient of whites and light blues in the sky portion of the final print. One brayer had a four color gradient that ended in white on the lower edge, allowing me to blend into a full white ink for the lower half of the image.

[pull image]

This is also my first production print using a midnight black card stock. While it served as an appropriate background for the vibrance of the night sky’s colors, it also added a slight layer of abstraction for the white foreground mountain range; just enough abstraction to feel like a real subject matter that could never be seen in person.

[final shot]

This print will be up in the shop soon. There’s been a flurry of backlog prints coming to life in the past few weeks, and I’m working quickly to make them all available to you (To be honest, I haven’t even named this one yet). But if this style is something you’d love to see more of in the near future, I’d love to hear from you. Respond to this email, DM me on social media, or commission something special and I’ll get jamming on more!

A little lagniappe

As a bit of bonus content in this issue, I want to share what else happens after a print run.

[bookmarks image]

Once the block is fully inked up, I’ve got too much ink in this color mixed, and leftover paper scraps, I often make intentional ‘misprints.’ Sometimes it’s just multiple prints that you may have read about here stacked on top of each other. Other times, I think that making bookmarks would be a good idea.

Spoiler: it’s not. Getting these off of the block cleanly was not working well. And in the middle of this, I remembered that oil based ink can take months to fully dry. Something about the idea of accidentally transfer printing this image onto the insides of my books wasn’t sitting right, so I quickly abandoned.


And lastly, there’s another TikTok of the full process behind this print if you want a sneak peak of what it looks like to start a print from scratch.

Featured work


I want to share with you another of my absolute favorite printmaking studios with you this week.

Every single one of Valerie Lueth’s prints at Tugboat Printshop is truly astounding. The detail, the colors, the concepts themselves are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This WAVES two color woodcut print is hanging above my bed and is unreal to look at. But every new print she makes will capture your attention in the same way. Check out the shop and follow T.B.P.S. on every platform—it’s worth it.

Playing in the studio


Another playlist this week. Lately I’ve been working late into the night and in search of playlists that can keep the pace going with chill, background beats. This one from Spotify used to be called 90’s Skate Shop and was renamed at some point to The Skate Shop to open up the horizon a bit. Thankfully so, it now has artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Larry June, BADBADNOTGOOD, The Alchemist, and more.

I think the standout so far is Iconic from Femme It Forward’s 2021 album, Big Femme Energy Volume 1. (But uhh, don’t listen to this one, mom)

If you’re interested in commissions or collaborating on an original piece together, reply to this email and we’ll start the conversation!


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