poppies, de riguer

Relief, 2021

print of poppies in red, yellow, and green

With this piece, we took the old adage “work smarter, not harder” and threw it out the second-story window, ran down to the first floor, found the adage and it’s broken leg, and just jumped on it until it was all crumpled up, tired and confused. We didn’t quite set out to do it that way, but we’re Real Artists (TM) and Real Artists (TM) paint or print or draw poppies. Ask Frida Kahlo. Ask Georgia O’Keefe.

Our art’s as good as anyone’s. We can print poppies.

Poppies. Drawn by Deanna Norwood.

This was our first attempt at a woodblock print. Deanna bought a nice big board of walnut from some depot or another and used a jigsaw to cut it down into 12×12 blocks. She carved the poppies and handed the plates off to Liz, who then tried to print them a few times and no matter what Liz did, she couldn’t get the registration right. There was no recovering.

picture of three woodblocks, carved with traces of ink
The blocks were pretty…
dirty messy print of the first three blocks on newsprint
The first attempt – maybe the problem wasn’t with the registration?

Deanna decided to carve the blocks two more times until she was satisfied.

six carved blocks in a grid
The row on the top was the final print.

Once the image was set and the first run was complete, Liz tried to do a second run on gray paper with more fantastical colors. One survived. We call this piece “Fucking Poppies.”

Fucking Poppies

Watch our journey on TikTok!

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