I'm embarking on a new adventure. I'm teaching myself how to do woodblock printing using Gabor Peterdi's methods. I didn't remember that he had a section in his book about woodblock printing until I was searching through it yesterday. I really like his instructions and I think it will be enough to get me started. So, I went out and bought some materials that I didn't have which was a lot of fun. I usually despise shopping, but getting art supplies is always fun. I bought some cheap woodcut tools because I didn't find any that I liked. I'll probably have to order them online. Besides I wanted to make sure I liked this process before I spent a lot of money on things, but maybe that's the wrong philosophy to start a hobby with? Since I don't have a car getting wood is very hard. I had to bike a long way to my favorite store in the whole wide world Home Depot! Actually, I hate this store with a passion. I got some strange ink called adigraf ink which is waterbased. I'd rather work with waterbased ink since I'm working at home with a crazy cat who'll eat anything. The ink smells like acrylic paint and is a bit glossy, but I'll give it a go when I get to that point.
I like Gabor Peterdi's book because the way he writes is as if you were in the classroom with him. He offers some fine suggestions on mistakes that his students have made, and offers a lot of advice and philosophy on how woodblock printmaking should be approached.
The project that I am taking on that I have been thinking about for years now is tarot cards. I've been doing readings for myself for six years now, and I'm still fascinated in the imagery of the cards. Ever since I heard that Salvador Dali created his own set, I've wanted to do it. There is a challenge that has been proposed by my Prof.J to find the earliest print in western civilization. I have looked and looked and cannot find one that dates earlier than the 1423AD woodcut of St. Christopher. On my searches I came across some information on suggestions that the earliest images on woodblock besides religious iconography could have been a deck of cards, but nobody has any images of them. Cards were banned by the government soon after they were widely distributed using woodblock, so I'm sure a lot of them have been destroyed.
I stumbled across Salvador Dali's woodblock/etchingsand realized that I had never seen these images before. There are wild and creative. I really like these a lot more than I his oil paintings. These images are so fresh and free I can't help but compare this work to a lot of art I see in the contemporary galleries in San Francisco. I went to the Dali museum which is located outside of Barcelona. It's a really great museum if you have the chance to visit it. It's in a really small town which has devoted itself to selling Dali trinkets. I really was amazed by how much work Dali did in his lifetime. Forget having a solo show this guy has floors and floors of work in all mediums. It's really inspiring to be in there.