I have such a love-hate relationship with printmaking. It constantly frustrates the crap out of me, and one mistake can ruin the whole piece. You can get so deep in, and suddenly- Boom. Your chisel slides and make a wrong cut. The color you print isn't right, or dries to the wrong tint. You mis-register your block and ruin all the prints. Run out of paper. Have to keep sharpening your knives and sharpen them correctly or else send them back to the factory for fine-tuning. The wood splinters. The linoleum's too hard and dry. Ruin it with too much negative space. Ruin it with too much positive space. God, I've destroyed more prints that I can count the past few years.
I picked up a piece of basswood at the local craft store recently and this weekend I decided to do a woodcut of Joey. The basswood is nice and soft but also splinter-y. I'm not getting the kind of clean lines I like. Deep breaths. The wood is talking. I need to let *it* be part of the process, too.
(And we can't end a post about a Joey-woodcut without a photo of real-Joey. Or, as I like to call him, "Joe-EEEEEE!" LOL)