Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love Unlimited - guerilla printmaking!

Love Unlimited - linocut greeings card
© Teresa Newham 2013

We've had a busy few weeks since New Year, with little time for creative pursuits, so I suspect it was Divine Providence which reminded me, towards the end of January, that if I wanted to make my husband a Valentine's card, the time to start it was now.  My problem was how to go about it without him noticing -  J takes a great deal of interest in my art and is incredibly supportive, so it felt quite disloyal to do something in secret!  I hastily drafted a simple design on the PC when J was downstairs, marking schoolbooks.  I even managed to transfer the design onto lino in my studio when he was working in the dining room next door - there is a window between them so it wasn't as easy as you might think.  I was sweating buckets and kept looking over my shoulder - I'd be a hopeless secret agent!

Scene of Crime I - the box in the crate . . .
© Teresa Newham 2013

At this point I realised that although there was still almost three weeks to go before 14th February,  the card would need a week to dry, so would have to be cut and printed that coming weekend.  Which would be impossible, as my brother-in-law was staying; usually I can rely on J to pop out at least once or twice over the weekend but we were planning to do everything together!  Perhaps I could sort something out in the week?  difficult, as someone was going to put up curtain poles in the studio on Wednesday, so J was planning to move my studio equipment out  of the way.   I might not be able to access what I needed, and if he came across the card by accident it would spoil the surprise . . .

Scene of Crime II - the shelf in the cupboard
© Teresa Newham 2013

I had no idea how to solve this problem, but I decided that if Divine Providence had prompted me in this direction in the first place, DP would probably supply the solution (I did a bit of praying too, to help things along).  And on the Monday morning, after J had gone to work I found I had twenty minutes spare before I needed to leave.  Who usually has twenty minutes spare in the morning? not me!  but I wasn't quibbling - I got out the cutters and set to work.  And finished the cut.  I could hardly believe it, but I found a hiding place for the lino block and dashed out to the station.

Scene of Crime III - the drawer in the cabinet
© Teresa Newham 2013
On Tuesday morning the same thing happened; I managed to print up three cards (two spares just in case), and clear up, and move quite a lot of studio stuff out of the way in preparation for the curtain poles the following day.  But drying the cards somewhere J wouldn't see them was the next problem.  In the end I put two in the drawers of a plastic storage unit where I keep my printmaking inks, and the third in a cupboard.  OK - it's not the most complex card I've ever made (or the neatest!) but it is all my own work - and not bad for something put together in a hurry in total secrecy!

the finished card (unsigned)
© Teresa Newham 2013

J loved the card - all that secrecy was worth it - he had no idea it was coming!  it's our wedding anniversary in a few days' time;  but guess what?  I've bought him a card for that - my shredded nerves won't take any more guerilla printmaking . . . !!

1 comment:

  1. Very funny; I love the concept of guerilla printmaking and I did love the card - a real (secret) labour of love!