This blog shows several examples of small works I have recently completed. All of these prints are less than 3 inches by 4 inches in size.
The smallest linocut "Black and White" (2 inches x 2 inches) depicts two stylized sting rays with insets of two smaller rays. I liked the motif and since it reproduced well choose to print it in black ink.
The second motif is called Fish and Frogs and is 2-3/4 inches x 2-3/4 inches. Its a linocut in black and white. This motif is a little more complex but still rather simple. The idea came from a sketchbook drawing from several months ago.
The third motif is my first woodcut which I finished in late 2017. I am still working on my woodcut technique and used a basswood block with gouges to print the block. I called it "Four Dragons". Its 3 inches x 3 inches in size and I choose black ink. The motif comes from one of my P4 tessellations called "Happy Dragon" and is a stylized Chinese Dragon.
The fourth small work is a color linocut called "Star of Wonder" I did it as a Christmas Card last year and decided to make a simple 3 inch x 4 inch print. The colors were printed from smaller portions of blocks I cut out of the full block.
The last figure below depicts the linocut blocks for the two smallest prints and shows their size next to a quarter. Overall I was pleased with these efforts since they didn't take that much time to complete and print. I probably spent no more than a couple hours on each of the linocuts and maybe a little longer or up to three hours on the woodblock.
My first designs for tessellations were done on frosted mylar in the very late 1970's and early 1980s because it was the easiest way for me to copy the motif without a light table. I entered one of these early drawings in the Indiana State Fair in 1979 and got an Honorable Mention. Three or four of these early designs were lost or given away and I did not keep copies or records of them. One of the earliest but not the first is the Figure 1 below. Its a two figure tessellation of one of the designs I drew and gave away on mylar to a friend that worked in a gallery with me in the summers while in college. This design is one of the few that survives from 1979 on watercolor paper. In 2017 I decided to recreate the original drawing or redraw the original to the best of my recollection. Figure 2 is a drawing on tracing paper of "Searching for Clues". Its an example of my earliest types of designs which were more drawing than tessellation as I was just beginning to understand the way that the various symmetry groups went together. I am still trying to decide if I want to create a lithograph of this drawing. Right now I am just satisfied that I was able recreate the drawing.
Michael Wilson has been creating tessellation art for over 40 years and is preparing this blog to share thoughts on the subject.