Off for the Holidays

I know my posts have been a little sporadic during the last few weeks, but Christmas is approaching fast and the studio is a little hectic right now. So The Inky Atlas will be on break from now through New Years so that I may maintain my sanity. But I will be back in January with the last Caribbean articles.

Among other projects, I have been working on a few different series of linoleum block prints. So, in lieu of the next Barbados article, please enjoy this print of Foul Bay.

Foul Bay Print

This is in Barbados, so it sort of counts, right?

Another Unsolicited Process Description

For those of you unfamiliar with linoleum block printing, here is a brief process breakdown (and for those of you who don’t care, skip to the next section).

Linoleum block printing is a relief printing technique, pretty much the same as wood block printing, except you carve into a piece of linoleum rather than wood. I start by sketching out my design on a piece of paper.


My ink sketch.

Then, I must be sure to reverse my image before transferring it to the linoleum block for carving. Like a stamp, a relief print will appear backward from the carving. After I have done this, I transfer the sketch to the block. Because this particular design uses two colors, I must use two blocks. One block will print the blue portion of the design, and the other block will print the black.


The reversed design, and the blocks showing the separated layers.

Then I carve, keeping in mind that wherever I carve away from the block will appear blank in the final design, i.e. the white of the paper will show through.

Block 1

The completed Blue block.

Block 2

The Black block in progress.

So I only leave raised areas on the block where I want ink to appear on the final print, again, like a stamp. Once I have finished the carving, I do a test of each layer in black ink to see whether it prints correctly.

Test Prints

In this case, I determined I needed to carve a little more from the sky in the left block.

When I am happy with the carving I can begin printing in the final colors.

First Layer

A nice turquoise seemed appropriately tropical.

And the benefit of printmaking like this is that I can do many prints at a time from the same carvings.

Print editions

And, finally, when the first layer is dry, I can print the second and final layer.

Final Prints

And I’m not limited to these specific colors either, I just happened to like this combination. Just for fun I tried this print in Barbadian independence colors as well.


I’m more partial to the turquoise, but that’s just me.

I Need Your Help

Yes, Net Neutrality again. I’m going to keep bringing this up until something happens. I know this isn’t what anyone wants to deal with this close to Christmas, but it is now or never.

Yesterday the FCC voted to repeal the Title II regulations that ensure Net Neutrality. If you are like I was and have no idea what that means, here is the short version: Net Neutrality is what ensures that everyone has open and equal access to information on the Internet. Without this, your service providers—like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast (*shudder*)—can slow down or outright block your access to websites with opposing political opinions or that offer competing services, or create “fast lanes” for the big sites that can afford to pay for higher internet speeds. Basically, this gives your providers a frightening level of control over how you use the internet. All in all, this favors companies with lots of money and spells disaster for small, independent sites and artists trying to promote themselves online (hi there).

To make this as personal as I can, if this happens it is entirely likely that I will no longer be able to continue this blog. But it is not time to panic just yet. Congress still has the ability to overturn this decision. This is NOT a partisan issue, this affects us all. So please contact your representatives to let them know you support Net Neutrality. I have already called and emailed, and you know if I am willing to pick up the phone it is serious (I hate making phone calls). If I can do it, so can you.

Here are a couple of resources that have more complete information about what is happening:

Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know

What Actually Happens the Day Net Neutrality is Repealed

And here are some places where you can join others in appealing against the dismantling of Net Neutrality:

Electronic Frontier Foundation

This site will automatically send an email to your various representatives under your name using your ZIP code.

Battle For the Net

This site will connect you by phone to your representatives and provide you a script to read.

ACLU Action

This is a petition organized by the ACLU to combat the repeal of Net Neutrality.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I will see you next year!

Christmas Candles

This was the most festive drawing I could find in my archive.

The Inky Atlas will return in 2018.

By | 2017-12-14T19:15:35+00:00 December 15th, 2017|Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

James is an artist and illustrator currently working in Georgia.

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