Made in Terlingua: Printing Blocks Carved On-Site

Made in Terlingua: Printing Blocks Carved On-Site

For me, place-based art means creating work that's influenced by the sights, smells and sounds of the environment.

After a week of tent camping in Terlingua, Texas, I had carved two small blocks: one was a landscape view from camp and the other the creosote plant that stood at the door of our shade canopy. The day after returning from my trip I inked up the blocks and started the printing process.

For the "View from Camp" landscape print, I was looking toward the direction of Christmas Mountain, which, funny enough, I also looked out over Terlingua from the top of that mountain on this trip. (If you get the chance to drive up to the peak, I highly recommend it.)

I sketched the landscape first in my sketchbook before transferring it to a 2"x4" block. You'll notice in one of the photos above I'm not far away from the propane heater as I work, considering the first two nights on the trip the temperature dipped down into the 40's. For reference, those are the kind of nights you don't mind pulling the blankets over your head to sleep.

The "Creosote Study" print was sketched directly onto the block while referencing the nearby plant. Those woody shrubs grew everywhere in the area, and they fondly reminded me of Wyoming's greasewood plant. Of course, the creosote didn't appear to be as detrimental to tires as Wyoming's version could be.

In studio, I printed the blocks using a dark brown instead of a black, and they turned out absolutely beautiful as a single color block. Although, I am partial to color so I added a gradient background to a few of the "Creosote Study" block prints to create a color variation.

In fact, I have so much inspiration left to work out from this trip that I've decided to combine it into a print release set for early next year. Newsletter subscribers will receive early access to the collection.