Kelly's Morning Bath 1 and 2

Kelly’s Morning Bath, Linoleum Block Print

Kelly gives herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast on the table in front of the window in my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry.

When I created this print, I created two variations, “Kelly’s Morning Bath I” with no border around each frame, and “Kelly’s Morning Bath II” which has a decorative border around each frame incorporated into the design. Below are details of each frame for each print as well as images of each print.

These prints capture sunny mornings as this window in my house faces my lilac and a number of trees which filter the sun, speckling the table with splashes of sun and shadow. They are printed on rice papers with leaves and flower petals imprinted, handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper (could it be any better?) in a dozen varieties of prints with a white or a cream background, and shades of green, rose and rust for spring, summer and fall.

Prints are available on plain white rice paper as well as a variety of handmade papers, and the galleries below show the various papers I’ve used and have available. I also offer framing, shown below.

Options for ordering:

A. Framed, double matted print, either design, 7″ x 14″, $55.00
B. Double matted print, either design 7″ x 14″, $45.00
C. Print only, either design, $35.00

Choose your design

Choose from either Kelly’s Morning Bath I, without the border, or II, with the border.

Choose your print

Choose the number of the print from the galleries below.

Kelly’s Morning Bath I choices:

Kelly’s Morning Bath II choices:

Choose your framing

Style of frame and tones of mat may vary, but the frame will always be plain matte black and the mats will always be in either pink/green or tan/green to coordinate with the print.

Order your print:

ABOUT THE PRINT

You’re probably familiar with “The Roundest Eyes”, a block print inspired by Kelly that I featured in June along with “The Goddess”. In this week to remember little Kelly, I’m also featuring the other block print she inspired—the “Kelly’s Morning Bath” prints were the first feline pictorial block print I designed all the way back in 1998, even before The Tortie Girls duo of block prints.

Kelly bathed frequently and always had the habit of giving herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast in the sun on the table in front of the big casement window, which was then my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry. At some point in the bath sequence, she would always pause and look at me, having been so engrossed in her bath she’d forgotten I was there, one of the habits she maintained from her early life as a frightened stray kitty. I caught a number photos of her in the act, none of them very good, so I pieced it together with photos of the window and Kelly in various bath positions. The photo below will give you an idea of the leafy quality, the light and shadow, and Kelly’s little shape.

Kelly at the Window, Morning.

Kelly at the Window, Morning.

I sketched it up and cut the block—twice, because I wasn’t sure I liked the first version, which is the one below; the second version has an added border around each frame. As it turns out I like both equally well, and since I’ve been printing them on gift bags and tote bags and other things, I’ve come to use version 1 as a framed and matted print because it has just the essential image, and version 2 as an imprint because it has the decorative border, but both look equally good in a mat and frame. I have a little more information about designing the prints and about block printing, below.

About Block Printing

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique. Kelly was indeed on my work table to supervise the printing of this block print inspired by her daily morning bath in front of our favorite window. You can see a little demonstration of block printing in this post about my hand-printed Valentines.

The photo above is from 2011 and the one below from 2012, but I really loved watching Kelly bathe enthusiastically every morning in front of this window where the morning sun shines through the leaves at a wonderful angle, silhouetting her and the window itself, visualizing a finished work as a block print to capture the stark dark and light and using various colored and patterned papers to capture the leafy shadows.

Kelly on the windowsill.

Kelly on the windowsill.

I did several sketches and had the idea I’d like to do a multi-frame image to capture her action as a process rather than a just one view; anyone who’s ever watched a cat bathe knows that just one view doesn’t capture the whole sense of the cat bath. I knew I wanted that lovely graceful curve and the silhouette of her looking at me in one frame, and I had to have a “leg in the air” frame of Kelly washing between her toes, and Kelly also has a sweet habit of pausing in the middle of a face wash as if she’s hit a point of meditation—this is the first frame.

Once I decided on the three frames I wanted to use I placed them in various orders, but there was only one sequence that I liked best. Here is my first design for Kelly’s Morning Bath.

Kelly's Morning Bath 1

Kelly’s Morning Bath 1

That looked a little stark, though it was what I’d been visualizing. Then I cut one with a more decorative border, added more of the window and eliminated the shading across the middle keeping it stark black and white, and I liked that design too! They officially became Kelly’s Morning Bath 1 and 2.

 

Kelly's Morning Bath 2

Kelly’s Morning Bath 2

I print them both, and I’ll often print just one panel at a time on items such as gift bags or other small things.

Gift bag sample.

Gift bag sample.

Printing these two designs on unique papers wasn’t part of the design plan, but when I began finding handmade rice papers with leaves and flowers embedded I knew I’d found the best choices. This package of handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper provided a dozen varieties of prints with a white and a cream background, and shades for spring, summer and fall, and I printed one of each print on each sheet.

 

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