Melissa has a show up in Sacramento at the moment (although it’s coming down next weekâ€”I am not as timely as I ought to be) featuring the prints inspired by her hike across northern Spain last fall along the medieval pilgrim trail, the Camino de Santiago. It’s at Butch ‘n Nellie’s Cafe, in case you want to drop by this weekend.
While I enjoy all of Melissa’s work, these prints are something special.
She worked on them for the better part of a year, and I had the pleasure of watching them come into existence one-by-one.
I also got to suffer along with Melissa as she experimented with different inks and papers, looking for the perfect medium. Carving the block is only the start of the work. Then one has to learn each block’s particular whims and whilesâ€”how it wants to be fed into the press; which spots need heavy inking, which need light; how often it is willing to be printed before it wants a nice, sudsy bath and some time off.
If you go here you can look through all the prints in this series.
I’m also both delighted and saddened that she recently sold one of my favorite paintings, Grace of Summer Boughs. In a selfish corner of my heart I almost hoped that no-one else would recognize how lovely this piece is, so that we would still have it to hang in the home we plan to buy together when we retire.
Paintings are a lot like knitting in that wayâ€”you watch them emerge, drink in their beauty, then send them off into the world knowing that you may never see them again and hoping that they’ll be loved.