Blue Jay • Letterpress and Linocut Print

The Story:
Blue Jays have always been one of my favorite birds. When I was younger it seemed exciting to see their vibrant blues in the yard- so much more exotic than the typical browns so many other birds had. I know lots of folks complain that they bully other birds, or make too much noise, but that thrill never really left me (what can I say, I love color!).

Fast forward to 2016. I had been laid off from my graphic design job, and decided to try and go full-time with my art. I was standing at my kitchen sink, looking at the Japanese maple right outside my window when a blue jay landed on the branch.

Up to this point, the whole spring had been filled with incredible amounts of anxiety and I hadn’t really gotten a whole lot of printing done. Actually, I got no printing done and was fairly convinced that I just didn’t have the right personality to be an entrepreneur. I also didn’t know that anxiety was an official "thing" and that I had it, but that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, the blue jay landed and without even thinking about it, I realized I was bracing myself for the squawking to start. Instead, it opened its mouth and the most incredible song spilled out. I didn’t even know they could make noises like that!*

I realize in that moment that if I were still at my miserable office job, I never would have seen this. I am not super big on “signs”, but I felt like it was the universe telling me I was in the right place, doing the right thing.

The text in the print reads: 
A flash of blue landed
and I instinctively braced for the piercing shrill
but when his mouth opened
out floated the most beautiful whisper song

The Technical Stuff:
This is a SEVEN color print made from: 1 woodcut, a 6 color reduction linocut, and hand-set metal type. I posted the whole process on my Instagram page, so if you're interested in learning more, check it out!

Print measures 18" wide x 24" tall
Printed on Rives BFK white paper (acid-free), a premium 100% cotton fine printmaking paper
Signed and numbered limited edition of 85

As with all hand printed items, variations in color and texture may occur.
Print will ship in a tube

*I just recently I discovered that what I heard is called a whisper song. This is a great example of one!:

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