Ellie Woodblock Printed Tee

The Artist’s Pet is Immortalized on Cotton

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to give my sweetheart a special surprise. I decided to carve a portrait of our pet dove Ellie. Ellie is a ringneck dove with tons of personality. He humorously coos at paper towel tubes, perches on our string lights and curiously looks down below, basks in the sunshine, and loves being spritzed with water. His antics have inspired other art, such as my multi-color woodblock, Cumulus Dove. I decided to print the block in white ink on a black tee.

Ellie in his natural habitat.

I used a steel wire brush across the block’s background to accentuate the wood grain. The method also helped Ellie’s portrait stand out in the foreground. After inking the block, I printed the tee on my etching press.

Here’s a photo of Ellie — the muse — beside the shirt. Needless to say, the project was a hit, and she loved it!