Thursday, June 11, 2020

Navigating difficult times

I haven't done any monoprints in awhile so my original intention was to create a series of unique prints based on a single theme rather than print an edition. Right now I have a few interesting images and lots of ideas for directions in which to take them.

This is the newest addition to the series. I feel everyone is attempting to navigate this "new normal" as best they can and by whatever means they feel necessary. It's a precarious balance between shutting yourself off from life and venturing out while trying to avoid hazards. The faces in this series are, for the most part, purposely silhouetted; they could represent anyone and everyone.

This one will offer a few different approaches as well so I need to just sit with it for the time being.
There is definitely plenty of time for the studio.

Lots to work with

Like Covid-19, my pandemic series is growing.

I wanted to try a different approach to my social distancing piece so I created two separate plates and printed them side by side.

Since it was always my intention to tear a gap between the two images, it doesn't matter that you can see where the two plates meet.

A smaller plate of the Covid-19 virus was printed on rice paper and a second print had rubber stamped houses added.

After carefully tearing the prints, I added the two different virus images from behind. Things look promising.

The best thing to do now is to live with these images for a bit and consider my options.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Sacrificial Proofs

New week, new print in the works.

I wanted to do a piece referencing social distancing, since we're all experiencing separation anxiety in one way or another. I've given this image a lot of thought and wanted to try something different. So lots of experimentation is required before the piece is resolved, which means sacrificing a few prints.

I'm keeping the rope web theme of the previous pieces but want to tear into this print and add other elements. There's lots of different directions I can go with this one so I'm planning on doing this as a series of monoprints. Besides, it will be next to impossible to get each tear the same for an edition.

The first tear was the hardest; trying to get it just so. This seems too wide but I wanted to see how a print of the virus would look added behind the print.

I then tried a double print. The virus plate was printed on one side of the paper and the figurative print on the other. Since I was considering leaving the torn curl of paper on the print, this allowed me to  have an image on the back side of the torn piece. I liked this but will need to make the torn shape a bit larger, or the virus print a bit smaller, to be effective. I may even decide to eliminate it altogether.

Next experiment, a rubber stamp (made from an eraser) of a simple house shape. This was printed on Awagami paper and placed in the void. This looks promising too.

At the moment, lots to consider as I grapple with this piece. Looking forward to a week of experimentation.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Creative process

Any creative process is a series of twists and turns. You begin with an idea and see where it takes you. Sometimes it's obvious which direction to go in and other times there are detours.

Film positive 1
I started another piece for my pandemic series. It began with two plates: a figure in a rope web and an image of Covid-19.

Film positive 2

I originally thought that a break between the two images would work well and represent a safety zone between the virus and the figure.

After pulling a proof and contemplating my next move, I decided that I wasn't happy with the image divided in two. It didn't look cohesive. The two smaller plates won't be discarded and will be fun to experiment with and see how they can be used in a different way.

The image was reworked and a new Solarplate exposed.

I'm happier with the new proof. Compositionally, the image is much more successful. Now to decide which direction to take.

I felt a second plate for background color would add to the imageI took the removable plastic sheet that protects the Solarplate and making sure that both plates were the same size, I rolled on color.

I'm pleased with the results and will now experiment with color strength.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Virus Series in the works

Second print under way.

Again, I'm working with a Solarplate. I'm not so taken with the print yet and feel it needs something else. The dress has the virus pattern on it but I added chine colle' to highlight it.

I also applied a sheet of Awagami decorative paper to the background.

The print still needs some tweaking.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The state of things

One advantage to staying home is that there's plenty of studio time. Keeping busy helps me to not obsess about the state of things ... while working on a series about the state of things. Ha!

Going through my photos, I found a couple of shots of the grand-kids climbing a web like rope structure. Being trapped in that environment seemed like the perfect metaphor for societies current situation: social distancing, quarantine, uncertainty, misinformation and conflicting viewpoints.

My originals were downloaded to PhotoShop, manipulated and extra webbing was added using a discarded onion bag. Positives were printed.

I exposed a Solarplate with the figure image, then decided to also create a second plate using ImagOn film for an image of the actual Covid-19 virus.

I was pretty happy with the outcome. My intention was to keep the figure fairly silhouetted so it would represent no one individual, but rather any individual.

 I was even happier after I added the background plate of the virus.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Green Door International Print Exchange

Today I completed my edition of ten for the 2020 Green Door IPE.

I've participated in this exchange for a few years now and enjoy playing around with such a small format; paper size is a mere 5.5" square and the image no more than 3.9". I decided that in this time of pandemic gloom and doom, I would focus on a positive image - my forsythia bush.

After playing around with various colors, I decided to keep it simple and fairly monochromatic. Since this shrub is know for it sunny color, I went with bright yellow Akua intaglio ink on Awagami's Washi paper. The paper was a pale creamy color with fine fibers running throughout, so printing with the bright color was simple and effective.