Thursday, September 3, 2020

September - The month for new beginnings.

It's the beginning of September and as a former teaching artist, it's a month I've always associated with new beginnings and fresh starts; a perfect time to begin a new print.

I'm working from a couple of Mark Twain quotes for my inspiration.  

"In my age, as in my youth, night brings me many a deep remorse. I realize that from the cradle up I have been like the rest of the race - never quite sane in the night."  

"How stunning are the changes which age makes in a man while he sleeps!"

For reasons I can't really explain, I identified with both of these quotes and realized that this was an opportune time to play around with a self-portrait. I started with some sketches and photos, downloaded and manipulated them in Photo Shop, arrived at a composition that held promise and created a film for exposing a photopolymer plate.

Film Positive


 

Just processed photopolymer plate.

First Proof

The plate printed really well and I was pleased with the first proof. Now to determine ink color and whether or not to hand color areas or add chine colle'. Definitely off to a fresh start.

Color options


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Threading and Unthreading

Took a bit of trial and error to figure out a the best sequence for "connecting-the-dots". First try the thread was too short. Second try I missed a connection. Once I had it worked out I made notes to be able to replicate the process for the edition.



Finally worked out the threading kinks. Now to print a small edition, figure out how to secure the threads, maybe cover the back, and settle on a title.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Connecting

I'm continuing to work on my Pandemic Series. This one I'm doing for an upcoming Boston Printmakers members show that will be coming up next year during the Southern Graphics International Conference in Providence, R.I. https://www.bostonprintmakers.org/members-shows/connect/

The theme is Connect; an exhibition prompted by the theme of “communication”. Artists are challenged to create cellphone-sized plates with a variety of “messaging,” “news,” or whatever they want to “post.” 


Staying connected to family and friends has been a challenge with social distancing in place. There are so many guidelines in place that I felt that a "connect-the-dots" would emphasize the fragile maintenance of connections.

This is the first proof of my 4'x6" image. I'm thinking of ties that bind, so the plan is to add thread to connect the dots.




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.