Monday, March 29, 2010

Time Away

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend some time on a beautiful Caribbean Island. Needless to say, it was wonderful to get away from the drab and rainy New England weather, bask in the sunshine and drink in the sights and sounds of a tropical paradise.

As I write this post, it is another gray & rainy day here at home so I'm making it a point to think about last weeks beautiful weather and remind myself that spring is on its way.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Layer 8

I just finished adding a darker value to my little girdled figure. (The print is only 3.5" X 3.5".) The image has a impressionistic, painterly quality to it but at this point I'm contemplating creating a second plate to add dark outlines. I'll let it sit for awhile before I call it finished.

I did however accomplish what I set out to do; that is just have fun with the process, move along and not worry about the outcome. A few more of these exercises wouldn't hurt.

Print Underway

Moving right along. Started out with a pale pink and layered on 6 more colors. I'm using Akua Intaglio Inks with a small amount of Akua oil converter to thicken them slightly to facilitate rolling. I like how they're working out and appreciate their slow drying.

Time to stop and access my progress. I'm thinking one final color; darker value.

Getting Started

This is the set up I decided to use. Since I'll be doing a reduction print, cutting away and printing as I go along, I need to have a good registration system. I decided to employ the same system I use when doing a serigraph.

I punched "dots" out of a scrap of matt board, glued them to another strip of matt board and then taped the unit to my linoleum. Next I punched holes in my paper - in this case Arches 88 - to correspond to the dots on my linoleum.

A window was cut out of a piece of mylar to act as a stencil as I inked the image area.

Playing Around

I haven't done a linoleum print in awhile. It was my intention to do something different, just have some fun with the process and not worry about the outcome; something that I'm inclined to do. I'm constantly slowed down by my propensity to focus on the message and perfect execution of a print. I tend to toss out prints that don't meet my high expectations. My goal is to loosen up, throw caution to the wind and focus more on the journey and less on the destination. We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Working it Out

Once the proof was dry I experimented with manipulating the print. My goal was to fold the sections flanking the figure in such a way that they could be folded back to reveal the tape measures and at the same time emphasize the idea of being "cinched" in; ribbon was added to hold the folds in place.

It was my intention to work in a 12" square format and have the image bleed off the edges. I thought I had measured correctly but ended up an inch short when the folding was completed. I printed just the tape measure portion of the image and machined stitched it to the right hand edge to make up the difference. This turned out to be one of those happy accidents because the added tape enhanced the composition.

Right now, I'm at a point where I just need to step back and analyze what I have and decide whether or not to continue or chalk it up as an experiment. Although I like the effect of the folding, I'm not completely happy with the way the image printed and I think I will alter the colors a bit. Sometimes I'll try something just to work out the kinks and then end up redoing the entire image. Well see.

Proofing & Experimenting

I finally had a chance to proof the plates I had been working on. My original idea was to create a print that had some dimension to it by folding the finished print in such a way that it added to the image. This is the first proof; the base plate is a collagraph and the intaglio was created on solarplate.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Collagraph Underway

This morning I began working on a collagraph plate for the next print in my laced series. For those of you who are not familiar with collagraphs, they are prints created from plates that have been built up using collage materials. They can have very rich surface textures and the finished prints display an embossed quality. Papers with a lot of surface texture, like sandpaper, print dark and smoother papers and surfaces print light. Of course you can achieve all sorts of in between values by varying surface textures and adhesives. I like to use gesso, modeling past, and acrylic mediums to adhere my elements to the plate and as a means to modify values. I seal the plate before printing with a thin coat of acrylic gloss medium. In this instance, I'm using 4 ply matte board as my base. Any sturdy surface will do but for larger prints I use Masonite as a plate base.

I love the tactile quality of building the plate and the unpredictability of the outcome. The often unexpected results you can achieve when printing can be a welcome surprise. As you can see, it gets pretty messy when you get down to business
and I end up with my tools covered in gesso. This is where I really appreciate my granite work surface; I know I'll be able to scrape off the adhesives when I'm done.

This is what I have so far. I'm going to give this a chance to dry before I continue. With collagraphs, it's vital that you really, really glue things down well so the plate holds up during the printing process.

Collagraphs can be printed without ink (as embossings), just surfaced rolled and printed as a relief, inked and wiped as an intaglio plate or a combination of intaglio inking with a surface roll over the higher areas. Lots of options provide a wide range of creative exploration.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Planning Stages

Still have a number of images and ideas rolling around in my head for what I'm presently calling my "Laced" series.

I worked on sketches and images over the weekend and yesterday began to play around with the print size. I worked in a one foot square format for the last piece and would like to do the same with this print. During the planning stages, I got to thinking that it would be interesting to have a print that could actually fold in on itself to create "flaps". Now's it a matter of figuring out the overall width needed to equal 12" when folded.