Saturday, January 30, 2010


Got out all the inks and began playing around with color combinations for the new print. Not exactly sure what I'm looking for at this point but a little proofing will help get me started.

The two small center plates are inked and ready to proof. Each plate is slightly different and I'm not yet sure which one I'll settle on.

Here's the first proofs. I like the darker quality of the one on the left so at least I have one decision out of the way.

Tried the plate again but with chine colle. This opens up the possibility of introducing another color.

I inked the background plate than used a large roller to apply a surface color. The smaller plate was inked and positioned in the center of the base plate and both were rolled through the press as one unit. I was happy to see that this worked well and was pleased with how the plates print. However, I'm not happy with the colors at this point so it's back to trying other combinations.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Next Piece

Working on a new print today. Often one piece leads to the next and the last print sparked a few ideas that warranted further investigation. I spent the last few days working on sketches, taking photos and playing out in my mind what I wanted to do. Here are the negatives, ready to be exposed to the plates.

I thought it would be an interesting artistic challenge to break out of the rectangular format, which is usually the norm, and compose within a square. I also like the idea of layering so I plan on stacking one plate on top of another when I print.
The main reason I chose to work with Solarplates is that they're thin enough to stack without problems. Here's the plates ready to proof.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Oh the things we do; fingers laced and tummy in place. Just finished carefully punching holes and adding ribbon to today's print; "Laced".

The print was created using two plates that were inked up separately, stacked together, and then run through the press as one unit. The main plate is a collagraph with the smaller inset image created on copper using ImagON photopolymer film. I used a bookbinding hole punch to create perfect openings for the ribbon and included a couple of small metal eyelets. A pale pink watercolor wash was added to the girdle.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


First print of 2010 completed. I added sound waves this morning and was happy with the overall effect. It's been awhile since I've done a serigraph; just had this overwhelming need to do something totally different for a change.

The piece was created for an exhibition entitled ECHO. Like an echo, the repetitive figures appear to resonate
off of each other as they participate in some mysterious dance.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I received a call for entries notice from the Center for Contemporary Printmaking ( for an upcoming show entitled "ECHO - Repetitive Marks & Images". It sounded like a fun challenge so I decided to do something I haven't done in awhile - a serigraph. I like to use crayons instead of cut stencils to "block out" the the screen so after developing my image, I broke out the Crayolas.

I built the screen the night before so in the morning all I had to do was collect my supplies, mix up some ink and get started.

This is what the print looked like after the first 2 colors had been applied. I began by using crayon to block out the white areas in the image and then printed my first color; a pale gray. The screen was easily cleaned off with water and then more areas of the image were blocked out. I had some Createx color on hand so decided to use that as my ink and I'm printing on Arches 88 paper.

As in any multicolor printing project, accurate registration is a must. I've come up with a system that works great and can be assembled with simple materials. Using a common paper punch, I pop out a few "dots". Next I cut a 1" wide strip of matte board and glue the dots in place with white glue. This strip is taped to the edge of the screen base. I punched holes in the edge of my paper so they correspond to the registration strip. When I'm ready to print, I drop the sheet of paper over the "dots" and I'm guaranteed perfect registration.

My sketch is taped to the screen's base and covered with a sheet of acetate. This allows me to accurately fill in the areas, as the print progresses, while maintaining registration. Since the ink is water based, the acetate protects the sketch during clean-up.

You can see how well the crayon "plugs" up the screen. After I apply each layer of wax, I use a heat gun on a low setting to "set" the wax. This helps it to hold up during the printing process.

The last layer of wax has been applied and the screen is ready for the final color.

Here's the print with the final color. I photographed one of my body prints and reduced it in size using PhotoShop. I liked the repetition of the image and the texture created by using the silkscreen/crayon technique.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year; Fresh Start

A full Blue Moon was such a fitting end to 2009. The old adage, "once in a blue moon" came to mind as I reflected on the past year. Too often, that adage applied to my best intentions as procrastination and distractions got in the way. On the other hand, I did manage to gain a little control over the "freedom" of retirement. I created work that I'm happy with, managed to exhibit fairly consistently, and produced a number of good sized editions for exchange portfolios.

So, I optimistically welcome the new year and the opportunity for a fresh start. I'll set realistic goals, reflect and reassess, and move away from a "should have" / "could have" mentality. This year, I'm striving for consistency and balance; a consistent work schedule for my studio practice balanced with time for "play".

I recognize that like the moon, we all go through phases and there's cycles of growth as well as cycles of rest. It's this ebb and flow that makes life interesting and provides opportunities for exciting challenges and enriching change. Happy New Year!

"Ebb & Flow" (collagraph with photointaglio)