Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kid Friendly Print

My goal for the week is to complete a "kid friendly" piece for an upcoming exhibition. This summer, the Printmakers' Network of Southern New England ( will be exhibiting a collection of prints at the Childrens National Medical Center in Washington DC. The May deadline is fast approaching so time is of the essence.

Last week was dedicated to sketching and idea development. I spent some time trying to decide what would be appropriate for the venue, appeal to kids of various ages, and also be interesting for me. Searching for inspiration, I gravitated toward my daughter's old toy box. Finding a bag of Match Box Cars, I dumped them out on the floor and played around with various options. Since this is for a DC institution and traffic is a daily issue, I decided to use the tiny cars to depict the typical traffic in and around the Beltway.

Next decision; what printmaking technique to use. I decided to do a crayon resist serigraph. I haven't done a screen print in awhile and I liked the idea of using the humble crayon to depict an everyday scenario using an iconic toy as the subject matter. I spent last week working out compositions and preparing my screen. Everything's now ready to go and I hope to get a few colors down by the end of the day on Monday. (Also keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out well enough to exhibit!)

I replaced the fabric on an old screen, set up my hinges, and used screen filler to mask out the print's borders. I have 3 "pegs" set into my screen base so I attached strips of paper with corresponding holes to my printing paper. This should give me good registration for each color.

The drawing is placed on the base and protected by a sheet of acetate. Crayon will be added successively, after each color is printed, until the screen is completely blocked out. Color number one, first thing Monday morning.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Spent yesterday working on an image and plate for the 2011 Littlest Print Exchange. Apparently I couldn't wait to print it because I woke up really early this morning wanting to head to the studio. I was able to get down to business and managed to crank out an edition of 55. Granted, they are small but still require the same process of inking, wiping and printing as any edition. I enjoyed the 3D optical illusion the prints created when lined up on the press.

The 2011 theme is “accessibility” reflecting printmaking’s capacity to produce multiple original works of art accessible to the masses. I decided to deal with the opposite and created an image that deals with the masses being barred from access.

“Barred” is a tiny intaglio print measuring 3” X 3” printed as a bleed image on Hanhnemuhle-Copperplate. It deals with the issue of “no access” by obstructing entry with the construction of a barricade of sticks and battens to exclude the masses. I decided to work with the simple starkness of the black and white to emphasize the complexity of the pattern and rhythm created in such a small space.