Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I've been working on images for an upcoming exhibition with the Printmakers' Network of Southern New England entitled "Inklings". The prints will be on display this summer at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C.

I had a hard time settling on an image that would appeal to children and finally realized that I was over-thinking the task. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to just lighten up, do something different and have some fun. I settled on toy Matchbox Cars; dumped in a pile they reminded me of a traffic jam. Since the D.C. area is notorious for it's Beltway traffic, I thought this would be a great way to use toys to mirror a local daily occurrence.

I decided to do a two plate monoprint; one plate for color and one for line work. A Dremmel tool was used for the intaglio plate because I wanted a childlike line quality. The second plate was painted with Akua Kolor.

Since the ink was applied over a two day period, it dried slightly on the surface of the plexiglass so I dampened my paper to be sure it would pick up the ink. The painted plate was printed first with the intaglio plate over it.

I'm not entirely happy with the final print. I think this has to do with my tendency of wanting more control over the process and with monoprits, unexpected results often occur. Since I'm up against a deadline I need to just let it go and appreciate it for what it is. On the positive side, the image does have a child-like, coloring book charm and I think it will appeal to children. On the negative side, I'm surprised by how much the Akua Kolor ran and disappointed that the colors lightened so much during printing. Colors were fairly strong the first time the painted plate was run through the press but lightened more when run through a second time with the intaglio plate.

I'll experiment with the plates a bit more before I move on.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Best laid plans...

Spent the week working on a serigraph that, after the first few colors, was obviously not going to work for the image I had in mind. I kept plugging along though until I was sure it couldn't be saved. I believe it was Sam Beckett that said, "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Anyway, it's obvious I need a break and I'm hoping that getting away for a week will allow me to clear my head and recharge. A change of pace is good for the soul; rejuvenating, invigoration, and necessary.