Thursday, February 23, 2012

Learning from others

As I was taking a break and surfing the web, I found this video of artist Nana Shiomi conducting a moku hanga demonstration. What I found particularly interesting was her technique for placing her paper onto the wet block. She uses a "bridge" to support the paper as she aligns the sheet for registration. This was a clever idea and one that I'm going to file away in my "how to" files. I thought others might find it helpful as well; the demo is well worth a look.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ink, Wipe, Print ....

Ink, wipe, print ... ink, wipe, print ... ink, wipe, print, it's amazing what can be accomplished when you have a block of uninterrupted studio time! I had a great printing rhythm going and was able to complete a sizable edition in a few hours.

Score/2012, selected to mark a twentieth anniversary, is the latest group project of the Printmakers Network of Southern New England. In addition to denoting a group of 20, “score” has many definitions and portfolio participants are challenged to interpret the theme in a 20" X 12" format using any print process.

This is my contribution. A two plate photopolymer intaglio with chine colle' and some hand-coloring with watercolor.

From Here to God

I opted to interpret the theme in terms of time. Having reached three score and one in years, time to me is beginning to feel like a brisk wind that is continuously increasing in velocity. Since I often use bird imagery metaphorically, finding a dead bird triggered the initial inspiration for this print. My print depicts our fleeting existence, ever moving toward the unknown. Time is difficult to define; contradictory in nature since the past is behind us, the future is unknown and our present is fleeting; becoming the past even as we attempt to define it. Like a gust of wind, gone in a second.

As I created this particular image, implied meaning and layering came into play to depict the passage of time and is a result of digital manipulation of personal photographs and transformation of the film negatives by hand.

The image is printed on Hahnemhule Copperplate using Akua inks. I use matte board scraps to spread the ink, begin wiping with a ball of tarlatan and finish up using phone book pages wrapped around a felt covered block.
To provide focal points, color was added using the technique of chine colle’ on the larger plate and hand coloring, with watercolor, on the smaller.
The chine colle' paper is carefully positioned before placing the main printing paper over the plates.

I'm pleased with the outcome and happy to have the edition completed well in advance of the deadline. All that's left to do now is sign and number the prints.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Good to be working again

Feels so good to be back in the studio again. You can check out what I've been working on at WordPress.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Overcoming Inertia

It's been awhile since I've had the luxury of focusing on my studio practice. I always find that after a long absence from my usual work habits inertia sets in. To overcome this, I often "prime the pump" by doing small exercises just to get the creative juices flowing. This morning I decided to use up some of my Solarplate scraps and did a series of test plates to calibrate my exposure unit to some images I had been toying with.

Before I knew it, I was back into the rhythm of things and decided to print an edition for the "Left Overs III" exchange organized by Wingtip Press. Since I was using leftover pieces of polymer plates, along with leftover images that I had been playing around with before the holidays, and had a stack of leftover paper scraps it just seemed appropriate to move on to printing an edition for the "leftovers" exchange.

I'll let these dry, sign them and send them on their way to Wingtip Press.