Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Paper Trials

I had a successful morning printing and trying out a few different options using Awagami papers. I've never used these papers before and was curious as to how they would work with intaglio plates and Akua inks. I was pleased with the results.

The image on the left was printed on dry Awagami Shiramine paper using two plates. The right image uses the chine colle' technique; plates were printed on dry Washi paper embedded with noticeable fibers. The support paper is Arnham heavyweight. I like both results but lean toward the warmth of the image on the right.

This piece will be submitted to the 2017 Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition. Once they're dry, I'll ship them off to Japan before the July 31st deadline.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Minature Print Underway

Recently, I came across a miniature print competition sponsored by Awagami Paper. Since life is a little busy at the moment, I thought I'd enter. It helps me to have a goal and a deadline when I feel as though I'm being pulled it too many directions. I have until mid-July to get this piece resolved and on it way.

An added bonus, Awagami sent a package of sample papers. Since I have never used their papers I was curious to see how they performed with the Akua inks and intaglio process.

As luck would have it, I found some old Solarplates (the ones before the new plates with the protective layer) that had gotten shoved back on a studio shelf. I didn't know if they were still usable but they turned out to work fine.

I planned on using two different plates and after exposing the positives, the old Solarplates looked good. The image size is roughly six by eight inches.

Between this and that, I managed to eke out  a bit of studio time for proofing. I was playing around with a few different color variations but noting was finalized. These were printed on dry Arnham paper using Akua intaglio inks.

Chine colle' was used in this one; printing on one of the Awagami sample papers.

At the moment, I'm partial to the one below but that can change once I have time to get back to the studio. Again, I used one of the sample papers, with fine threads running through it, for chine colle'.

For now, "Elusive Perfection" remains just that - elusive.

Friday, February 17, 2017


As I sketch and figure out what larger project I want to tackle next,  I'm keeping busy and having fun working on small print projects

I've just completed my edition for the Green Door Press International Print Exchange. The artist produces 10 prints and will receive a variety of 8 prints in exchange. I've sent work off to this exchange before and its always exciting to receive prints from other artists.

The required print size is small. The paper needs to be 5.5" x 5.5" and the image size a maximum of 3.9" x 3.9". I decided to go with a simple black and white image.

"Tresses" is a photopolymer intaglio produced using a Solarplate. It's printed on Arnham paper using Akua carbon black intaglio ink.

The deadline isn't until August so there's still time if you want to participate.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Moth Project

I stumbled upon an interesting project the other day. Artist Hilary Lorenz put out a call for moth prints.

This sounded like a fun project to participate in so with blizzard conditions outside, I hunkered down in the studio and did a little moth printing.

Since the directive was to print in black and white and keep the image simple, I decided on the Giant Leopard Moth.

This was the perfect opportunity to try out my new Pfeil tools that my husband bought for my birthday and wow, they are nice!

In no time at all, I had the linoleum carved and the plate trimmed.

I had recently purchased Speedball's new professional water-based relief ink so that was put to the test as well. It printed really well and cleaned up easily with soap and water.

Since this is a small plate, I printed by hand using my Print Frog glass baren.

After a few prints though, I switched over to my original 50 year old glass baren. The smaller size worked better for this plate.

Once the prints dry, I'll trim them and let them migrate to Hilary.

And the snow continues to pile up.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Palate Cleanser

When dining at a fine restaurant, a neutral flavored food is often served between courses to clear the palate from one flavor to another. I view print exchanges in a similar way. After working on an involved long drawn out project it's a nice change of pace to do something on a small scale, to keep the studio momentum going, without becoming overly involved time wise.

When I came across the announcement for the Wingtip Press "Leftovers VII" Print Exchange, I knew it would be a fun change of pace.

The premise of  the "Leftovers" exchange is to put to good use some of those many bits and pieces that one always has lying around the studio.

In addition, the exchange benefits a good cause; one of each print submitted will be auctioned off  to benefit a hunger relief task force.

I always have small scraps of Solarplates tucked away, as well as odd sizes of paper. Just what is needed to turn out a small edition of tiny prints.

It didn't take long to have the edition printed.

This morning I dug out my watercolors and added a bit of hand-coloring. All that's left to do is fill out the paperwork and pop these in the mail.

There's still time to submit if you're interested in participating.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Finally finished.

Gifts - Photopolymer intaglio collage monoprint.

Finally! After a day in the studio, I'm ready to call this piece finished. Hand-stitching secured a few grass twigs to the nest print and a few well placed stitches anchored the crocheted nest in place.

My intention was to juxtapose an image of Nature's handiwork with a hand-made attempt at reproduction. No matter how clever one is with their hands, you can't match the beauty of the natural world.

"Gifts" was created as a re-envisioning of an earlier print -  "Offering". Both will be part of a group show entitled Vision / Revision.

I wanted to make a strong reference to Offering, but rather than producing an edition, I decided to experiment with layering prints to create a monoprint collage. As the piece evolved, it was refreshing to play around with options and turned out to be a good way to work when there were so many starts, stops and interruptions.

Time to clean up the studio and start fresh for 2017.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Year - Old Business

Like everyone else, I was swept up into the end of the year frenzy of family obligations and festivities. Time in the studio was scarce. With the new year well underway it's high time to finish a pending project so I can start anew.

The deadline for an upcoming group show at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking entitled Vision / Revision is fast approaching. Two prints will be shown side by side; one a re-envisioning of an earlier piece. Playing off of "Offering", a traditionally printed edition, I wanted my re-envisioned piece to be more experimental and decided to create a monoprint collage. 

"Offering" and re-envisioned monoprint under construction.

The new piece is composed of two separate images to be mounted as a single print. Both are photopolymer intaglios.

I struggled a bit with an image to compliment the nest image...

... and finally settled on this.

I'm in the process of cutting into and assembling various prints into one hopefully cohesive piece.

I also wanted to add dimensional elements so I experimented with crocheting a nest. After a couple of experiments I decided to go with the one made with finer thread.

I plan on stitching a few grass stalks onto the nest portion but I'm currently at a standstill trying to decide how much layering to do.

I'm not sure if I should include the printed arched cutout of netting or omit it.

I'm so close to finally resolving this that I need to step away before making my final decisions. I think I need to head to the beach for a change of scenery and hopefully come back with fresh eyes.

Sooner or later I'll be able to pull it all together.