Better photos

I love that my neighbor lent me his fabulous SIGMA DP2 Merrill camera to take better photos of my art!

I have been scanning mixed media relief work (when small enough) & using my point & shoot camera when I cannot scan in 1 or 2 passes.  But relief work scanned tends to look very flat & lackluster, & my camera does not do the artwork justice or have the desired resolution.

But this camera is different/amazing! Even with my poor attempts at decent lighting, the photos make relief work come alive!


Working proof


Two Days

Two days “off” from concrete & sculpture  =  Two days of printmaking.  At the very last minute I decided to honor my commitment to produce a set of prints for the Corvidae 2016 Print Exchange.  Only 13 prints required this year, 8″ x 10″ or smaller plates, using two passes / two processes (any processes but each artists should use the same two processes for all prints, but the prints need not be identical).

So the printing is done, the prints are almost dry, and now I need to sign, number, and select 13 from the edition of 15 to put in the Exchange.

I was wildly enamored of them at first, now I am at the fault finding stage, and find them sloppy, crude, and inadequate.  I think I may like them again tomorrow!

And NOT in the Print Exchange:


Crow with Fire in the Belly

After printing an old lino cut plate using a mask (cut to obscure most of the body of the crow) top left, I came up with a plan to put more detail inside the crow. So I worked on the plate and printed it at various stages. I am at version 4, and done for now: the red print is from the curent version of the plate, which is the second plate image. The other two prints are intermediate versions.


More drawing and a print variation


To the original drawing, I added some water soluble graphite to darken and enhance (I hope :-): the modified drawing is shown at left. The poly litho plate used for the print was from the earlier version of the drawing. I used water soluble graphite on the burnt umber ink print also, but a bit differently from on the pencil drawing. The graphite becomes a second color on the print. In the final version at right, I added a touch of colored pencil.  Stop me now! :-)

Below is another (older) poly litho print newly completed with colored pencil. I used the one plate, twice through the press, reversed & repositioned for the a second pass.



Reworked plates, better prints and …

OK, it is done:  I have entered three prints in the Corvidae Press sponsored juried show Printmaker’s Hand III (September at Northwind Arts Center). This involved much agonizing: none of my entries were accepted last time, and it is the same juror. Oh well, just $45 & much stress :-)

Update: none of these submissions were accepted :-(   Very depressing!

After my first try at poly litho with this new drawing was so unsatisfactory, I cleaned & redrew both poly litho plates, using a micron pen this time (not a fat “ultra fine” sharpie!).

The micron pen seems to work well:  I have to be very aware of the lines blending with the laser toner but the plate charges (with ink) very quickly. But I think this pen, like the sharpie, will not hold up well when cleaned, so I may have two editions of only four prints from each plate … I was too short of time to print more with the show deadline today.

I used a new tin of Dark Umber, rather than the old black ink used on the first plates. This was nice, not as stiff, so I did not need the burnt plate oil amendment or have to work the ink quite as much!

This gave me time to do the color mono print work.  This time I painted the color directly onto one of the poly litho plates, which made registration a breeze! It was a bit of an experimental rush job, but I like the effect. I will probably add color to a couple more of the prints, maybe with that red dress although not sure with the brown ink.


Working with small plates at the print shop

Flower Print Folio cover Flower Print Folio interior
My new mini-print mini folio: the folio is 6″x7.5″, & has the hand rubbed iris print on the front. Inside are two variations from a shellac matboard plate, mounted for easy removal. The plates are 3″x3″. The color on the 2nd fuschia print is watercolor painted added after the print was dry.

I was tired working in the print shop yesterday afternoon, especially after completing an edition of 16 for our current print exchange. To experiment & use up ink, I grabbed leftover paper and printed some more, using the Iris that is featured in the edition with other recently created plates. Select an image to see the folio and these other prints in the larger lightbox display.

If only I had managed to get them straight on the paper! Oh well…



Drawing on wood & new prints (w/colored pencil)

The drawing is done with water soluble graphite pencils, “painted” with water, on a piece of MDF (medium density fiberboard) primed with two coats of white Golden Absorbent Ground. I like this ground, and being able to use water media directly on a board, no paper!
The collagraph plate is built up on matboard with paper, vinyl spackle, & elmers glue, all coated with shellac when dry. I stamped into the wet spackle & glue mix to make the impressions…


Proofing plates without the press…

I am working with various low tech matboard 3″x3″ plates for a print exchange. I have made some 12 foil covered collagraph plates, and eight shellac over cut matboard plates, but have not yet printed all of them! The first six foil plates are too irregular and don’t quite please me: some are not square, and the relief is not enough: I have been working into all the prints with colored pencil. Love the yellow glow monoprint background with the red & green though.
The shellac flower plates have been proofed without a press, last night in art class. Next to print them on the press!