I’ve been slow to post this week but now I have a few things to show you. I’ve been a printmaker for about 10 years now, as well as all the other things that I do. I’ve accumulated a lot of prints over that time. About six months ago I had a big sort-out. I put into a plastic bag all the proofs and other prints that just didn’t quite make it. Prints that I hadn’t liked the colours, or that had got some sort of mark on them. I thought “What CAN I do with these prints?”.
I found a use for them. I Gelli printed layers over the top. I didn’t cut around the print, but just divided the paper into a size that was manageable on the Gelli plate, so in many cases there will be an embossing mark through the finished print. Then I set to making greetings cards from them. I also plan to make matching gift tags. I already had some greetings cards, so I got out the circle cutter and inserted small prints inside the card. It needed more, so I glued another piece of the same print onto the front. A loose insert of plain paper inside and I’m finished. This first one is from a proof of this print of a machine at the Heritage Shipyard.
The red card is done over an animal print lino of a series I did at COFA in a rush and liked none of. Far prefer it this way. The blue one was a proof of a solar print from a tyre and other marine stuff at the Heritage Shipyard. The original photocopy that the plate was made from was not good and it is long thrown away.
I had some larger pieces I liked so I had a hunt on the website of Artwise the Amazing Paper Shop. I found some cards in white and cream that are designed for photographs, and they look great with the prints in them, teamed with really bright envelopes that tone with the prints.
I really like this one made from a proof of my pomegranates print. This one illustrates how the embossing mark created by the edge of the plate is 2/3 way across the print, yet it works fine.
The second one in this format is from a proof also. Again, the photocopy the solar plate was made from was poor. This was in the early days when we were still finding our way around solar plate etching. The layering on top of the original print has come up with some beautiful subtle colours. I’ve made a LOT of these cards & still going, but this is just a small selection for you to look at.
Only a very few posts to go now until the giveaway. Maybe there might be something else to give away as you’ve all been so patient.
I still have a couple of EDiM sketches to post, but I thought we’d have something different today.
I am entering in this swap and I have to make 6 pages, 4″ x6″. I have to decorate the back as well as the front. Well, as you know I’m also a printmaker. A while ago I sorted out my failed prints, proofs and just prints I generally didn’t like, from the good prints, in the hope of finding a project for them. Well, I found one.
I got a bunch of prints and Gelli printed layers right over the top of them. The back of the print has become the clean paper I am going to sketch on. It’s BFK Rives paper, which is my favourite paper of all. There are some interesting embossing marks from the plate’s edge on some of them. Most but not all were solar plate etchings. I did the Gelli printing before cutting to size, and before any drawing. I did my best not to smear any paint on the clean paper and that worked fine. I then cut to size. Jeepers they are small!
I made nine of them, (three in each picture) and that allows for less successful things to happen on the other side without it being a crisis. Most, though not all, of my prints were marine/industrial subjects. This is not what you’d normally choose to go with my chosen theme for the swap – tropical plants, but I think it makes it more edgy, and that’s what we’re aiming for, right?
It’s a bank holiday Monday today and still mostly dark at 8.30 am. It’s bucketing with rain again and I expect it will be as cold. Yesterday I completed two of these pages. I was going to make them totally unrealistic, but somehow I wasn’t in the mood and it seemed that actual tropical plants are as weird and strange as anything I could make up.
Not sure if I will do more today as I might start to make the sketchbooks. I also have to prepare for the demo I’m doing at The Art Scene on Thursday.
This one I drew from my kitchen window on a Sunday morning. I had to get on with it as I was going out. There was only a tiny band of cloud low in the sky, so I enhanced it, then soon noticed it had gone completely. The building in the foreground is my neighbour’s house and the one in the background is Royal Prince Alfred Hospital away in the distance. Don’t be misled by the palm tree -it’s winter and it’s cold.
That afternoon three of us went to a talk and workshop at the National Maritime Museum. They currently have an exhibition about the Fish in Australian Art. The talk and workshop was with Roger Swainston. So interesting. Roger draws coral reefs while under water. He uses pencil on architects drafting film. He sets up a grid of ropes so that he can find his place again. If you take this link and click on the top small image you will see what I mean.
In the workshop we drew fish using Roger’s method. We first pinned out the fish so that the fins were displayed to advantage, then we pinned a cord across fish to mark the centre line. After that it was all measuring with callipers. We were sharing a fish between four or five of us, so we took turns in the measuring. Quite soon we got very confused with where we’d just measured and what it related to with our drawing. It was fun though and Roger is a good teacher. I didn’t finish mine, but if I want to do it at home, I’ve got the skills.
Alissa was with me and she got to take the fish home. You can see her fish drawings here.
Another thing that came out of the day was that we had a talk to Roger about solar plate etchings. When we make solar plates, we put our drawings onto architects drafting film to expose the plate to the sun. We asked Roger if he ever did any printmaking & he said no. We explained how easy it would be to expose his existing drawings, and he said he had hundreds of them. He’d brought some of them along, and there was a large one of a lobster that I was just itching to make a plate of and print with sanguine ink. He is from Western Australia so I do hope he finds a printmaker over there, who knows solar, and hooks up with them.
Last year when Robyn (Have Dogs Will travel) was visiting Sydney from Italy, we met up near the Maritime Museum and talked our heads off. As well as sketching, we have printmaking and artist’s books in common.
Robyn has been here again and last Thursday we had a solar plate printmaking day at Annie’s place, as she has her own press. Solar plates, of course, are supposed to be exposed in the sun. It bucketed down all day Wednesday and was gray, sprinkling and miserable on Thursday early. However as we got to Annie’s place the sun came peeking out. Robyn had a drawing ready on architect’s film, so we got her to expose her plate right away before it rained again. My drawing of the White Bay Power Station was also ready, so I got Robyn to expose that plate for me too as practice. After we do all the bits and pieces to our plates, we have to leave them out in the ‘sun’ for an hour. No sun, but we left them out there anyway. While they were ‘cooking’ Annie exposed a plate too.
While we waited we did some printing of existing plates. I did one of my gymea lily for Robyn to take home. I just inked the flowers in red and the rest in green. Worked well.
While our first plates were cooking we had to rescue them from tiny sprinkles of rain. They marked the plates, but strangely don’t show on the prints. The sun was out (coming & going) as well, so it was impossible to tell if it was raining. After lunch, I took a chair outside & became ‘rain monitor’.
I exposed my Trocadero print in the afternoon and managed to get a print of each new plate. Robyn prepared another drawing, made a plate and printed that. Solar plate etching is coming to Tuscany.
At the end of October I went to my last Printfest of the year. That’s when I take my plates along & just print all day. I had two new solar plates this time, made from my own sketches.
For some reason the ink on the big roller with the blend on it wasn’t cooperating, and I got stripy areas with less pigment. No matter how much I wiped the roller, replenished the ink & rolled it up again, I still got some stripy variations in the pigment. Maybe it was the weather.
This first print is from this drawing. It was inked up in sepia with red on the flowers. Unfortunately we lost the red because of having to roll over more than once to get rid of stripyness. That’s printmaking for you.
The next plate is my blue-point Himalayan cat, Casper. These two prints were done by laying threads on the plate, then rolling across with a hard roller with a single colour on it. Then the plate was rolled over again with the large soft roller with the blend. The ink only picks up where the previous ink missed. (Read about viscosity printing on my glossary page).
This plate was taken from this drawing on the lower right. I think I prefer the blue, because he is blue-point, but both colours were available, so I tried both.
This solar plate etching was taken from one end of this sketch. I drew these
palms one wet wet day in the Tropical Centre at the Royal Botanic Gardens and we had such a fantastic day that I am totally inspired by palms.We’re going to the Gardens again on Saturday and it’s raining again!
This first solar plate etching was inked up in an aubergine colour mixed by Seraphina Martin who organises the Printfest for us.The next one was inked up in a colour called Sanguine by Charbonnel inks. Probably my favourite colour.
The image with all the palms comes from this drawing . The first was inked in Prussian Blue (also Charbonnel) and the second in Sanguine.
Each time the plate was first inked up with the colour I’ve mentioned, so that the ink went into the grooves in the plate. Then the surface of the plate was rubbed back, and it was rolled over with a big roller with a gradient which shows in the background of the palms. More info about solar plate etching on my glossary page.
I can’t finish this post without a word about Sonia who was the Australian killed in the helicopter crash in New York yesterday. I didn’t know her personally but I saw her around. She had this cafe I drew recently, under its previous name Baciagalupo, and I’d see her when I went there. More recently she has had Madam Fling Flong’s where we had cocktails a while ago. It’s true what they say, she had quite a personality. She will be remembered for a long time around Newtown.