Stepping back into the Studio again. I hope to finish the work for the wall & move on to the smaller prints for the desk & my market stall. It’s solitary work. Yesterday, the winner of the Bruny art prize made mention, in her acceptance speech, of the isolation of artists & the hours of solitary time spent working. It’s true. Life doing art can be a such a lonely old path.
I guess that’s why shared studio space & collaborations are a good idea.
I recently spent a wonderful week on on Flinders island with Cycle South. The trip was about cycling and art. I took my pasta machine with the idea of making some mini textural collograph plates and printing them on location with the pasta machine. However, with all the cycling & walking, time did not allow me to make & print the collographs whilst on the island. I’ll do these now that I’m back on Bruny. I did have 2 sessions of making some cyanotypes from found objects.
Found a Handy little rock shelf out of the wind for drying
Young Tama made a print
My new printmaker’s chop has arrived. I created a simple monogram design – JoS…. for Jo Sculthorp ! The “o” is symbolic of a little creative seed in the ground waiting to germinate & grow
Below are some thumbnails of the digital negatives that I’ve made for the Stoned Curlew/Pandanus work. I loathe sitting on the computer for any length of time. I would rather be in the studio getting inky. However, part of the Cyanotype process is creating the digital negatives and that means a bit of computer work. I am very ‘rustic’ about it and not very skilled nor scientific. I do it as quickly as possible without much fine tuning. For this particular type of imagery it’s fine to be a bit haphazard. I don’t know photoshop well and I just use it at very basic levels for creating my negatives. You can faff around for hours but in a nut shell, you basically need to de-saturate your image of any colour, invert it into its negative state and play with the brightness and contrast untill you have a clear cut black and white image with as few midtone areas as possible. Although mid-tones can lend themselves to different shades of blue in the final cyanotype – it’s a matter of experimenting with exposure times. The grey areas can also be scratched into lightly on the negative transparency to remove some of the computer ink and allow more light to pass through during the cyanotype exposure.
I will also be making a couple more negatives of grasshopper imagery (we don’t want Mr Curlew to starve !), a collograph plate and a drypoint on acetate plate to play with. I figure the more paper stencils, printing plates and negatives I have on the go, the wider the scope for experimentation, which will mean more interesting results – fingers crossed.
My printer decided to break down today so that has thrown a little spanner in the works as I can’t print the digital negatives onto the transparencies. I’ll concentrate on the collograph and drypoint this week until I can get to town and get it sorted ! Bloody technology !
Stay tuned for part 3 – The making of the collograph and the drypoint plates.
Part of my heart still lies in Queensland. I love the Pacific Ocean, the flora and fauna & the Queensland Sunshine. Seeing a friend’s holiday snaps on Insta took me back there in a blink of an eye.
With his permission I am using his photo of Pandanus & imagery of the Bush Stone Curlew bird to create an archival, handmade hybrid print. I’m probably aiming for a drypoint, collograph & cyanotype hybrid……but my process is very experimental, so who knows what the end result will be ! The journey is fun. Last night I played with stage one of my process – taking photos for making the digital negatives. I really like these digital images (they are by no means resolved – this is just the initial stage of my process that I am documenting). I tried some new ways of taking photos & I need to get my hands on an overhead projector & a turntable to further explore my ideas of capturing movement. I’m finally working on possible ideas that have been seed stage in my head for a long time. It’s great to be inspired by someone else’s photos from distant islands ! (Stay tuned for Part 2 – Creating the digital negatives.)
I’m playing with photographing moving plant specimens with the aim of capturing the movement and creating ideal digital negatives for my cyanotypes. After lots of experimentation with cyanotype, I
know only specific digital negatives are successful in the cyanotype process. I have a fairly good feel for what works for my process & what doesn’t. I’m attempting to move away from creating static images & would like to get the feeling of movement into the imagery at the digital negative stage of the process instead of during the cyanotype exposure stage of the process by use of the photogram method. Usually I move the objects during the sun exposure – but this has not always been successful. The idea to create the movement at the initial stage has been playing out in my head for a while & I think I’ve jumped a massive hurdle in figuring out the first step of the process (the photograph) this afternoon. Sometimes the printmaking process can be complex & I love those moments when the process falls into place in my head and I have some clarity about what I want to achieve and how I might get there. Tomorrow into the studio to see if my thinking processes ring true! I have to think in negative images & remind myself of the cyanotype mantra – “if it lets the light through, it will turn blue. If it blocks the light out, it will stay white” !!!
I’ve recently made time in my life for my printmaking practice but after preparing the GreenRoom space for a flurry of activity, I felt a bit stuck. It’s been too long between prints. I thought learning a new technique would inspire me and give me some momentum! So……I’ve just completed 2 days of monoprint & drypoint Printmaking with Deb Wace.
I want to move away from precise mark-making & static images. I want to work in a free & spontaneous way. I want to create whimsical, interesting marks implying movement, depth & joy.
Deb’s generous sharing of ideas and teaching over the last few days has given me great inspiration, new methods of working and mark- making . My mind is bubbling over with ideas !
I chose to work with images from my childhood – photos of my sisters & I bouncing on trampolines when we young children. With a drypoint tool, I scratched a quick line sketch into the acetate based on the images in the photos.
The drypoint image on the acetate is then inked in the usual intaglio manner and then ink on the surface of the acetate is manipulated by different means & with different tools to achieve the monoprint. The mark-making is unconstrained, quick & spontaneous. The resulting printed marks are very interesting & lend depth and movement to an otherwise static drypoint image.
There are endless possibilities with monoprint and a huge scope for experimentation. It was a lot of fun playing with the drypoint images.
Below are my favourite set of APs for the day. I used a grouting tool and a scrap piece of card to manipulate the ink & some small paper and thread stencils.
It’s titled “Cosmic Sisters”.
Thank you Deb Wace for a wonderful workshop. Monoprint had opened up a whole new world of possibilities.