New studio space

Righty-o, it’s been a while.  I haven’t done any creative work since Easter &  I’m starting to itch with creative energy again !    I’ve made the decision to lease studio space away from my home for the Summer and see if that works for me.  My  space here is not conducive to me producing any work and I never feel inspired to work here in this little dark hole !  Plus there are always so many distractions at home.    I’ve boldly asked about leasing a space in the Bay that I think would be perfect for me.   I’m going next week to have a look and hopefully negotiate a good and mutually beneficial agreement.     Regardless of not having definately found a new studio,   I have begun the daunting task of packing up here and getting ready for the  shift.

As I pack up, I’m un-earthing all sorts of odd prints that have been tucked away from the light of day.  I particularly like this collograph and had forgotten all about it.



Test prints unearthed

Clutter has slowly been creeping into the  Green Room so I’ve just had a major clean up and throw out.  Lurking underneath piles of  ‘stuff’ were these few random little test prints that I unearthed ! Amongst them some hand coloured polystyrene prints, etched lino, 2 plate collograph plates using stencils and drypoint collographs.  They’re not great,  but a  test plate (a first) always has a certain raw charm and it’s good to keep these proofs  as a record of my learning curve as I experiment with new techniques and mediums.   I went through a monocolour, one layer phase and most of these prints reflect that.  Slowly I am beginning to embrace multi-layers and more colours !!  I thought I’d share this little handful  of  test prints with you 

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RIP Cedar

My gorgeous dog Cedar died of old age at Christmas time. He was with me for 13 years and was a constant and delightful friend.   I have lost my faithfull little companion and life seems bleak without him.   To help me get through my feelings of loss and grief, I have been creating some prints of Cedar.  I’ve christened my new press printing this series of three prints and she works like a dream.    I’m attempting to create some intaglio monoprints of Cedar using some of the methods that Ron Pokrasso employs in his work – stay tuned for those as I’m still creating the plates.   In the meantime these 3 proofs are the first little series of “Cedar”.   I’m trying to move away from single layer/mono-colour prints and utilise multi plates and more colour in my images to create more visual interest and complexity.    These prints are 2 plate drypoint collographs.  During Cedar’s last week of life, I took lots of photos of him.  To create these prints  I used some of my photos to make paper cuts of Cedar.  These I collaged and used a drypoint tool to add more detail.  I achieved the background texture with acrylic medium on a separate plate and I used paper stencils  when printing the two plates together with the usual intaglio inking and wiping.   I think that the printing method I used  is referred to as “pochoir” which is a french term for  Stencil technique.  Or maybe pochoir only refers to hand colouring using stencils??  I need to research this.   Anyway here’s my Cedar boy…….     



How to – Intaglio drypoint collograph

Carol Nunan has initiated a “How to” on Collographs for this month.   Here’s my contribution.  I love this method because it is non-toxic and I get to recycle my milk cartons !    Judy Barrass  shared this method with me:

Step 1.    I save my tetrapak soy milk cartons  and cut them up to create printing plates.   The size of the carton will of course  limit the size of your print.  I have been lucky enough to have Judy send me some  tetrapak “off the roll”  so now I can use it for creating larger prints.

Step 2.  I Draw my image into the silver side of the tetrapak  with a drypoint tool.  Unlike drypoint on a metal plate there is no burr created so the printed line is quite sharp and crisp.

Step 3.  Next I glue the tetrapak to some cheap grey board with PVA glue.   I Shellac the edges and back so that stray ink can be wiped off easily (no need to shellac  the image) &  I trim the edges with  a stanley knife.

 Step 4.  Ink up the plate as you would any intaglio plate.  I use old phone book pages  and tarlatan for wiping back the plate and I use cotton buds  to wipe in the highlights.

Step 5.  Print onto damp etching paper using a press.

 Here’s a print made using this technique.  It is called “Yoga Mama”.