Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mono workshop day 1.

I have been hoping to get back into the classroom for a while and trying to mesh my erratic work schedule ( I work different shifts every week) with a class schedule has been hard. But I found out about a monotype workshop held at the KALA art istitute in Berkeley,CA in time to ask for the two Saturday's off that the class was held.
So I managed to work into the wee hours Friday night, wake up really early Saturday morning, drive the 1 1/2 hrs to Berkeley and found the place easily enough. It's a grand old three story brick factory and the whole upper floor has been converted to a printmaking atelier with facilities for screenprinting, letterpress, etching, monoprints etc. This is a short class focusing on monoprinting with Akua color nontoxic pigments and I'm hoping it will help me avoid the errors I made on my first attempts with the blue press. I had a great time, even if I managed to ink the wrong side of my transparent plexiglass plate a few times!! but otherwise had everything under control. It's a fun technique, allowing much spontaneity and for some fun (and not so fun surprises).
We worked on learning how to get even coats of color from this honey-based, water based color and how to do chine colle' and a little bit about viscosity printing and resists.
Here's a print of the work table with everybody's efforts at the end of the first day and a quick shot of my first efforts. I like my ghost prints the best. Whispers of color and nuanced effects that are much more delicate and evocative than my more heavy handed full-color efforts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stain 3

Well, work continues....

I printed 25 onto Nishinouchi, an off-white mulberry paper and the blue didn't print quite grey enough and I think my earlier proof on white paper came out better. I'll take a little pause. Let these dry and decide whether to add another color or pass on the tie to deepen the color or just print a second batch in a different color scheme on white paper. I pulled this out of the batch as I plan on gluing one down face up on a hardwood block, carving the tie again and polishing the other copies to make the tie shiny and silky looking.

They are a bit less yellow than this appears on my monitor.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Almost there

Well, while I didn't get into the studio as much as I'd have liked--I managed to get these proofs done today and I'm pretty happy. I carved all day Sunday. Trimmed paper and printed these color proofs today. There is still some tidying up to do. The thin tie stripes need to be cut back a bit at the bottom to match the color tie block but we are almost there.
There will still be some surprise. It would be too boring for me to know exactly where this will end up--I'll be printing on Nishinouchi, an warm, off-white, slightly newsprinty paper that will change the colors somewhat. And I won't really decide until I'm sitting down with the bowls and colors in front of me which one I'll do. But I've only cut 25 pieces of paper so there will probably be another run and that will allow another color.
The biggest challenge still is the blood spot. It has three colors/impressions and it's still not right.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stains and colors

I printed some sample proofs from my fresh keyblock.
The original idea was a simple black and white line drawing with the red blood stain on the white shirt. (I thought of carving different color stains --coffee, blood, etc but that seemed pushing it a bit too far).
But with some proofs on hand I decided to color some in with watercolor.
The one on the bottom R is my favorite;it would be sort of a halftone, bluegray--all the colors would be shades of grey except for the stain; the others are as can be seen above--I like the yellow tie more than the blue one.
The risk is that the subject--the blood spot--might be lost if too much energy and interest is directed at the necktie and colors.

The red stain will be cut off the key block and recarved so it will be much more noticeable. I'm also planning on adding a bit of alcohol to the color to make it seep a bit.

Any favorites/comments before I carve the next block?