Saturday, March 11, 2017


This is the tentative start of a small project. This, the first print, is based on yet another scribble from my sketchbook and my recurring interest in how our mind and eye turn random or unconnected shapes into recognizable forms.

The original scrawl of two wavy lines drawn as positive and negative reciprocal shapes-somehow became became male and female--and the reworked lines and resulting shapes then became figures. I drew these over and over--some more literal, others even more nuanced and I've played with how abstract I can go and still have this read (almost) as a depiction of an erotic act.
The two plates that printed together make the print at the top.

 There are others coming, but they're not subtle and I hope to be able to make a small series of prints-
playing with the Eastern/Western techniques of moku hanga and etching while referencing the history of erotic images from the Ukiyo-e tradition.
My plan is to combine the techniques of soft-ground etching for the drawn lines and fill in color areas using wood blocks and bokashi gradations although I may try doing the same image (or a variant) using the different techniques. I'll start with a couple and see if I can make something interesting,
but the eventual goal is to put together a group of 10-12 images for a small portfolio or artist book.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Not to Scale

1" x 4" etching and aquatint on Magnani etching paper.

I'm attending the Wednesday night sessions/open studio at Il Bisonte, one of many historic graphic arts/print studios in Florence.  There's a small group of us and once a week, after dinner we have access to the nuts-and-bolts materials and tools of a well-equipped printmaking studio. There are acid baths for zinc and copper, an aquatint box and hot plate,  a guillotine cutter for metal plates, many presses and a professional printer helping and supervising those who need assistance in making plates and prints.
I have several small works in process and I'm trying to meet the deadline for a miniature print competition so I'll decide soon what's good enough to push to finish and send.

These were done in my first few days--as I was trying to refamiliarize myself with drypoint and etched lines. At the top is a two-plate etching and aquatint. While below, is a print made from a drypoint zinc plate, printed on a student-grade, Japanese paper. Drypoint means I used a sharp scribe to scratch directly into the metal. It raises a burr and prints with an easily recognizable hazy line.  As with lots of my work, it's based on small, scribbled doodles--these of scientific and measuring devices--rulers, protractors, beakers, etc.  These are all hand drawn and I like the play of the obvious "wrong-ness" of the drawing. The inexact spacing and wandering line that negates the purpose of these objects in the real world.   I've only printed these copies but I hope to make some time and print some clean ones on good paper.