Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Assessment Eve

Before I post up photos of my studio corner which is finally completed for assessment tomorrow, I thought I would post a photograph of my best print this semester.  It is banished to my sketchbook because it is printed on newsprint - sort of like a beautiful but degenerate relative that is hidden away in the attic for the sake of the family name ...

This is a monoprint on woodblock using lots of white spirit and the end of a spatula dipped in litho ink.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Scuttery dandelion woodblock

Note the colour of the dandelion woodblock. 

You may think it looks luscious and caramel-ly. 

However it is known amongst us connoisseurs* in the LSAD print studio as 'scutter'.  It features prominently in our sets of prints and we have each come to admire the other's prowess in being able to mix a fine shade of scutter. 

This skill cannot be learned, it is an innate sense in which one must be almost able to smell the shite as one mixes the colours.  Only then can a realistic scuttery colour be produced.   

Not everyone holds it in the high esteem which we do but this does not concern us.  We are not scutter evangelists.

*  The marvellous Mags Codd and myself

Halfway house

Here's a quick photo I took whilst assembling one of the collages (see last post). I like.

And notes to self 1)  don't use cheap glue
                          2)  to flatten several sheets of glued together paper, cover with acetate sheet and roll like the bejaysus with a (clean) print roller.  This last tip is brought to you courtesy of Derek O'Sullivan (all hail).

Print and collage

Two of my most favourite things.

Put them together and what have you got ...?

... An almost successful set of 4 large prints:-

Print collage 1

Print collage 1 (detail)

Print collage 2
Note how the scuffed, grey lithograph workshop floor makes a lovely background to these prints!

Print collage 2 (detail)

 Print collage 3 (detail)

Print collage 3

 Print collage 4 (+ my toes, because for some reason I really like this shot!)

Print collage 4 (detail)

As print collages I don't know if they're that successful but they do express a couple of the ideas of this project; a) my experience and b) the sheer abundance of plant life in the fields where I walk.  In the detail of collage 4 (above) for example I can see an embossed plantain stem, the edge of a drypoint signifying one of the big rocks that stick out of the fields, a soft ground etching of goosegrass, a collograph representing a horsetail and two drypoint maps I drew illustrating the fields themselves and my route through them.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Francesca Samsel

I recently found the work of Francesca Samsel, a printmaker who uses nature and the environment as the inspiration for her viscosity etchings.  She is represented by Davidson Galleries in Seattle ( which also has a host of other printmakers and a really good print and contemporary drawings section. 

Here are some of her prints:-

Francesca Samsel. Precipitation ’08.3, 2008. Viscosity etching. 1/1. 14-3/4 x 3-3/4 inches. $300
Precipitation, 08.3, 2008

Francesca Samsel. Migration ’05.11, 2005. Viscosity etching. EV. 6 x 23-1/4 inches. $275
Migration, 05.11, 2005

Francesca Samsel. Specimens, 2004. Viscosity etching. Edition of 12. 5 x 16-1/4 inches. $225
Specimens, 2004

"My work has always revolved around nature,
man’s impact of the rest of the natural world and the analogies to contemporary life there in.  The physical changes occurring on earth have roots back to the industrial revolution, but the largest fingerprints are from my generation. 

These concerns are amplified when looking at the pictures brought back by the Hubble telescope."

Chocolate from the Equilibrium series, 2010
intaglio, viscosity etching, woodcut

Shaken from the Equilibrium series, 2010
intaglio, viscosity etching, woodcut

I like the fact that she uses various printing techniques
 to build up the work in series and how the
fragments represented combine to make the whole.

As promised,

here are some more scans:-

I had some sheets of newsprint that I'd been using for printing and put these as a background for some of the plants.  For some strange reason, they seem to work.

This was an attempt to 'create' a new plant using dead parts of other plants - a theme to be continued in year 3 I think

Let's not mention that 'p' word ...

This is a drawing from my sketchbook superimposed on the photograph of the leaves I drew

For this photograph and the one below I used Photoshop to remove the plants (dandelion and crab apple blossom) and substituted nothing or a black hole where they were

I have a penchant for slow shutter speeds, layering and abstract images at the moment.  I've also fallen in love with the dandelions that are now appearing all over the fields, they are just the most cheerful, beautiful things.  I've been taking lots of close ups and have made a drypoint of a dandelion to use in my final assessment.  It is my most successful print.

Don't ask me about printing - the printing has not been going well.  My many hours in the print studio felt like a waste of paper and ink.  So we'll stick with the photographs and scans for now ...