Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good dog!!

It's taken me weeks of off-and-on carving, but my little lino cut of Jett, our Aussie is about done. A few touch ups; I'll be doing a few hand-tinted and block-printed t-shirts and a short run of prints of this. It'll be one of the first projects on my very own press but for now, I need to lighten up her "beard" so that it recedes quite a bit more and some clean-up on the text.

My photo reference of Jett plus type (True Golden, an Arts & Crafts period font), composited in Photoshop:

New "etch-a-sketch"

From last Friday. I'm sort of calling it that because this is another midnight sketch when I just can't commit to a final, formal drawing. I had some stork reference in front of me but I drew directly onto the hard-ground with no preliminary drawing or transfer, except for the text. (I can't sketch an impromptu mirror-image of lettering.)

Took a bit over an hour to draw; 15-minute dunk in the tank. Should have gone another minute, maybe. This is the second state with no alterations other than quite a bit more plate tone came off and it was a better wipe than the first. Paper is Arches (Rives?) lightweight for proofing. I need to fix the eyes, but don't plan much more. On to bigger etching projects.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The new print studio is finished!

Yay!! Finally! Busy today getting hardware, mineral spirits, sawdust for cleaning plates & blocks, etc. today. All the boring but necessary stuff. Am moving the art supplies in, bit-by-bit over the weekend. I need to get my iPod boombox in there too for some music and audio books while scribing, carving and printing. Absolutely out of range of wifi, cell phone and other distractions, and that's just how I want it.

I have a vertical tank that you can see on the floor next to the sink, but I'll be concentrating on block printing in there at first before I bring in the ferric chloride. I'll be able to mix colors & print multiple blocks with no time constraints. (Come to think of it, I need to get a sheet of birch plywood and make a chase. *Puts it on my list*.) By the time the art center shuts down its printmaking program for the summer in May, I'll be up and running to prepare plates for etching so I won't have the usual three months of down time anymore.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thinking about gouache and egg tempera again.

I did the piece below in a DFAC egg-tempera workshop two years ago taught by Gainor E. Roberts. (An excellent instructor, by the way.) Thinking of doing some more opaque watercolor along those lines with acrylic underneath and colored pencil on top. I'd like to have something ready for CPSA's "Explore This!" online show next fall. (This painting is 3.5" x 5.5" on a gessoed panel.)

But I do miss those gorgeous ground pigments in doing traditional egg tempera on panel; might have to find some pigments and do some tiny ones for next year's Miniature Art Society of Florida's annual international show here in the Tampa Bay Area.

As long as I'm losing my mind and my sight noodling around on the eXtreme! close work of copper plate etching, go all out, eh? ;-)

Besides, I already have to wear the nerd, lighted magnification head-set and I'm not even 50 yet. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say...


On Monday, I packed off the show application for the Roycrofter's June summer show in East Aurora, NY along with my application for Roycroft artisan status. Fingers crossed for this year; I have enough Arts & Crafts-style stuff, or near enough, to qualify. I hope...

Working on two more copper plates today; "Good Dog!", my new linocut is nearly carved and ready for proofing on Tuesday.

I've been inventorying all of my prints, trying to see if I have anything close to an edition of 25 in most, and when all is said and done and I've excluded the ones with dings and inconsistent color & wipes, I honestly don't. Yet. But I'm getting there.

I'll be picking up some 1/8" fomecore and archival plastic bags tomorrow to start bagging the smaller Steampunk-ish etchings ("Laser-Guided Snook", "Steamed Grouper" and "Aviatrix") to open my new Etsy shop. Links to come soon.

I've also just put in a large order at Graphic Chemical for a vertical tank for the ferric chloride, along with various additives like burnt plate oil, tint extender, etc. Unfortunately, I need to wait for the print catalog to arrive to make some informed decisions about ordering oil-based relief inks. I have the basics in black and umber (there are some five different blacks to choose from in etching and relief inks...) but have been relying on whatever's been kicking around DFAC's printmaking dept. But with most of my studio furniture in place, plus the sink and print rack, I'm nearly there for my print studio's status changed to up-and-running.