Friday, September 11, 2009

Well Blog Me...

The bird linocuts are finished with some color. I have 10 done, and have 10 more to go. Did have time to post one on Etsy. I took a "fancy" picture of it this time in frames. I should do this for all my prints for sale on etsy. I love it when people photograph their art (for selling purposes) with props, it always makes me want to have one.

My little mousy mezzotint and bird etching got featured in blogs. RE-Read Design wrote about things inspired by Finland in the beginning of the summer and the mouse was featured at Melissa's blog. It makes me happy and encourages me to go on when people enjoy my art. :)

Oh, and one more thing, I finally got my website front page updated so that it shows info of my upcoming class.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Print Your Heart Out!

Wanted to give you a head's up on a class I am going to be teaching at my new studio. It's not the biggest palce on earth, so I am limiting class size to 5 students. That will enable everyone to get the attention they need and enough space to spread out. The class will be an introduction to photopolymer plates. Price is $180 and it will include all essential materials needed in the class. Classes will meet on Tuesdays from 10am - about 1pm, depending on how people get done with their work. I chose polymerplates to be my first class, since it is fairly easy and students can continue making them at home after the class.
During the course of the class we will briefly look at the different types of printmaking, students will learn how to prepare, expose and print with polymerplates and how to continue with the process even after the class has ended. Students will have a chance to see original prints from artists around the country and be inspired by the multitude of expressions that printmaking offers. Since space is limited, I wold advise to sign up for the class early. To do so, please email me at, payments can be made through paypal or check. I will add this course to my website front page in the next couple of days.

I was able to go to the Seattle Wayzgoose this past week which was held at the School of Visual Concepts. They have a really nice print shop and have some awesome classes you can attend. The wayzgoose was a blast, and I actually remembered my video camera now, so I could take some pictures from the steamroller printing of giant linocuts:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three tips for Lincut Printing

Howdy folks! I have been having a long break, spending time in Finland with family and enjoying the summer. I made a little picture diary of things that I loved there. You can find it here. As far as intaglio printing goes I am out of commission until the semester starts back up again at TCC on Sept 28th. I was silly and left my materials in the studio, thinking I would not need them. That's ok though, it has given me time to make some linocuts.
Remember the age old game of telephone? As part of my new theme of animals conspiring against us, I am working on a linocut series of animals passing a message along to each other. I was trying to make them look a little like vintage illustrations. I don't know if it worked or not. Here are the first two I finished so far. It's supposed to be 9 little prints when it's done.

I was using the speedball watersoluble block printing ink to print the last prints. Since the plates were so small, I just hand burnished them. Below is my print setup at home. I have always had problems with this ink drying up and becoming gummy after about 10 prints. Since I am thrifty and don't want to throw out ink I paid for (I have 5 different colors of this stuff), this is the solution to work with it. I took my small atomizer bottle meant for watercolor painting and misted the rolled out ink surface lightly in between prints. That enabled me to print indefinitely with the ink. Also- don't squeeze out too much ink on the plate for rolling out at a time. I am still not crazy about these inks, they are watersoluble like watercolor even after at least 5 days after printing and drying. But because of the same reason, they are easy to use at home (which we are renting) for easy cleanup.

Tip #2: Linocuts curling up on you? If you work on smaller sizes, the plates always curl up after they are washed. Bigger ones flatten out with weight but not these ones. If you dry them in between phone books with a weight on it they will flatten back out. Here is a before after photos. Oops, the plate is different in the photo, but you get the point.

Below is a print that I was working for a comission. A friend wanted a print of a chickadee to give to her father for a birthday present. I figured that since it ties in with my other animal prints, I would make a whole edition of them. Here is where the tip #3 comes in (afterthoughts kill me). I tried to do some watercolor on top of the print (before I knew it would run) and of course it bled all over. I also printed them on Rives light weight since I was hand printing, so the paper warped a lot when it got wet. To fix these two problems, I had to get a little crafty.

I used Krylon crystal clear spray on the print and let it dry thoroughly. Then I added wheat paste to the watercolor to keep it from soaking in immediately. This helped me apply the color more evenly and kept the paper from wrinkling up. In the end, it turned out great. She loved it. I had to turn it in as soon as I got it done, so I don't have a picture right now, but I will color the other prints as well so we'll have a picture in a couple of days.

Hope those are some helpful hints to someone out there. Just chuggin' along here.