Thursday, February 10, 2011

San Antonio Print Crop

I have arrived back in Washington from Texas! It's good to be back home, my own bed, a loving husband, a terrific dog, home cooked meals and working in my own studio. I have the "Tacoma is For Lovers" craft fair at King's Books this weekend so I will try to get some sewing done for a change. Before I left for two weeks I had gotten some very nice Japanese fabrics to sew stuff from. Can't wait to get my hands on those.

Back to TX- The trip to San Antonio was a great deal fun. I finished 4 plates and printed 3 editions (the last one I'll have to print at home), I was able to talk to over 10 classes about what I do as printmaker, help some students become better at printing and see some old friends and spend time with them. How can it get any better than that. The first print I finished was that two color reduction linocut (see previous post). For the second color I mixed a dark brown ink and printed that on top of the first lighter brown. It looked good so I went ahead and printed the edition.

Here is how it turned out, it is printed on Fawn colored stonehenge paper. The color is a light grayish brown. Below it is also a detail of one of the deer. I quite like the way this one turned out, but my favorite print from the trip is yet to come.

If you haven't been to TX, let me tell you they really do have lots of deer. I stayed over one of the weekends at a friends house, and they had a whole herd (?) of deer in their front yard. Here's the two last to leave, a mommy and it's baby. The deer were quite tame, we were really close, I only had a little point and shoot with me to take this picture with.

After finishing the first linocut, I had about 5-6 workdays left. I was not sure how long things would take, so I wanted to work on a mini etching. A friend suggested I do a print with an armadillo, since I was in TX, so I figured why not.

The plate was printed twice for this edition. First I inked it up with black and printed it as a regular line etching. Then after the whole edition was done, I went back and relief rolled a light beige color on and used a q-tip to clean out the armadillo and mouse and then that got printed on top of the line etching for the chine colle look-a-like effect. The plate measures about 2.5" tall. Should have put a quarter next to the piece...

So after finishing "Tank" I had a couple more days to work. I figured I would do another mini plate, with the leftover paper I had. (I brought my own paper to print on, so I knew not to overpack on the way down.) This little guy is about the same size as the armadillo. I was thinking of other ways animals could hassle humans as they fight to get their land back from sprawling suburbs (the current theme in my work) and thought of swallows- they live everywhere and I am always afraid one day one will miscalculate and I'll have a big gash in my head. So was born the Dive Bomber print. I gave him some war paint for the extra twist. Hope you like it. The red highlights and beige background color were added with watercolor. Both the armadillo and swallow are created with repeated line etches on top of each other to get the desired gradation from light to dark.

I had one more day in the print shop before I had to go. Now what, I am just about out of paper, and have no time to edition anything any more, but I am no one to just sit around and twiddle my thumbs... I figure since I've been working so hard, I can do what ever I want- and this time I felt like I just wanted to draw a horse.

The etching is based on a photo and drawing and it ended up taking the last work day (12hrs) in the studio. I wanted it to be an excellent piece as far as technique was concerned, since the subject matter wasn't necessarily very high-arty (I made up a new word!). We had visited a museum in San Antonio and I had learned of three woman printmakers- Beth Van Hoesen, Andrea Rich and Mary Bonner. All of them did splendid animal prints, and I was very inspired to make my own. I'll have to do some book reports on them soon. ;-) So here is the last proof of the horse, I called her Faithful, she looked like a good horse. I really liked how the plate turned out and hope to print the edition off of it in the following weeks when I can get on a press big enough somewhere. The plate is about 6"x8" and my little press at home won't print that.

This print uses both line etching and soft ground for the tonal values. You can see the lines in the detail, and the soft ground crayon-like lines in the highlight in the top left corner. All the prints I finished will eventually be in my Etsy store. If you can't wait or they would make a great gift for someone right now, just contact me and we can work it out.


Nicole Geary said...

They look great! The shape of the armadillo plate is really fabulous. This all makes me miss San Antonio terribly :)

Almost Monday said...

Wonderful! They are all lovely and fun, but the horse is my favorite!
Glad you had a good productive trip! Looking forward to seeing the Japanese fabric too!