Monday, August 27, 2012

Editions, not! These are monoprints!

Now that I have been printing at The Drawing Studio for a month, I'm starting to get some really interesting results on the press, especially from the work I did on the 23rd. I'm still using the eight plates I created in Santa Fe. Part of what I'm doing is getting back into the practice and craft of printmaking: working the press, interacting with the ink, etc. Everything is new for me from what I learned in art school: the type of ink I'm using (Akua), the paper I'm using, the plates (solarplates), the press (Revolutionary-war era!), etching method, etc.
There are two of these heavy iron presses in the shop!
A solarplate inked with black and ready to go. The orange color is the polymer surface.
Sharing most things in a common studio setting is fabulous for the camaraderie and feedback but it also leaves more chances for error every time you print a new image: ink smudges/marker/mystery goo on the press bed, fingerprints (other than your own) on your paper, damaged felts, uneven pressure on the press, etc. Getting a print to turn out like you want means that you often get 5-8 prints that didn't work for some reason or another for every 1 print that does work.

Despite all of the variables to deal with, one thing that has not changed is that I still do monoprints. I do not do editions of identical etchings and intaglios. That's just not my style or how I was taught printmaking. I love to create a plate and then spend weeks, even months "working" the plate- sometimes altering the plate itself but usually printing it in various ways so get something new each time.

Here are two of the monoprints I created last Thursday, both using a black intaglio (See the above image) and a second plate done in a painterly monotype style and printed one after the other. The plates need to be registered, so that of course introduces another chance for error!
Fig. 15, 1/1 (Blue, orange, gold, green)
Fig. 15, 1/1 (Red, yellow, blue)
As you can see, they are both different but share a common image: the image on the etched solarplate. By using a fine-lined etching with a painterly image, I can bridge the gap between a traditional etching and an abstract painting. The possibilities for something exciting happening on paper increase exponentially!
Until next time,

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