Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making Art Safely in Santa Fe:The Painted Intaglio with Lennox Dunbar

I had the extreme pleasure to finally be able to take a printmaking workshop from Scottish artist Lennox Dunbar in Santa Fe, NM earlier this month. Lennox is a painter and innovative printmaker with a distinctive style. A short bio about Lennox Dunbar is here. 

One of Lennox' prints. This one is called "Wire"and is #4 in an edition of 10. 

Lennox inking a painted intaglio plate
Lennox has invented his own method of non-toxic plate-making, creating a technique that is both intuitive and elegant. His process is easy to grasp if you have knowledge of basic printmaking techniques. That is where it ends though. His way of working and making plates often defies description- it's not a collagraph- these are intaglio plates.  His plates are not assembled from bits glued onto a surface matrix. They are carved, painted, sanded, and cut out. He uses shaped plates like "paint brushes" (his words) and layers plates, colors and images to create rich, textured surfaces. This method of plate making is edition-able, unlike monotypes. Plates can be worked and re-worked, similar to a traditional intaglio plate. You can proof them, see what you have and make changes to the plate.
A collection of some of his shaped plates
Lennox demonstrating how he prints his shaped plates

Oblong shaped plate printed over another shaped plate.
(This print was created for demo purposes and is not finished)

This workshop was all about experimentation, so we made plates with the idea of seeing what would work. We tried different substrates for plates, including PETG plastic and melamine-coated MDF as well as numerous paintable materials for creating a texture that would hold ink. I made step-scale and plates testing different materials on PETG and MDF, made multi-plate prints, made a shaped plate, and learned to incorporate a shaped plate into a printing sequence.
Rough MDF with successive coats of Golden Self-leveling Gel medium. 
I took many videos at this workshop rather than notes, so I will be uploading video to YouTube over the next few weeks. Most are decent, but I'm new to creating, editing, and uploading video made with an iPad, so these are not professional quality! They were made for my own reference and to share with other workshop students, so I will only share a few.  

In the meantime, here are some of my experimental plates I created and printed. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily art; these are prints created from learning a new process.

"Tornado I", 1st state, intaglio print. 

"Tornado I", 2nd state, intaglio print. 

"Tornado I", 3rd state, intaglio. 

I will add more photos soon and video when I'm finished getting it all edited!

1 comment:

  1. His way of working is very similar to the way I work Rebecca - look forward to seeing your videos and yeah -- editing videos - what a pain.