Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Baby Princess" stands next to forked tongue and pointy shell. I think they look good together, in front of the print of the Cholita.

One of my favorite gifts this year... from the "Stone Whisperer". They're made by a woman from the Lakota tribe.

Color choices

On a printed proof I watercolor with a sable round #8. Used a leftover strip of BFK paper to test the color. Have decided to print 3 more colors. Will start with the lightest first. Will use polyester plates for the remainder of the printing. Need to strip my prints before proceeding, to remove excess wet ink.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Non-Indigenous Artist", 6 color lithograph created using the same process as below. The key color was drawn on the stone and the other colors were drawn on a combination of polyester plate and photo litho plate.
This print is for an exchange with 10 Korean printmakers and 10 US printmakers (organized by Melanie Yazzie). The deadline for this portfolio is Jan 10th. I plan to print 3 more colors next week.

I'm quite sure that I have left out many steps but at least this is a glimpse into my process. Before I stop printing I print on a piece of clear mylar. I talc it to stabilized the ink. I will use this to help when registering my other colors. I printed 36 prints and placed them in a drying rack. My next step is to watercolor a proof to see where I want color. Printing done, clean up. We recycle a lot at L VIS Press. We save slightly soiled paper towels to clean the ink slab. We also use less toxic cleaners. Soysolve (sp?) is the grease cutter that cleans the slab and last step is to clean with a 50/50 water vinegar spritz. Now Sydney and Phil can get their walk.

After I set the pressure on the press and get a good proof I am ready to run my edition. I use 3 sponges (dirty, dry/wet and wet/wet) during the process. When printing I keep the stone wet, especially when inking the stone.

Phil (black dog) is quite patient but Sydney (coyote/aussie mix) is not pleased.

I check each print for consistency. I roll out my ink the same (how much and the direction) on each print. When the print is rolled up I set out the BAT print (bon à tirer, good to go) print to check for consistency for all the remaining prints.
I finally got back to my printing. After a second etch (used a 4 drop nitric and 1 oz.gum arabic, to hold the soft grays). I get ready to print the edition. At L VIS Press we use paste wax (less toxic) instead of Lithotine and asphaltum . This process is the brainchild of John Driesbach. Push the wax around the stone to loosen the ink off the image. Remove as much paste as possible. Then clean with a dirty sponge and water. Mark down with a crayon where the stone is on the press bed (if it moves during printing). Ready to roll out my ink on the glass slab (Senefelder's crayon black and a small amount of greasy roll-up). I pull about 5 proofs on newsprint before I use my good paper (Rives BFK).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Studies of Hands

Black and white pen sketch of my left hand. Broke my little finger playing v-ball in Bloomington, Indiana. Photo of my mother's hands. She didn't understand why I would want to photograph her hands but she has always indulged me when it came to making art. I love that I have them documented. Color drawings are colored pencil drawings from my sketchbook.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Twas the Night Before Christmas..."

"...while visions of sugarplums danced through their sensitive heads..." I was excited about my part. The teacher asked me to be one of three sugar plum fairies. I had seen fairies in the movies and they were all in beautiful costumes. Meanwhile, my mother researched sugar plum fairy. Guess the mothers didn't meet to discuss. My mother made a big circle out of cardboard , covered it with red and white striped wrapping paper. She cut out a hole for my head to fit in and tied it on with a big red bow. The other "sugar plums" were dancing in their tutus around the stage, each with a glittery tiara and wand. My advice going forward is— don't dress your child to be a giant sucker. It will scar them for many Christmases to come. From that day forward I have opted to work on scenery instead of playing a part in any play.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


When I get my coffee, Phil is always waiting for his treat. Go to A's studio, sip my coffee and touch base. He's getting ready for a big show in March.

Getting ready to print the edition

Today I will tear and register my paper. The edition is 25 and I will tear an extra 10 for proofing. The size is 15" X 19". I may do color but that is to be determined but first I will roll up the stone, proof it and then do a second etch.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Etching the stone...

  1. I loosely applied rosin and talc. Helped to harden the litho crayon drawing on the stone
  2. Mixed my etch, 3 drops nitric acid to one ounce gum arabic based on the type of litho crayon used. Mostly #5 Korn's Copal and some #4 crayon and liquid tusche.
  3. Poured etch on to the stone. Tip: try to avoid pouring directly on a drawn area but in the case of this drawing there is no undrawn area.
  4. Rubbed etch over the entire surface of the stone, even in the margins
  5. Buffed down tight with cheesecloth to create a thin layer of etch on the surface of the stone.

My Trojan Horse

A lot to do today. Need to get out and do the dreaded shopping. Not too fond of crowds. Especially a post office on Dec 22. We are the worst at gift giving. We would rather be doing art. Forgive us dear friends and family. You are valuable to us and we don't deserve any loyalty. We have been known to give Christmas presents as late as July. We have gotten packages from many. Okay, doing my procrastination thing again. Need to etch my stone. Yes, I worked all night to finish (3:30 am). Later...

Monday, December 21, 2009

I am calling it a night, I think. Unless I sneak back into the studio and draw all night as I sometimes do. It would be healthy if I waited until the morning to finish. I tend to overwork the image when I'm tired. Things I did today...1. Ruled off my image areas on two stones 2. Applied Gum arabic to the outside edges. 3. Mr. A made some new oxide transfer paper while I fixed lunch (yeah!) 4. Transferred rough drawing onto stone 5. Sharpened a few Korns Copal litho crayons (#5s). 6. I use a single edged razor to sharpen a good point 7. Improvised on the drawing. Like it a smidge better. Hope everyone had a good day in their studio. I did. Goodnight.

The stone on the right

I am convinced that the yellow stone on the right is giving me the evil eye. I must start my mantra to gear up, "Draw or Die, draw or die, draw or die"...okay. it's working. I'm getting up. The coffee is cold. Here's to all of my fellow printmakers who procrastinate, I can empathize. First step is to crank up a soundtrack. You know, maybe a bit of "Soul Coughing" with a bit of "Rufus Wainright", I know that some of you can't handle Rufus but I love him. Just procrastinating. Going to let Mr. A hide my laptop for about the next 8 hours."Draw of Die!!!!!!!!!"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An old drawing from my sketchbook that has always made me feel better about my unfamiliar domestic role. I have this little teapot in my paprika kitchen.
Those little stickers on the edge of the shelf are from fruit labels. I place them there when I get an apple or orange. Not sure why, but consumer labels fascinate me.

It's been a slow start this very cold morning. Working on my sketches in bed. Sydney is sleeping on the edge. This is our morning routine with a (maybe 2) cup of java. The sun peers onto the back porch. This is the view from the bedroom. This sketch is the beginning of my print idea for a Korean printmaker exchange setup by Melanie.
Proud (beautiful) parents of the beautiful Ms. Z.
This picture of Josh and Maggie was taken just a couple of hours before the birth of their little one. I was there. Words cannot describe.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recent visual reference for new print due in February

  1. The Fire Eater
  2. The Fire Eaters written by David Almond

The One Chair Studio

The studio I use for drawing on small stones, roughing out concepts, carving block prints, bookmaking, and small table top paintings. Looking at it now, I feel self-conscious about being "messy". The chair drawing is my icon for One Chair Studio.