Saturday, January 29, 2011

Signing an edition today...

This is the clean up "kit" I use when I am editioning my prints.  First I cull all of the prints and locate the edition count.  I needed to have 25 prints for this edition.  After that I clean the backs of my prints of all smudges, fingerprints or unwanted ink.  I first try a kneaded eraser  to remove any unwanted smudges from the back of my print.  I also remove the penciled registration marks.  Then if it is a stubborn smudge or ink blot I use in this order...kneaded eraser, staedler white eraser, lift with tacky drafting tape, lift with scotch tape and worst case scenario I use my xacto knife to scrape it away. After I have lifted the smudge if the paper pulp is too loose I take a matching swatch of the same paper as my print edition paper and I place it face down on the rough spot and burnish with a bone folder.  The matching paper keeps the burnishing from making the print paper too shiny. I've chosen to sign the back bottom of my prints rather than the front because the front image is a full-bleed and too busy to be able to read any writing over it.  After I titled and  numbered my edition (1/25, 2/25, 3/25, etc) I had 10 additional prints left that were of an equal quality to the original 25 print edition.  These I titled and signed as Artist's Proofs AP.  I will keep them in my personal collection.

This is a print that my boyfriend printed this past month as a visiting artist in Boulder, Colorado.  He did the last "split-fountain" (some people call it a rainbow roll)  last week.  Beautiful color and great contrast between the warm and cool hues.
Meanwhile, the studio cats hang out waiting for us to finish out printing. 

Got a lot done today.  Mostly shop prep and maintenance, coordination of an outside project.  Need to get a couple of pieces matted and framed this weekend.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Stripping my prints...

I place my print face up on the press bed.  It's already been printed, now I "strip" my print to try and speed up the drying process in preparation for printing tomorrow.  I  do this when I don't have enough time for the ink to dry between colors. 

In an effort to recycle paper we have a large Kodak box of large newsprint paper we use over and over again (front and back) for stripping prints.  After we strip prints we take the most recently used newsprint and put it at the bottom of the stack.  I can see the "ghosts" of prints past every time I do this.  Somewhat endearing to see images from as long ago as 6 years. 

There is a problem with static electricity buildup.  Something about the layers.

After I have stripped the print I return it to the drying rack and place the used newsprint in the recycle box.
If you look closely you can see the "ghost" from the wet ink that lifted off the print.  This also seems to help prevent "bronzing", the metallic look you get when you layer ink on top of ink.

I have 3 more colors to go on this print.  The new ink Hanco #1075 seems to print a bit differently than the old Handschy tint base.  It is stiffer and doesn't require mag.  Not sure if I like it or not.  
Need to order supplies from Takach tomorrow.   I hope things work out in Egypt.  Can you imagine trying to make art when your country is in such chaos?
Don't forget to breathe...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Printing jam in the studio...

After an "all-nighter" I etched the stone and am ready to roll-up... waiting to print after "A" finishes his edition.  I plan to do six or seven colors.    The paper size is 18" x 20".  I will tear and register my paper after I make a second etch.  Going to be a late night and a hectic week.  Need to juggle some other tasks between this print and the next (a 30"x40" print).  Hope everyone is having a good studio day.
Barely time to get groceries.  Trying to eat healthier and go for a walk at least once a day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cold enough for a fire tonight.

This is my view while I am drawing on the stone.  Nice to be able to pull my stone out of the studio into the warm den.  I purchased a cart that is strong enough to hold the large stones and low enough so that I can sit while drawing.  

Pencil Rough for See-Saw Portfolio print

 This is my rough sketch for my new lithograph.  I have grained my stone, transferred this pencil drawing onto the stone.  I am targeting to have the stone finished by tomorrow evening so that I can etch it and print on the following day.  It is 18" x 20".  I've added wooden chairs floating in the water.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yayoi Kusama

Looking for new inspirations in my art.  I've been watching Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese indigenous woman artist who paints, sculpts and makes installations and does performance art.
Her work is conceptual and surreal...patterns on patterns.  I really love her obsession with polka dots.
On November 12, 2008 she sold a work for $5.1 million, a record for a living female artist.
Today I am finalizing my drawing for the See-Saw portfolio.   Think I am just about ready to begin my transfer onto the stone.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ask Alice...

Isn't this a lovely image?  Looks like it was printed at White Rabbit Press (in Switzerland or Amsterdam? hard to read the fine print).  I like the sepia "key" image.  It warms up the overall color.  I also love the drawing style used on these illustrations.
I just finished signing and adding interleaving paper between prints for the "Bird, Hand and Eye" portfolio.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

80 Percent Done

Long night spent drawing on the stone. Plan is to finish my drawing, etch my stone and tear my paper.  Tomorrow I will roll-up the first etch. I'm trying out some different brands of Senefelder's Crayon Black, will try the Handschy/Hanco brand (I normally use Graphic Chemical Crayon Black).  After the stone is rolled up I will do a second etch, wait a couple of hours and print my edition.  As I've mentioned before I print the black first.  This is the opposite of sequence that most lithographers do.  I use transparent based inks so that I can print over the black "key" image.  I may to a couple of other colors after the black.   Right now it is a race against time.  I have another edition due at the same time but will try to stagger work on both.  

I'm still hearing about some sad events going on in town about politics.  Hope everyone learns how to breathe. Just breathe.  Try to be more tolerant, patient...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rough Sketch for "Bird, Hand, Eye" portfolio

Yesterday we saw this Great White Egret (Heron?) perched high in an Arizona Pine just outside the studio window.  A good omen I learned from my Japanese friend.  Above is the final sketch I will use to draw on the stone today.   Need to go to the hardware store to get a sturdier table for the stone.   The stone tables we have now require that you stand as you draw.  I like to draw in 9-12 hour bouts and standing really gets old after the third hour. Will try to check in more often.  Going to clean up the studio now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sad Time to Make Art...

I know that these are not good candidates to frame and hang above my sofa.  However, I need to sketch.  Even if I am sad.  I feel I need to draw.  Some of you may know what is happening in my hometown of Tucson, Arizona.  We had a heartbreak this past week.  The shooting of several Tucson people who were attending a "get together" to discuss current affairs. One thing I have noticed during this traumatic event, is that people are trying to think more before speaking.  I never intended to turn my blog into a political forum but I must say that I am prompted to study the works of Ghandi more  now than ever.  Hope you are all doing well in your lives.  Please consider the teachings of Ghandi if you can. "We must become the change we want to see in the world". — Mahatma Gandhi