Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seems like I've been drawing on this forever!!!!!

Seems like i have been drawing on this stone forever, and ever and ever.  This is a detail of the bottom right corner.  Don't forget that all the writing on the stone is backwards before you print it.  The red color is from the red oxide transfer that I used to indicate my pencil rough onto the stone.
I've almost gone through a dozen of Korn's Copal crayons.  I use a small German pencil sharpener it lasts a long time and sharpen the litho crayons to a very sharp point. Didn't work in the studio but have taken over an area of the dining room so that I could keep doing other work in the print studio. 

Another detail of the lower left corner of the stone.
Meanwhile, I've taken my works to get framed for some upcoming shows.  I have to ship one of these prints "do or die" on Monday (overnight to Wisconsin).  We need to collate prints for the DPA litho portfolio.  Thank goodness we've finished filing our taxes.    Most of our refund will be spent on more paper and supplies for the shop.  That's the way it goes.  Going to 2 events tonight., an art auction for the museum and a t-shirt sale for the student print club.    Busy.  Hope everyone is having good printing time.  I will try to get my blog back on schedule after this big print is done.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Large Format Lithograph

This is a close-up of the big stone I'm drawing on this week.  I need to finish it in a couple of days in order to print it and ship it to Wisconsin.  Because the stone is so large I am unable to stand over it without a ladder.  I've been standing up drawing on the stone laying flat on a cart.  Makes it more difficult but this picture helps me to see the overall contrast as well as the reverse appearance.
This is the full image on the stone.  I have gum arabic on the perimeter to prevent crayon from getting on the edge.  I use a piece of clean paper under my hand as I draw.  This keeps the grease from my hand from getting onto the stone.

On top of this deadline I am preparing my taxes.  Yes it's that time again...argh! argh! argh!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Innate Thread

Revisiting this older sketch.  I created a print about 2 years ago based on this image but not as successful as the small sketch.  I a bit late for valentine's Day but this was intended to represent the love for my Mother.  The pin curls were a memory from my childhood.    

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Prepping for the new Print

Doing my thumbnail sketches and research for the big print. Must get the image finalized today. The deadline is coming up soon. 
The studio cats are so curious about what I'm doing.  They lounge about watching me grain.  We grain our litho stones just outside of the studio on the patio. In addition to the cat audience, sometimes passersby like to watch me grain (must seem odd to them I guess). Gave myself a deadline to have the big stone grained by yesterday evening.  I did it.  The bigger the stone the longer it takes me.  

Started graining with #80 grit (carborundum) and used the heavy levigator.  There were some deeply cut registration marks that would be in the new image area.  Used all of the #80 grit in the shop  (about 6 sets) then switched over to a small graining stone instead of the levigator (much easier on my shoulder).  I grain until the grit and water make a light grey foam.  Try not to let the stone get too dry because I think it can cause graining marks.  I alternate sides between sets so that I don't grain unevenly.  #150 grit (about 4X) then #220 grit.  I used to grain to #280 grit but haven't on the last three prints.  Seems to be okay.  After I check to make sure the stone is flat. I use a 1/4" straight bar on its side and place a sliver of telephone book paper (approx. 1"wide and 3"long) between the stone and the straight bar.  If the stone is flat it will not pull through the space between the bar and the stone.  You check it by placing the bar every 4" vertically, then horizontally and finally diagonally across the stone.  To my delight the stone the stone check out to be perfectly flat.  If I don't check for flatness I run the danger of a couple of things, breaking my stone on the press because of unevenness and ink building up in the wrong areas.
After graining my stone I roundoff the edges with a file and then use wet sandpaper to make it smooth.  This will prevent ink collecting on the edges of the stone during roll-up and printing.
Yes, go ahead and say it, "she's procrastinating again"... A full pot of coffee later, I like to call it "processing"...maybe it's the "printmaking dance" I do every single time I get ready to draw on the stone.  Back to my drawing...hope everyone is having a good print week.  A visiting artist is coming tomorrow to talk at the UofA.  Her name is Minna Resnick, look forward to seeing her work. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright"

This is the final.  Yesterday was a long print day over 8 hours.  I had to strip all of them after I finished the  final color (tan).  That new  Hanco 1075 tint base ink just sits on top of the previously printed areas.  This is for a portfolio called "See-Saw".  Taking a break today.  Need to rest my mind, body and spirit!  Hope those of you who are print that all goes well...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Printing 6th color...

Two colors left to go (blue and tan).

I let the first 4 colors dry for 3 days in the drying rack.

My ink is a combination of Hanco tint base 1075 and a VERY SMALL amount of Handschy imperial blue.  I almost added some thalo to the imperial but opted not at the last minute.  I can always add it later if I don't like it on a color proof.  Setswell helped the consistency of the ink to print better.

Found some Smart plates (you can buy them from Takach). Smart plates are another brand of polyester plates that will accommodate a full sheet (30"x22").  They come in a larger size than Pronto plates (their largest is 18" x 24"). I used a sharpie to draw on my Smart plate.  Using a light table I placed the Smart plate on top of the black-key stone image (printed on mylar a week ago). This plate set up for 24 hours which allows the sharpie to fuse better to the plate, too.

I get my water ready.  For those of you who don't know the process well...I add 1 ounce of gum to a quart of water.  In addition I make a clean-up "soup" of everyday toothpaste and water.  The abrasiveness of the watered down toothpaste helps to clean the plate if it gets over-inked.

This isn't our biggest roller but it's still intimidating to me because I will be sponging at the same time.