Sunday, 28 September 2008

It didn't rock her

... so she said after I had sent her some snapshots from the prints I was truly excited about. Well, admittedly, I. only got two small, poor lighting pics sent over IM for a quick look. But nonetheless, it left her very unexcited.

Even to my comment that most of the times still life doesn't rock, really she replied: no, some of them do. LOL.

Print Project 1.1 Orchid and Vase
Orchid and Vase (They do not rock)
Monotype on blotting paper

That leads on to work process: Assignment One of the printmaking is on monotypes; it's set out in such a way that there are four projects: markmaking; masking; textures/different colours; freestyle.

Markmaking made me crash into hurdle #1: mixing ink, keeping ink fluid and getting a good print - it was really about painting on the plate and taking a print. I tried, tried some more and failed some more, and quickly moved to project #2 [which turned out a lot better, see here]; I kept reading on to the freestyle bit and quickly came up with ideas for the four freestyle projects to do, starting sketches, collecting things to include and general plans for that. In the meantime I kept playing around with the inbetween parts: masks, different masks, different colours with different masks, collecting more leaves, seashells and other things for texture etc etc.

So, project 1 was still lacking 'a still life including two objects, negative space and shadows'. After six, seven attempts at various jugs, plants, cafetieres, pears and some more, I had previously given up.

But the inbetween parts meant that I got a clearer idea of colour and contrast with the prints, got to know that dried ink doesn't get fluid again [uhuh... eejit], registration of plate is important so that you get the alignment right and so on. Knew a bit more about the paper, the transfer process, that the clean-up isn't really such a pain...

So, when I then turned to that dreaded still life including two objects I chose colours (orange and green) and objects (orchid) which had worked well in the masked prints. And, heyho: I have a print that does work in terms of composition, it's a reasonably clean print, has two objects, shadows and negative space. Well: it doesn't rock, I agree. But in relative terms it does well. And: it completes the task.

I think the painting on plate bit is too painterly for me; I like the roller, sponge, water stuff better. But more of that later.

Now onto the prints for freestyle, jippieh... good that I have some ideas.


Kari Gibson said...

It is a massive undertaking doing all this learning by yourself and you have picked up a lot with all this work you have done, which was probably the intention of the remit, perhaps.

Yeah, LOL, you can now go have some fun!

Yellow said...

I think the painterly bachground here is fighting for attention with the objects, only because the objects have come out pale & patchy here. Maybe, if the objects were denser, the movement in the background would work ok. It's one of those 'try it and see what happens' decisions. I'd never have huessed the subject from the early prints. Are the inks drying fast because you're using a lot of colours? Do you print it all in one go, or one layer at a time? I'm still lost when it comes to the process you're using. Sorry.

Yellow said...

Oh, question - I've read that damp paper takes printing ink better tahn dry paper. BUT if you're printing one sheet of numerous takes, surely you cant dampen it each time? Or can you?

Gesa said...

Cheers, Kari. Yes: part of plan or at least general thinking aroung;

Steph: I basically paint on the plate - with printing inks (oil-based); and then I pull off one print, (and a ghost, and possibly another ghost).

The inks are pretty thick - for using them as paint, I thinned them with solvent (which I hadn't done the first time round); but they also dry in, need rather soft paper to take a good print etc.

- The first few times I didn't thin the ink, didn't use the right paper, had the ink sitting out in the open for a few hours before etc - so that all didn't quite work right;

I actually do like the strength of the background - the vase was white, and so I kept the paper; I don't mind that at all [and: tons better than #1-7 which I am not posting]

Yes - you can dampen the paper (and dry it somewhat again)before you pull the print; that kind of activates the ink - I've done that with a few; but again, I'm not sure if it works if you keep doing several prints on the same sheet - wetting it again would possibly activate the ink again, so you'd need to be careful; - but again: this is just one plate with the image painted on to it and all printed once onto a sheet - it's the most 'immediate' type of monotype really.