Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Collagraph Experiments day#2

Our first full studio day we worked on creating collagraph plates using a variety of materials and combinations of material. I carefully recorded each plate and the combination of materials, leaving space in my sketchbook for the actual results. These are steps I rarely rarely take. I can tell you it was really tough not to just dive in and print, but when I do that I am so lost in the ink and the results that half the time I have no clue what I did to get there. I'm not interested in that these days so I have to fight my instincts and be systematic.

some of my matteboard plates using thin cardboard, sketchbook paper and phonebook paper in a variety of combinations

my notes
Shirley's plates
our to-do list - it just kept growing
I brought a few plates with me but they needed to be coated with matte medium to protect the plate from the ink cleanup and also to facilitate the ink moving across the surface. What I thought would be an hour stretched into many hours and as we progressed we got more ambitious and decided we'd experiment with silkscreens as well. I also brought with me some plastic No Smoking signs that I bought on a whim at my local Staples for 1/2 off the sale price=49cents each. I wanted to see if they would print as drypoints, again searching/trying new materials to see if they would work. I have my small baby press in my studio and I can do up to 9x12's on it, big enough for handmade books and decent prints and it's capable of intaglio work so all these experiments would be taken directly into my studio, and soon.

I had to meet my sister-in-law to give her her birthday gift, painted the night before in Shirley's studio, so we were wrapping up early. I was ready for a break but anxious to print, though these new arrivals at my sister-in-law's place were a welcome distraction!

Alice, Hansel and Tinkerbell helping with the dishes

they like to lick the butter off the butter knives

Collagraph Printing Experiments day#1

I made my way to Ottawa during the coldest week of the year it seems.
VIA station Ottawa arrival
The windchill during my week away was on average -34C. It was so cold that when you exhaled your hair frosted up. It's been a while since I've seen that, but like riding a bike, it felt familiar once I adjusted to my environment.

I'm a member of the Ottawa Printmakers' Connective. I love the collective's studio there and I get to see my friends and meet with them so it's something I've hung onto in spite of moving 4+hrs away.
The first evening I was there I visited an artist friend, Shirley Yik, in her studio in the building next door. She and I print together but she agreed to show me how to use oils and my goal was to re-make a painting in a ridiculous size for my sister-in-law's birthday which happened to be that day.

Just Walk Away  oil, 4"x4" gallery canvas
After we cleaned up and discussed our printmaking plans it was almost 11pm and we went home. Collagraph experiments would start the next day.

January's Gone

January 2014 has already come and gone. Good riddance to 2013 I say.

borrowed Chris' T-Max Socks for my Ottawa trip

This years' relentless winter made me mute after my return from Key West. I think only this past week have I felt like communicating. When I was a full time crafter and did tons of craft shows, we would look forward to The Days of Sloth--those wonderful guilt-free days of January when there are no shows on the horizon and you have worked your butt off all xmas season. I still felt slothful n January. even so I scheduled a week away in the printmaking room in Ottawa.
I really needed the Heat Socks during my trip
I wanted to get a jumpstart on my printing activities for 2014/2015. I'm interested and moved to do some long term elaborate work but every time I approached the idea I drew a blank about the method I wanted to use. So I decided I needed to lay some groundwork and do some systematic experimentation and then I can put my mind at ease that that's the method I am going to use. This is the sort of basic work I rarely do, but I really don't want to waste time these next few years.  I really need to make work.