Friday, July 9, 2010

New Art

A month or so ago I went to a joint exhibition at the Linekona Art Center and saw for the first time some monoprints by Linda Spadaro. I especially liked some of the effects she created using chine collĂ©. I did not at that time have access to a printing press, but I had been doing a lot of pretty detailed doodling in my notebooks, and I thought I’d try to see what effects I could generate by combining the color glue-ons with black-and-white pattern drawing. I did a couple more or less like the one you see here, using Pigma pens of various sizes on 140 lb cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Shortly after the show, I found out about a Tuesday night printmaking course at the Linekona. I went to the first class, had to miss the second because I was attending a conference in San Francisco. Since coming back I’ve been to two more and I have to say I’m liking it a ton. This is the first print I made. It’s printed from two plexiglass plates on the surface of which there are various inscribed and superimposed aberrations. Materials include paper, cloth, masking tape, aluminum foil, watercolor crayon, and etching ink.

There are some things I like about this print. I liked the basic color pattern, the geometry of it, and some of the textures. But there are also a lot of things wrong with this print that even a tyro like me can see. The ink is not laid on evenly. Actually, you lay it on and then wipe it back dwon until there’s very little left. But one of the things I’ve learned is that any porous surface, like the cloth to the left, absorbs ink, and then when the pressure from the roller hits it the ink gets pushed out onto the paper in dark gobs, and unbalances or even messes up the print entirely. But hey, it was a start. I’m doing a series of prints from the same plate, trying new things with each print. And I’ve got a couple of other plates I’m working with as well. Eventually I’ll get a print I like.

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