Saturday 18 October 2008

Etching Ink + Microcrystalline Wax Trace Monotype

I have posted these as I came across them on my computer, in relation to a technique mentioned in the second last post.. Whilst they are not the best examples of the technique - they none the less give an idea as to the possibilities.

I plan to photograph the folder of the other prints made using this technique soon, using my new digital SLR camera + will upload them here.

Thursday 16 October 2008

Karen Lederer - artist printmaker

I came across this artists work yesterday. Check her website to see more.

Submit to Peacock for their Christmas Exhibition

It's a bit early to start thinking about mince pies and mulled wine but we would love to invite you to submit artwork to our annual Christmas exhibition! The Christmas Exhibition brings together a wide range of work by artists, local and international, emerging and established. Throughout the years the exhibition has been hugely popular and attracts many visitors. It is a fantastic opportunity to have your work seen!

We'd like to encourage work in all media- printmaking, sculpture, film etc. All we ask is that your submission falls within the dimensions stated.

Submissions can be handed in to us in person or posted (please ensure the work is securely packaged). If you would like your work returned by post, please include a stamped addressed envelope.


Max size 20cm x 20cm, min size 10cm x 10cm for 2D work.
Max size 20cm x 20cm x 20cm, min size 10cm x 10cm x 10cm for 3D work.

A limited number of DVD players and screens are available for film-based work.

All work must be labelled with the following information:

Phone number and/or email address
Price (including 40% commission & vat)

Work must be unframed and for sale with a maximum of 5 pieces per artist.

We look forward to seeing your entries! If you have any questions, please contact Emma on 01224 639 539 or email

Please send your work to:

Christmas Exhibition
Peacock Visual Arts
21 Castle Street
AB11 5BQ

Deadline: 01 November 2008

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Saturday 11 October 2008

Meg Rahaim + Another Exciting Printmaker +

Meg Rahaim (U.S.A.) made this life sized installation called 'The Line Forms Here', using wood cut. I love the nature of the images and the way she has used the woodcut process to realize these images which have an everyman aspect. Its the sort of thing that I mainly go for myself and of course I love most things pertaining to anatomy.
Click on the title of this post to go to her photo album on Inkteraction.

One of My Own Large Monoprints

This is a large monoprint I created during the period 1997-99. It's about 80 x 100 cm. I can not remember what kind of paper it's on although it is a fairly heavy gsm. I had access to a litho press in the printmaking studio at Wimbledon School of art and one of the technicians there Simon Burder, mentioned that you could actually use this to make monoprints so I thought that I would have a go.

Seeing it again makes me think that working in this way i.e., where I was just rolling up the plate with oil based extender, and then working into the plate with oil bars or oil sticks themselves as well as using a rag to rub away, would be an interesting method to explore again.

Using the image of the grid or chess board as a starting point and connecting a figurative element was a strategy that I explored time and time again. I had sketchbooks with 'Karisma' water soluble graphite pencil drawings ( no longer being produced - sadly) filled with these kinds of images with weird kinds of figures. I even made a bookart work of sorts, using trace monotype, as well as some made using acrylic , watercolour and indian ink - all in black and white.
I scanned them into my computer a while back. I have never done anything further with them though. I don't have a title for this piece as of yet by the way.
One irritating thing is the 'line' which runs across the centre, towards the right. It wasn't something that I noticed at the time. Looks like something was taped to the press bed perhaps ?! Anyway it rather spoils it. So maybe I will work on it further. I don't know yet.

There was a time when I used to employ oilbars a lot. I would make trace monotypes using etching ink and sometimes a tiny bit of microcrystalline wax mixed in with it.    This gives a gorgeous "velvet" like quality to the prints.   The thing with that technique though is that you have to add the correct amount of microcrystalline wax other wise it can go too waxy and thick making it impossible to work with.   Conversely if you don't put enough you hardly notice any difference.

Oh the other thing is to place some newsprint ( I mean a newspaper is fine it doesn't necessarily have to be blank newsprint or anything) and rub the ink rolled plate to get rid of the surface excess ink before you place your paper onto it to do your trace monotype.
Of course its best to use lightweight paper about 100 gsm or equivalent and it's a good idea to have a little 'bridge' made by using e.g. a couple of objects (about 1 inch or 2 cm's high) either side of your inked up plate, and then place e.g., a steel ruler or something similarly rigid across, so that you don't place unwanted 'pressure' on your paper and thereby marks resulting on the paper (which is face down on the ink). It really is best to do this or you will end up wasting your time and your paper. Best to practice initially using ordinary photo copy or printer paper.

I must look for those 'velvet' prints and consider working more with this technique but do it using a press. We have a lovely etching press at the FDPW print workshop, can't call to mind it's brand name but it would be interesting to see what difference it would make to run the 'ghosts' of the trace monotypes, through that press. I have even purchased paper for doing them - hence my doodle proofs to test the papers that John Purcell Paper sent me.

By the way anyone that is interested in trying the microcrystalline wax mix with the etching ink do get in touch so I can tell you how to prepare the wax so that it is then mixable with the etching ink.

Sylvia Buettner colourful world of animals + artefacts

Today, I received notice of an exhibition of the work of Sylvia Buettner being opened just about now. If I was in a position to, then I would love to attend.

In her prints and drawings, I like how she interplays animals (of whom many, are from the monkey family) as well as artefacts from various cultures - these often include musical instruments. Her use of colour and composition is beautiful and there's an overall sense of whimsy, meditation and wonder in these pieces.
To see more of her work

Thursday 9 October 2008

New Encounter Olivia Jeffries

I logged on to Etsy as I had been taken there in the course of following through via some other links. Essentially - I found myself on there and thought to myself 'Oh I know - I will pop along to my friend Elisabeth Omdahl's new shop on there to see how things are going and whether theres anything that I can do to support her.

Anyway I added her to my favourites ( she is after all an artist whose work I admire!) and then checked out who had already added Elisabeth as their favourites. There were 4 or 5 (which is good) and the last one I clicked on was Olivia Jeffries and I really liked her work.
Finding or discovering artists who I find interesting happens fairly often - I would say I find somebody interesting to me, about once a month.

BUT I don't always get round to adding them to my blog !! So today I have acted on things immediately !!!!

Elisabeth Omdahls Blog

Friday 3 October 2008

The Internet truly is an "Aladins Cave"

What I am talking of is websites of excellence such as INTUTE which is an easy-to-use and powerful tool for discovering the best Internet resources for education and research in Creative Arts and Humanities.
It has stuff on Printmaking Bookart Drawing 'Fine-Arts-Practice Research' it just goes on and on and be warned that you are bound to be totally distracted and "drawn into" all sorts of avenues of interest.!!