I had this image that I drew with making a print in my mind, for ages and I thought I would have a go at realizing it. The fact that I still liked it, also made me think that it was worth pursuing. I wasn’t too sure whether I would use collagraph in combination with inkjet or drypoint …just thought I would actually get on with the doing of it as opposed to the thinking about it –
It’s made using pencil and cheap gouache paint and was done in a sketchbook. I don’t often use those nowadays. It’s about 20 by 20 cm square. I love how I made the two areas of turquoise colour and left a white area, horizontally across the middle. I was thinking in terms of printmaking when I originally made it. Actually I am now thinking I could even try it out as a larger monoprint tomorrow but that’s another adventure.
I thought I would print out this background and then make the graphic marks with drypoint on polypropylene. Having said that I am not too sure that it does throw up a burr but I like using the material and its transparent which I like because you can see really well where you have and haven’t inked/wiped etc.
Of course when I tried to remove the black drawn marks from the image digitally – it just wouldn’t work as can be seen and I DIDN’T like the effect I was coming up with, despite trying various things in Photoshop.
So I removed the black elements and thought I would transfer those onto a polypropylene plate. I was making this print or attempting to with the `littlest print exchange in mind. I also had the green door print exchange in mind. One of them required a 9 x 9 cm print the other a 10 x 10 cm print,
I then removed the tonal aspects of the image.
Given what I said as to the possibility of including collagraph/ carborundum in the print I was thinking about making the animal vaguely bear like creature into a silhouette shape.
But then I thought that it's weight, tonally stood out too much visually and that it didn’t work. So I thought maybe having it appear lighter weight in tonal terms would work better.
I used a “scribing tool” that my friend Tatiana
, had very kindly made for me. Having said that acquiring the components WAS a collaborative effort. She got hold of these “handles”, which normally have small thin, metal tools for repairing tiny computer parts. Instead we put a cut off injection needle which I think she may have sharpened. I’d had a visit scheduled at the vets to get my cats annual flu jab so I asked the vet if she would let me have some needles that she used for horses and large patients as I explained, what it was for. I had to assure her that I wasn’t going to be using these for any inappropriate means which I said I surely wouldn’t. In my mind I made a mental note that I was going to send this generous woman a hand printed greetings card, this Christmas.
So after “umming” and “ahing” I decided to scribe into the plate and I seem to remember that by then I had this idea that I would make the bear shape as a cut out mask which would be in the print as a feint shape created by the wiping process (i.e., it would be the clean area and the remaining picture space would have tone.
Blast it, I thought, the line is too crude. Because of the limitations of the material I couldn’t get the gestures of the facial marks precise and it really matters to me, so that was that.
As I had already printed out these backgrounds for another print I thought I would print this “drypoint” onto it to see what it would look like and it still didn’t look promising. So I put it aside for the meantime and went on to try out some other ideas.
I did lots of little trials like this with the "Littlest Print Exchange
" in mind as well as the Green Door International Print exchange, which I will discuss in more detail later.
I was not too sure if I would be able to meed the first of these as 50 prints were required and as I knew I would be recovering from the surgery on my spine well I just felt it best to withdraw my commitment.
I decided to keep with the green Door exchange as that required only 10 prints and one had a further one centimeter to play around with !!