Saturday 28 March 2009

Printmaking Books

Some scans from a book that I recently had delivered to me by the Fife housebound library service. They come every 3 weeks and they also delivered another book which I had been trying to get hold of for the past 2 or 3 years. The edition had sold out. That was "Chine Colle" by Brian Shure which I am afraid was rather a disappointment and didn't tell me anything that I did'nt already know.......... bah. I mean it was not experimental in any way nor instructive. Basically you had printmaking onto a piece of lightweight paper the same size as your plate, and onto silk and how to make wheat paste. Oh and if using wheat paste you can pre-paste them, and then like stamps or envelope edges when you wet it it will stick to the paper - that actually could be quite useful if one were doing a large print with a large area of chine colle. i will have to see if that works in a similar way for rice paste which is what I use. I get it from Intaglio Printmakers in London. I empty it out into a glass jar so that I can see how much I am putting on my brush as if you use it from the tube you can tend to 'overuse' it and then become vulnerbale to having it slide as it goes through the press. Although if anything nowadays I am more inclined to under rather than over-paste !!.

Getting back to what I was saying about Brian's book - I suppose it's just that if I researched and authored a book on the uses of chine colle for printmakers - I would be endeavoring to offer a greater range of examples/ have it more up to date ( there was no mention of using inkjet at all, and this a book published in 2000) and for the publication to be inspiring.

Now both these books were brought to me by the mobile library on the same day and I would say that this book "Collagraph Printmaking" by Mary Ann Wenniger, originally published in 1981 was more useful and enlightening even though the photos were mainly in black and white. Very practical and instructive.
I mentioned this technique I read about in it which involved putting your plate into the freezer, to Jane Marshall when we were at the studio last week and here it is.


Thursday 26 March 2009

Portugal Printmaking Postcard Project update

Portugal Printmaking Postcard Project update as mentioned in previous recent post

The image above is the contribution of Mirek Antoniewilz, a Polish artist. It's just interesting to be able to see what other artists have created and sent to this project. I sense that some artists are committed "mail artists" whilst others like myself and e.g. Raj Verdi (who I know of, through my involvement previously with the Printmakers Council) are printmakers who decided to participate. Sorry to say that my image on their is a bit "greyed out" i.e., it needs a bit more contrast !!......stuff like that really annoys me.
This is the link to Matriz's main website which is somewhat "Flash- tastic" and here's a link to the blog where they have posted the images until they get round to putting them on the main site.
Here's an image by Raj Verdi by the way.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

NoToxico conference and exhibition MEXICO

I currently have work in this exhibition which is taking place in Nuevo Leon in Mexico.
I was rather late in getting my submission to them but was pleased to hear that four of my pieces had been selected. It was great to be able to do my submission by email and that it was OK to send them up to 15 images !!! I cant remember but don't think that there was an entry fee either.
I came across this website La Ruta dela which I translated from the Spanish using Googles automatic translation facility so its a bit hit and miss although it gives the gist of the conference and theres a list of urls for further reference within the text.


Below are some photos by a friend of a friend on Facebook (Ireri Topete) a fellow printmaker, who took some photos of the exhibition opening, when he accompanied her there - to see how they had hung her printmaking pieces in the exhibition. They both live in Mexico.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

1st International Print Biennial - Istanbul 2008

Printmaking Exhibition in Turkey?!!...In fact the first time I had heard of any plaining my printmaking approach/process (attaching an example of my printmaking) and he said that as my works incorporated traditional techniques then I should certainly go ahead and submit some artworks. So I did. There was no particular theme either so that was additionally an inviting aspect. I sent the works

One drawback as far as I was concerned was ... that they had to be prints from an edition. So I entered three pieces (2 of each image). Given that I hardly EVER do edition-ed works these were (ironically) somewhat precious to me but I thought oh well if they are selected and exhibited and in the catalogue and then end up becoming part of their print be it - it will have been worthwhile. On the flip side I thought - if they’re not selected (not deemed suitable to be shown in their exhibition ........................then they wont want to hang on to them - I mean they will just return them.

So I sent the works off in time. I sent them to Istanbul Grafik Sanatlar Muzesi,
Unalan Mah. Barajyolu Sok. No 14, Uskudar TR-34700, Istanbul, Turkey.

The jurors who would be selecting the prints were: Elizabeth Ingram, Print Artist - Canada, Murside Icmeli, Print Artist - Turkey, Tetsuya Noda, Print Artist - Japan,
Suleyman Saim Tekcan, Print Artist, President of the IMOGA Executive Committee - Turkey and Hasip Pektas, Ex-libris Artist, President of Ankara Ex-libris Society - Turkey.
I received an email about 4 - 6 weeks later telling me that my works were disqualified because of being digital prints ...!!!!!!!.... I was (as you can imagine) pretty annoyed. I emailed a reply explaining how I had contacted Hasip and when they replied it was as if I had not mentioned that in my email. That is something that really annoys me. I mean you get this kind of "non response" when you deal with organisations like Amazon or Paypal but I expected better of this biennial. Anyway I also contacted Hasip and he responded in a likewise fashion as in a generalised non-specific response. Oh well I thought they will just return them. They never did though. As far as I am concerned those prints are now in their collection. They must have acquired a lot of prints this way.

A good friend of mine who I think makes excellent and beautiful work Elizabeth Omdahl, also entered and her work was also unselected - she also did not have her works returned. Her thought processes were along similar lines to mine, as in if they were not 'acceptable to display within the context of the exhibition then how could it be justified that the works were none the less 'good enough' to be acquired for their print collection. Elizabeth was good enough to write a letter (email) to Liz Ingram one of the jurors (who is a Canadian artist) and she responded sympathetically to our point of view and contacted the organizers who replied to her saying that they would be in contact with the 'unselected' artists, to discuss further action BUT they never did!! Further communications seemed futile as one never had any real acknowledgment that the iniquitous nature that this aspect of their rules/regulations implied.

None the less ............I did look through the website and was impressed by some of the works in the exhibition. I was surprised to see my old buddy Angelo Evelyn there with a lithograph of his that I'd not seen before. I sent Angelo one of my relief printed bear image Christmas cards but haven’t heard from him. He may have decided that he doesn’t want to bother to keep in touch. Having said hat I do actually have three framed pieces of his work upstairs in Charlie’s office - which he needs to collect sometime. I imagine all artists have a piece of work in another artist friends house that they will probably never get around to collecting!! I myself have a fairly large monoprint type work at Steve Williams house in London. I did try to get in touch with him several times whilst still in London. I even called around to his house in East Acton, one time (after going to visit the Orthopaedic consultant at Hammersmith Hospital) and was told by Celia, his partner, that the artwork had been moved along with a load of other stuff to his studio in Kilburn!! Steve wasn't there either. I seem to remember that she invited me in and I stayed a short while and had a cup of tea. I digress.............

So here are some images from the 1st International Print Biennial - Istanbul 2008 - I down loaded those that I liked for various reasons. Some for the image, some for the technique and what the artist has managed to achieve with it. If you click on the images ( as usual they become viewable larger and you will see the artists name). Also the heading on this post takes you to the IMOGA website where you can see all of the works in the exhibition. On that I congratulate the exhibition organizers. But mainly it's the artists who MAKE this project............its nothing without them, their hard work, their commitment............I feel that the least we deserve is to be treated with respect.

Thursday 5 March 2009

Exhibit a small print in Portugal (clo. 31 Mar 09)

Matriz – Printmaking Association of Porto calls for:1st Edition of postal print
Open to all print artists

Theme: Self-Portrait

Dimension: Standard postcard size– 10 x 15cm
Technique: all kind of prints except digital one

Deadline: 31st March 2009

Send only one postal print without envelope

No return, no fees, no jury
Exhibitions: on-line in and
Esteta Gallery on April 2009
Send to: Matriz -1ªEdição de Gravura Postal, Rua Sousa Viterbo nº 28, 1ºA, 4050-593 – Porto, Portugal

With name, address and e-mail. Documentation sent to all by e-mail.


(pictured above is the one I sent - it looks just like me don't you think !!)

Printmaking, December 08 - January 09

Shall we begin with the Knight bird and infant (working title) the one with the bubbles mentioned in yesterdays post. I would have liked to enter it for a competition but couldn't with it being in that state and , at that point in time thought it was irrepairable (sp?) although I have not finished the amendments to it so I can not say conclusively .....we shall see ! Can you see the BUBBLES !!??

This is a real life behind the scene affair because of what I am going to say i.e., the working title for the next print is " Meat Tray Experiment"!! It all goes back to Christmas when I decided to buy a ready made roast beef joint for us to enjoy. It came in a sturdy high walled metallic tray, probably thick aluminium foil. I cut the base out and thought it might come in useful to try to do some print stuff with.

I wrote on it with a 'biro' and then inked it up as per intaglio and to my surprise it worked. I placed various other collagraph plates and a hard ground copper plate there too. The string to tie it all together. I rubbed and rubbed the string in tissue paper so that it wouldn't be too soggy with ink, because I know from experience that this can be a problem. It was 'borderline' but I think it's just about OK. I made more of an effort with wiping the individual little elements as it was a monotone piece, using "q-tips" and soft tissue paper hankies.

Next the saline etch text plate, the writing on it was inscribed through a traditional hard ground, as so far, it's the best thing to work, I have found, for the process. (Far too many commas!!..... oh well). Saline etch is something I want to go back to - to experiment with more. I used offset of tinfoil and 'chine-colle inkjet' and the little 'crittur' is hard ground etched copper. And of course the red string offset - oh I do love my string !........ I just have a thing for it...cotton string. Just the thing in itself makes me happy.

Ta dah !! this Stitches print work is currently on exhibition in SYMMETRY an exhibition being presented at the Original Print Gallery in Dublin, Ireland It is additionally ( had to make another one!) on exhibition in a gallery in Leipzig, Germany. I say "tah dah" because it's one of the pieces that I have had a strong connection with out of the pieces I have made over the past few months. I made a smaller version of it which I submitted to the 7th British International Miniprint (full sordid details on my print studio blog ).

It was also made into an edition of prints on china paper for the inkteraction portfolio exchange that Melanie Yazzie invited me to participate in. Those prints had the red stitching too. I received the invite cards to the opening which is being held at the London Print Studio Gallery soon. I notice that Beauvais Lyon has his prints in an exhibition currently showing there which is linked to Darwin. It being his anniversary at the moment. I liked his works that were in our exhibition in Dalarnas in Falun Sweden also. (Grafic Biennial) They are seemingly real creatures although on further inspection are of a hybrid nature. Beauvais was in the book "Printmaking at the Edge" along with me and 43 other artists from around the World. Although a lot of them were from the USA.

The final print shown here is Rainbow House which I actually made to submit to the Wrexham Print International but it wasnt the one they selected - typical !!! and after all my trouble BUT doesn't matter a bit because I really like it. In actual fact it got selected in any event for the No Toxico exhibition in Mexico There doesn't seem to be any images of the other artists in this exhibition which is so disapointing (sp?) !! in the age of the internet as we can't all 'make it' to Monterrey in Neuvo Leon, down Mexico way.!! Never mind there will be a catalog and hopefully I should be able to scan some images from that and show some of the pieces by the other selected participating artists. I really like to see what other people have done. They also selected Rainbow House in the Leipzig exhibition so I had to make a second version of that. It wasn't quite as lovely as the first one but I did my best. I also didnt really want to have 2 exactly the same.

Actually talking of scans and catalogs - I made a few scans from the excellent catalog that I am in through being selected for the Guanlan International Print exhibition and I MUST make a post about that. Such beautiful and excellent work I am honored to be amongst them.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Further Recent Printmaking in my Studio

Here I am last minute when I should be getting off to bed and gawd knows I am so exhausted from re organizing the studio all day with the fabulous help of my beloved C. He was doing mostly everything and I was helping as much as I possibly could.

The first print is of a web made of words using pencil on paper which was scanned into Photoshop and manipulated. This was then silk screened onto. I soaked it in the paper bath and then put it through the press with a hard ground spider on copper. It
still needs something more?

Next is the very tall queen of the Rabbit people, who I made this hard ground copper etching of and then have never used her or featured her, before in a print. So Ithought it was high time she came out of the copper elements drawer.

I printed her on to a mono printed background. Additionally I offset the red house using this kind of spongy stuff which I picked up ages ago in a haberdashery shop. It's a bit like the stuff they make those Spontex cleaning cloths for wiping the kitchen surfaces. I am always losing it around the studio - it's like it has a life of its own and some days it just can't face going through the press. This one is also still under development I need to place some chine colle onto the red house to 'knock it back' because as it stands its too dominant .

Next is the orange print - the first one I think that I have ever done. I think it was meant to be a warm red - but whatever - I quite like it as it is. It has offset organic material and also a tiny bit of silk screened blue text on China paper. Some chine colle, inkjet visual elements, are also included.

Yep it's got all sorts of processes in it. The main background is from an etch
on steel which I did ages ago and wasn't too pleased with. Don't know if we
have the mordant at FDPW for me to work on it further. Mind you the plates
a bit heavy for me, to carry around the workshop but I will ask when I am next
there. I was planning on going in tomorrow but after all the additional
exertions of today with re organizing the studio I can tell already that the
pain in my back is murder so I will see how I feel in the morning. Mind you
I always feel like I have been in a car crash on surfacing

OK it's now Tuesday evening and yeah I did feel pretty rotten this morning but not horrendously so -- just a case of gradually warming up my bones/ motor faculties (something like that). The studio reorganization was continued much of today and I de stapled a few more of the canvases from my MA show. This was held, wait for it (!!) all the way back in 1993, in Winchester School of Art. " !!.......Blast it" those staple removers, or rather the process of doing it, really messes up your fingers/ thumbs...... ugh how I hated doing that but it's good to get rid of stuff and minimize the amount of stuff we have to 'stash' all around the house. Even though there are only the two of us humans living in an allegedly four bedroomed house there's still, no way, enough room for us all !! ( forgot the two kats mind you they only have themselves i.e., no clutter) bless um!!.
I have only kept the ones that I still like - that are, in my mind, up to scratch. C. did remark at one point - I think it was yesterday he said this..."why you could'nt have thrown these out while we still living in London ?? i.e., before we packed all this stuff up to move house up to Scotland etc etc.

But you know what...... I was'nt ready to do that, at the time. You have to be ready to throw stuff out. Whether that be clothes, house clutter or certainly your artwork or even a boyfriend. Have'nt done that for a while - cant say I have enjoyed it when I have. One person decided that they could'nt live without me and phoned to let me know that they were going to do terrible physical damage to themselves but as much as I felt terribly sad for his painful state of mind.....I could'nt make myself have deeper feelings for him than I had. We should have stayed at the friendship level and not moved it up a gear but that had been what he had wanted and I had liked him so very much . He really used to make me laugh so much, he had such a lively mind and and he was an artist as well. I guess he was crazy about me. In more ways than one.
Anyway I digress but I have often wondered how he is and how his life has turned out.

Next print is an inkjet with collagraph of little rabbit fetus images on it. I need to do some more collagraph impressions onto it, of those, that have stronger lines in particular. I have thrown some of those that are too feint away and will remake some using modelling paste spatula' ed onto some mount card and then inscribed into. I did one like that using text onto modelling paste and it worked out really well.

Last but not at all least is the etching (well it was in the beginning !) knight bird with found baby. The etch seemed to wear off and so to keep it proofing satisfactorily I had to drypoint most of the marks. I am wondering now if I put it in the saline etch. Yeah course I did - I did it here. It's on an aluminium plate.

The reason it's posted here again on the blog (I made it as part of the previous batch of prints) is because the chine colle (lime green coloured) had 'bubbles' in it. Horror of horrors - I was most annoyed with my 'cak-handedness'. what a wally. That's because of rushing or it may have been that I was tired and not paying attention.
One thing I have done since then is to squirt all the rice paste which I purchased from Intaglio Printmakers London, into a glass jar. This really was as a consequence of this print 'buggering up'. In it's original container it was coming out of the yellow plastic tube like a big fat tube length of toothpaste. Some how I was'nt spreading it correctly onto the paper to be chine-colled and that's how come the print was insufficiently pasted, first time round. So now I use a brush and sometimes also will use the side of an old credit card if it's a large area to be applied to the paper. What I did with this particular print, was to slit open the bubble areas with a scalpel (I kind of felt like a surgeon too doing that) and poke the small paste brush in, with great care. That was 'air' in those bubbles !!. Now it looks a lot better and I just need to touch it up slightly further with a tiny bit more of the lime green paper and rub it with the back of a spoon. Very high tech I am very !!