Wednesday 29 September 2010

Jessica Brice Lambert - Photocollagraphs

A while ago I was thinking that I would like to try out the technique of making a photo-collagraph - without knowing that much about it.  And as is usual I search out people on the internet who have already done this technique.  I found a few but not many when you think of the number of printmakers that are out there in the world!!   During my search I came across Jessica Brice Lambert's works.  Most of her work is in mixed media drawing although she does oil on canvas too.  I think her photo-collagraph works are her best pieces.  But thats just what I think - others may have a different opinion.  You can see what you think by checking out her website.  Here are some of her prints.

I had thought that I would try a quick one - while we were doing a photo etch course with Paul Musgrove a few months back.

So I sealed some cardboard and then rolled some Fotec emulsion on and let it dry.  I then exposed my image which was based on a drawing I did,   of a very old battered Victorian doll.

Unfortunately it became water logged when I put it in the developer, as I had feared it might.    So I put it to one side.  I have it here in my studio somewhere ??.  Both the original drawing which was made using walnut crystals ink and wash / as well as the photo exposure on the cardboard.

I will add it into this post when I find it.  The photo exposure had worked - it was just the water.

Since then at FDPW - we have done a further course  using photo etch laminate (which Paul also taught us).  The film of Fotec is   laminated onto the surface of our plates,  through the etching press - so yep -  I will definitely use that when I make my next attempt.

Perhaps, after I seal front, reverse and sides of the mountboard -  I will cover the back of the cardboard with "Fablon" ( that contact adhesive sheet that is meant for people to,  for instance line their kitchen shelves) - it's quite robust and may help to keep it from becoming water logged.

Friday 24 September 2010

Recent Discoveries

I came across these four excellent artist print makers recently - trouble is I can't remember where  - other than for the last one  shown here.  The first one is by Caitlin Sheedy.  She doesn't seem have her own website which is a shame.  I love the 'magic realism' aspect in this piece of hers.

 The figures leap through our vision, "mermaid-like", I love her range of tones and the sense of space.  The fact that one of the figures is wearing spectacles is also a humorous touch.  I think that's a planet in the upper left corner?.

Next,  Glen Skein from Mackay, Queensland, Australia.  His assemblages and box works  which you can see on his website. are very inspiring -  take a look at them. 

Number 3 is by my associate Naoji  Ishiyami - talented fellow that he is, whose work I very much admire.

I  like the surreal dreamlike quality to Naoji's imagery and his use of aquatint at which I think he is quite adept.   We exhibited together at the Falun Graphic Triennial, held at the Dalarnas Museum in Sweden back in 2007. See HERE for images of the visit,

exhibition, artworks shown by the other artists.
That exhibition which really was a great experience -  came about very much through the initiative and far reaching efforts of Modhir Ahmed another  talented  print maker friend,  based in Sweden, who like Naoji seems to be very much in the spotlight when it comes to receiving awards. 

I came across this photo of a page from an artists book -  on Modhir's website - it's one

 from a series of about 5,  documenting the project he undertook as a collaboration with
renowned Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer

Here is an extract from a poem of his,  called "Haiku"

  "Carried by darkness.
            I met an immense shadow
             in a pair of eyes.

            These milestones
            have set out on a journey.
            Hear the wood-dove’s voice.

                                 Resting on a shelf
                               in the library of fools
                                                                          the sermon-book, untouched.

Diffused Relief Print

This final image is wonderful - I love the over layering which artist Monika Meler uses.  

She refers to it as "diffused relief printing"  I have got to find out more about this??

Please if anyone knows what is meant by this phrase  - let me know !!!

Oh by the way I came across Monikas wonderful image on  the Protius Mag blog which has some excellent artwork - well worth a visit .

FOOTNOTE:  Thanks to those people who took the time to post some comments on here about this process.  I even had an email from the lovely Monika, in response to my questions.

Monday 20 September 2010

Done and Dusted (print edition dispatched)

I was invited by Clare Mc Vinnie, artist and printmaking technician at the Dundee Contemporary Art Centre about 5 months ago to  participate and so I said I would.  I decided eventually to work on an intaglio  lino image that I actually begun years and years ago but had never developed further.

It was just a linear image of a figure in the foreground well the face and then the horse image behind it.  I will do a separate post concerning its progress from that  'old' state to the final b.a.t..

I used caustic soda to etch the lino and also some diluted Lascaux acrylic hard ground,  to make part of the surface 'paler'.   I felt that this was an excellent medium /process to go with,  for making an edition - given that I don't really do editions other than for projects such as this.

I experimented on some additional plates in the course of making this blue print and learned some new things that I want to develop further especially where larger works are concerned -  well let's say plates that are 40 x 55 cm.............. that kind of size.  As I said, I'll share what I learned in a future post on the making of the plate/print.

Here's a photo of the finished edition
The project is originally initiated/ coordinated by Hot Bed Press where my good friend Sean Rorke, works.  We were fellow students on the  post graduate printmaking course at Wimbledon in London.  For me the course, left a lot to be desired  but I came across some great fellow print maker colleagues.

I notice that Sean's book about print workshops throughout the UK is online now.  I knew he had been working on it for a while so well done Sean on getting it finished bet that's a load off your mind !!


Just came across a full album set on FLICKR of all the prints that were part of this international print portfolio exchange project.

Sunday 19 September 2010

A Dog and a Chair

I started with a 10 x 15 cm aluminium plate.  I painted some Lascaux acrylic resist hard ground,  on to the plate - then I 'scribed'  my image through the ground,  using an etching needle, exerting only  light pressure.    The little dog like figure had evolved from my attic plate that I had done for the exhibition (New Zealand)  in Mark Graver's International print exhibition back in January.

 I think maybe the tiny chair which you would almost hardly even notice may have been inspired by David du Bose's gorgeous drypoint which is in the "Intaglio" book by Robert Adam and Carol Robertson... although it is a motif that I have always used in my artwork every now and again.
This Red proof shows the plate in the same state, as in the first one - I had some what over wiped it.

 I seem to remember that I then left that plate aside for ages as it had just been a little ditty plate that I did while I was waiting for something else to dry.
I decided that there wasn't enough variation of tone and for some reason decided to take an additive approach  to the plate using Lascaux acrylic pastel ground for the dark area - unfortunately I applied it to the plate,  in far too casual a manner and well you can see the consequence of this. Although I liked the dark background and the lighter foreground.

This application, i.e., to the plate that outputted the blue proof -  meant that,  in a way,  I was using a collagraph application onto a plate that had been etched ................but what matters to me is the final result when printed onto the paper.  Where I am concerned  having some kind of 'purist' attitude to etching  or to printmaking gets us nowhere.  I mean, if the 'technology' exists then use it........ well that's what I say.
As you can imagine - I wasn't too pleased with myself where that background was concerned so I though I would sand it down a bit which is what I did and then took another proof.

It still looked 'naff' so I concluded that it would be best to get rid of the layer of acrylic pastel ground.  So I put  the plate in some Lascaux remover for a while I think I had it in for about half an hour.  It came off pretty easily.

Then I decided to put the plate back into the copper sulphate mordant.    With plates of this size putting them into 'etch' in mordant,  is so easy.   I use those little black plastic rectangular trays that ready made pasta dishes come in.  They are  just  big enough for these 4 x 6 inch plates.  I painted Lascaux acrylic hard ground onto the plate which I had degreased using Jif  cleaner (what you use to clean the sink and the bath) .    Here's the plate with the acrylic resist ground applied.

I painted a layer of it,  onto half  of the  area I wanted to get etched.  I left it in the copper sulphate mordant about 5 minutes.  Then I put it in some remover  and when it was cleaned off I~ put it back into the mordant, for a further 5 mins.  I ought to add that while I was applying the acrylic resist I also put a layer of that over the bottom half of the image and went over the lines delineating the figures.  They looked a bit too light ..the lines...I wanted them to be a bit more pronounced.   It looked a lot better.

I don't know why I hadn't done this in the first place but it might be that I had some of the pastel ground on my brush that I was applying to another plate and that I though I would chuck some onto it while I had it out.  Anyway I took a proof to see how it looked   .Dab a bit here dab a bit there tra la la ....what a twerp !!

Much better and I also liked that the  lines of the figure were stronger.
It's funny how the colour you proof in,  can make such a difference to the mood of the image  isn't it?.

A few days later I did another quick proof with  "a la poupee" and liked that too.  When I finally do print this b.a.t, - I may add a little chine colle element,  printed inkjet on Japanese paper .... we will see.

Saturday 11 September 2010

Playing with Lascaux wash resist and Lascaux Soft ground resist

I was making some small plates i.e., 6 x 4 inch ( 15 x 10 cm)  here, to possibly use for the Bimpe prints submission.   

Yellow Proof 
On to the degreased aluminium plate,  I applied some Lascaux wash resist  just to see how it would behave.
I then etched it in copper sulphate mordant.
I have realized that Lascaux wash resist only interacts appropriately in accordance with its performance specifications, on copper.    It does not work on aluminium or on Zinc.  I have tried both.  Although having said, that I didn’t apply an acrylic aquatint spray (which would be the usual procedure ie one would apply it after the LWR was applied to the plate and allowed to reticulate.    (see previous post)

Anyway this is how it turned out.  It was in the copper sulphate mordant for 4 minutes.
I ended up using this background for one of the prints that I chose to submit to Bimpe here's the finished print

Indigo Blue Proof

This plate, was one that I had actually made,  ages ago by gluing sandpaper to mount board. 

 I wanted to disrupt it somehow so tore parts away and then had the bright idea of applying  Lascaux acrylic soft ground to the 'exposed' areas.   After applying a thin coat  with one of my 'pro arte' brushes -  (see earlier post) - its the 5th paragraph up from the foot of the post.

The acrylic 'ground' was allowed it to dry for 12 minutes, at which point it was ready to receive items onto it, to be impressed for the 'soft ground' effect, which of course one can use in collagraph as well as in etching.  This is the great thing about this range of acrylic products.
Actually if you go to the link you see above - you will see just the situation where I inter played a seemingly 'collagraph'  effect directly onto an etched zinc plate in order to resolve the print.

Getting back to this plate  
Pieces of fine wire wool, were arranged over it.   Then I placed some pretty thick transparent acetate and ran it through the press. I like how this turned out.  I am seeing it as a possible background, perhaps not with this dark colour though.

Black Ink Proof

On to some mount board, I applied  Lascaux soft ground ,  I allowed it to dry for 12 minutes and then placed part of a torn up
steel pan scourer onto it,  to impress into the soft ground.

 I placed some  thick transparent acetate , over it and ran it all through the press.

 I think next time I might decrease  the pressure (as per “monoprint pressure”).  If you look closely you might notice that there are differing strengths of the pressure of the indentation - which has me thinking that perhaps on another occasion I will try out doing the pressing by hand and with weights just to see how it goes.

 Pale Blue Needle Proof

This was another impression into Lascaux soft ground.  I actually put the thread through the needle .  Anyways - it nearly came through the card when I ran it through the press with the acetate covering it all.    You might notice that on the upper left is a textural effect which I really like - thats from placing very fine wire wool and teasing the strands apart.  You might also note that there's the effect of pulled away acetate a bit like what you get when kids do those paintings where they fold the paper in two and then pull it apart.  I quite like it though.  I need to have another look in the book by Carol and Robert about the soft ground effect with collagraphs - I mean to see what they used as acetate or whatever, on top of the stuff thats being impressed into the 'soft ground'.
I also need to use pressure similar to that which one would use when putting a monoprint through the press.

Little Boxes...........Luke O'Sullivan printmaking 3d

Luke seems to be very into the innards and outards of buildings/things..........see more on his website