Sunday, February 20, 2011

Painting to print

I painted this about two years ago.  It's not a flat painting, the roof and the shelf stick out the furthest, about 3".  The house shape has sides that are about 2" wide, so that floats in front of the background.  The wing is ceramic painted with acrylic paint.  The rest of the piece is constructed from foam core and wrapped in paper.  It's a way I like to work because it's lightweight and easy to alter.  I call this piece "heavy wing".  I don't really like to assign meaning to my paintings as I make them, but someone remarked that it was the saddest painting they had every seen.  At first I was taken aback, but then I realized it is kind of sad.  That wing is really heavy.  In retrospect, I think it expresses the burden I was feeling at the time my mother was dying and my father was becoming more lost to Alzheimer's.

A year or two later I was trying a linoleum reduction print.  That is where you carve away at the plate, print it in one color, carve some more, print over the first with another color and keep carving and printing until you are done; or until there is no linoleum left.  I decided to use pretty much the same image since I had recently had a show and it was fresh in my mind.

This is one early version.  I did play around with the background colors a bit.  This one has an emerald forest quality.

I like this one a lot, but it is a reduction print and there is no going back.

This one has been carved more than the previous one, and has different background color.  It also has lousy registration.  I decided the small birds on the house (in the painting and my original sketch) would be too hard to make look good with lino cutters so I changed them from my original plan.

The last one is the same print in black and white.  It's kind of cool like this and I'm stuck trying to decide if I should continue to work on it as a black and white print or carve away major sections of it and continue to reduce the plate.

I only have a few more colored prints to experiment with, but I could paint backgrounds and print on top of them.  This would mean I have a painting that became a print and a print that is becoming a painting.

Of course the big difference besides the lack of three dimensional elements is that there is no heavy wing.  The emotional feeling of the painting has changed, but I'm not exactly sure where it is going yet.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Collograph Prints

Okay, so I haven't posted since the winter break.  I've been busy with being back at school, but mostly preoccupied with the death of a close friend.  Some days it's hard to even look at e-mail, much less write something.  I was also hung up on photoing some art work.  But, I did that this weekend, so I can put up some recent work.  I've been taking a printmaking class, which I love.  Besides carving the occasional linoleum block, I don't get much done on my own.  If only I had a printing press of my own...
A hand colored collograph.  This one titled "I wrote my name on the back of a leaf and I watched it drift away."  A lyric from a song.  It's not the best, but the color helps.
  I have done a lot of work with gloves, but mostly in clay.  I was fascinated with an image from the 19th century of a woman's kid glove printed with a tourist map of London.  How ingenious, you could walk around looking at your glove, discretely getting directions.  What else could you put on a glove?  Answers to a test?  Secrets?  Maps for the memory impaired (don't misplace those gloves!)  Anyway this is another collograph printed in burnt umber, love that color.

This is two versions of the same plate.  One in burnt umber, one in two colors.  You can see the plate is starting to collapse in the blue version.  You can clearly see the lower layers through the shape of the barn.  Now I know better when constructing a plate, unless of course I want that look.

This is my favorite, it is a double ghost.  A ghost is when you run a printed plate back through the press to pick up the leftover ink.  I used the house and the glove together.  Looks like poetry.