Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quebec Print Version 2

Well here it is!  One of the prints that I completed for the Quebec exhibition, finally finished and I'm very happy with the result.

The embossing is gone, replaced by another print using rubber bands and a moon stencil.  Very simple but effective print reflecting the 'Water Portraits' theme.

My only problem now (as usual) is documenting the prints digitally.  I've just spent all morning trying to get the colours right; they don't seem to replicate properly using my digital camera.  The photograph above is probably the best likeness that I could get out of the 8 prints, in various colours of purple, lime green and blue.  The lime green is the most difficult to get right, it comes up in the digital image more like mud than a translucent bright green. 

So I have contacted Carl Warner, a very experienced art photographer who is coming next week to photograph all my current prints using his professional camera equipment.  He photographed some 3D work for me last year and I was very pleased with the results.  A great photograph really makes a good print look good (like it should!).  I'll blog some of the photos when I get them in a few weeks so you can see the gorgeous colours of the prints like they are in real life.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back on track

I do my best thinking in the shower.  But last night I solved my Quebec print dilemma lying awake in bed trying to get some sleep wishing I hadn't succumbed to my caffeine need earlier in the day.

As you know from my blog post 2 days ago ('a step too far') that I had accidentally ruined my finished monoprints that are to be exhibited in Quebec in September.  I'd concluded that all was lost and I needed to start again.

Well, last night I had a revelation!   Why not print OVER the wrinkled embossed area........ and it worked!  The prints aren't dry yet but it seems that I have managed to not only fix the problem but actually improved the finished works.  I like them much better now than they were before. 

Just goes to show NEVER give up.   Yesterday at the Studio it was 4pm before I produced one print that I liked.  Hours and hours of persistence paid off.  And today at the Studio, armed with my late night revelation and heaps of confidence, I was able to sail through the day, fixing the 4 ruined prints and finishing off another 4, just in case the wrinkles come back after the prints dry.

All in all, a very positive experience with some very tough lessons learnt.

I'll post some photos of the finished works in the next couple of days.  Tonight I'm just enjoying the moment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

She loves her arts and crafts a little too much

A friend of mine sent me this U tube video, its a great laugh. 
It reminds me of the moments when I've got a little bit too excited about some wispy bits of grass clippings for monoprinting......but this lady wins first prize for passion about a sponge and a bit of paint!
Look out for the overuse of "Oh my gosh!".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A step too far.....

Ever had the experience of trying to fix something and making it worse?

My previous blog post announced that I had completed a series of prints for a Quebec exhibition.  I had completed 4 good prints that I was happy with.  But then I noticed a few wrinkles in the area in which I embossed, so I thought 'I'll get rid of those wrinkles so the prints look better'.  Great idea, failure in the execution!

I dampened the prints, placed them under weights for a day and ended up with some horrendous creases on top of the wrinkles.  I've tried redampening and pressing and ironing but to no avail.  I can't submit those prints.

So back to the press I go!  Luckily I have 2 days at the studio this week.  The only problem with monoprints is that I can't just simply reprint them from a pre-prepared plate.  I have a very loose formula and process I can follow, but really its just serendipity as to how they turn out..... 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rubber bands and Cottonwood leaves

For the past couple of months I've been working on some monoprints for a Queensland - Quebec print exchange which opens in Quebec Canada in October this year, then travels back to Brisbane for exhibition in 2012. 

The theme of this exhibition is Water Portraits and my work is drawn from my experiences at Coochiemudlo Island last year.

I printed the first layer of monoprints in early May but have only just revisited them to experiment with a few ideas I've been developing.  I wanted to express the notion of  'out of sight, out of mind'.  Its what we don't see that matters, in this case, what lies beneath the surface of the oceans, bays, rivers.  What damage is there that we ordinary people don't see?  I was pleased recently to hear that biologists were checking on Moreton Bay's dugong population to see how their seagrass beds were affected by the January floods.   But what about the rest of the ecosystems in the bay?  Do most people really care as long as the trawlers bring in the prawns and fish for us to consume?  I spent my childhood fishing in Moreton Bay so I feel a real personal connection to it.

The link to Coochimudlo Island is in the cottonwood leaves that I used.  I love them!  I have also used fishing line which created beautiful curly lines, like the swirling of the tide around mangrove roots.....

In my prints I also have experimented with embossing, something I haven't done a lot of, and required a fair bit of playing with objects and paper to get the right texture and look. 

I initially printed about a dozen prints, and will end up with only about 4 that I consider suitable for exhibition.  I'm really glad that I have given myself plenty of time to meet the submission deadlines, you can never 100% predict a monoprint.

I'll be revisiting my prints in the coming weeks, after having a break from them so I can see what needs to be done, lets hope I am still happy with them and can consider them complete.

one of the prints, in progress

...and yet another use for rubber bands.....embossing!