Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A mysterious business...

I recently worked in the studio on a series of monotypes for a group exhibition 'Southern Circles' with Tasmanian Printmakers, Hunter Island Press. 

My monotypes are titled 'A mysterious business' and are based on the migration patterns of the Tasmanian Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis).  This silvereye is a small bird that migrates every year north from Tasmania to the mainland of Australia, up the east coast as far north as Queensland.

There has been much scientific research into how and why this migration takes place, in particular as to whether their behaviour relies on magnetic fields or polarised light.

I pay homage to the amazing migratory abilities of this little bird, being only 13cm long but travelling over 1600 kilometres each year, creating a remarkable connection between Tasmania and Queensland.

The 2 images below are the monotypes that will be travelling to Tasmania in February for the opening at Church Studio, Franklin.

a mysterious business I

 a mysterious business II
monotype with solar plate etching

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Papermaking On the Deck

Last weekend I spent 2 days making paper using botantical pulp.  I mixed cooked corn plant material harvested from my garden with recycled printmaking paper offcuts and added a dash of marigold flowers, dried lavender and geranium petals.  I also tossed in some banana and broccoli plant pulp from a previous cooking session.

I finally got to test out my new couching stand and hydraulic jack press, made by my father-in-law Alan.  They worked beautifully. 

I also took some advice from fellow papermakers and resist dried my paper at night, this prevented the paper from curling too much because it dried slower in the cooler weather conditions.  As a final step, I ironed the papers to remove any remaining moisture and to flatten them.  Having some recycled paper mixed in with the botanical pulp also helped to reduce shrinkage and curling.

I'm very happy with the paper I produced and I had a great time working out on the deck with the ipod music up loud.  The repetitive nature of scooping the pulp and forming the sheets was heaven to my soul.

Now I just need to give the deck a good clean to bring it back from a working area to a beautiful deck again!

the vat, mould & deckle, and couching stand
my new hydraulic jack press,
great once i figured out how it worked
(sorry guys, most girls don't know how to use a jack...!)
the stack of finished papers !

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Starting the year with a rush....

My 2012 has started with a commission! My first monoprinting commission..... and given that my printing sessions are somewhat unpredictable, I spent today in the studio determined to end the day with enough prints that may appeal to my buyer. 

The concept behind these works is the LaraPinta Trail, a long distance hiking trail in the Northern Territory.  I used imagery of the Australian Ringneck Parrot who frequents that area (and most of Western Australia).

I'm pretty happy with the results, 10 prints in all. The first few were overprinted on some scrub-turkey ghost prints so they look quite different to the remainder which I printed with 2 dominant colours representing the outback landscape.

Now I need to start work on my monoprints for the Southern Circles exhibition, a print exchange with Tasmanian printmakers.   I've got my ideas all worked out, I just need to start printing.  Keep an eye on my blog for the results!

The first print ....

Establishing my colours and images for the new series....

A successful print, with about 4 layers