Monday, March 23, 2015

Banksias and Birds

My art friend Catherine Money and I are embarking on a collaborative partnership that intends to open us up to the notion that everything in nature is interconnected.  Catherine gave me a wonderful quote that will form part of our work ethic:

'Nature speaks have to listen quietly'  M. Millen

As part of this project we are holding an exhibition of works at Hanasho Florist in West End in July, then for a week in August we are setting up an Artist-in-Residence and Exhibition at Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens.

For the Hanasho exhibition, I'm currently working on a series of monoprints focusing on birds and the banksias they feed on.  I've been exploring a technique where my first print in a series is a 'set-up' print.  This means that I'm using the ink on the plate to ink up my objects rather than exclusively manually ink them myself.  The first print is printed onto cartridge and is not a resolved print in any way.  It could form the basis of a collage though, as my mantra is 'Nothing is ever wasted!'.

This is the first print, the 'set up'.
Layering the objects assists in developing
interesting textures and marks on other objects.
White space is normally avoided but
I don't have to worry in this process.

One of the resulting prints.  It features
Coastal Banksia leaves and imagery of
New Holland Honeyeaters in mid flight.

Prints using WA banksia leaves and
imagery of the Little Wattlebird

I've also been having fun with circles and some
thready fibre stuff I bought at the junk shop.
You never know where you can find cool
stuff to print with.

Blue and brown - my favourite colours!
The word 'camouflage' comes to mind
with this print.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monoprinting Workshops

Magical Monoprinting
Date:  Saturday 21 March 2015
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: $90 (includes all materials)
Location:  BVAC Hub, Wellers Road, Tarragindi
Enquiries & Bookings: or Sandra 0419 028 133
4 places left! 

Explore the printmaking technique of monoprinting using plants, stencils and other found materials to create one-of-a-kind and often unexpected images.   We'll be using artist quality etching inks and my etching press to work our creative magic. This workshop is designed for beginners, 'non-artists', or those new to this type of monoprinting.  No previous printmaking experience required.

i love ginkgo! monoprint
Studio Time - Monoprinting
Date:  Sunday 22 March 2015
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: $40
Location:  BVAC Hub, Wellers Road, Tarragindi
Enquiries & Bookings: or Sandra 0419 028 133
1 place left!  Maximum of 6.

This day is designed for those who have already participated in a monoprinting workshop with me and who would like some studio time with an etching press to work on their own monoprinting projects.
This is not a workshop but some guidance will be available after a short introduction. Numbers are limited to 6 to ensure everyone gets quality printing time. You'll be able to work independently but still have group interaction and shared enthusiasm.
The cost for the day is $40 - this covers my hall hire costs, use of my inks, plates, basic papers, and other consumables.  You need to BYO your apron, lunch, any printmaking papers you want to use and any objects (leaves, stencils etc) you want to print with.  
I'll have available Fabriano printmaking paper (slight marks/foxing around the edges) for $5 per large sheet.  Great value for monoprinting/collage etc experiments.

The simple beauty of a leaf and some fibre in a monoprint

ginkgo again, I'll have to find another tree to
top up my stash!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Monoprinting and Eco-Dyeing Together

Some of my latest projects have involved dyeing t-shirts and other wearables.  Over the Christmas break I had sun printing some shirts, but this time I tried monoprinting in conjunction with eco-dyeing.

I bought some cotton t-shirts and singlets from a major retailer and pre-washed them to get rid of any manufacturing residues.  I then inked up some leaves using my oil-based etching inks and printed them onto the shirts using my etching press 'Thumper'.  After air drying I put them into the dryer for a bit  of 'heat' setting, though I'm not sure if this was necessary.  I then did my eco-dyeing using leaves collected from my recent camping trip to Northern NSW, having pre-mordanted (ie soaked and dried without rinsing) the shirts in soy milk.

I'm happy with the results, particularly as I didn't need special fabric paints or additives for the etching ink.

During the printing and dyeing process I also worked with some Nepalese handmade paper to make some lovely notebooks.  Heaps of fun!

Two of the completed shirts, monoprinted and ecodyed.

The singlets, monoprinted and ecodyed.

A leaf with metal objects and the subsequent print from the dyepot.

I love how this leaf has been embossed from a metal object in the dyepot.

Some of my notebooks, with monoprinting and ecodyeing.

The detail of a fern monoprint, with ecodyeing providing colour
and interest in the background.