Thursday, December 17, 2015

Drypoint and Carborundum

I'm currently working towards an exhibition in March at Grassland Art Gallery in Tambo with fellow artist Jo Taylor from Barcaldine.  The exhibition is titled "Big Smoke Little Smoke' and explores our personal relationships of where we live in relation to the natural world around us.

I'll be posting snippets of my progress to my blog as I create new works for the exhibition.

In the past week I've been working on a large drypoint for a piece titled 'Call of the Currawong, Brisbane CBD'.  This work is based on a personal experience - I observed a pair of Currawongs living in the Brisbane city area amongst the tall office buildings.  It struck me how very different that landscape is to their natural area in the Great Dividing Range, and I wondered how they had adapted to it.  And why did they choose the CBD as their habitat?

The essence of the work is the feeling of the movement of the birds as they fly between the buildings and their calls echoing off the solid structures, as opposed to the thick lush canopy of the forest.

So in my drypoint I used flowing lines and imagery of currawongs in flight, with carborundum grit to add dimension and tone.

The plate is a cardboard product I hadn't tried before, though I have used homemade plates of sealed mat board.  Its slightly bigger than A3, so quite a job to ink up.

My first few attempts to print onto tissue weren't overly successful but it did print nicely on soaked fabriano.  I plan to cut and collage the finished prints onto boards - this would have been easier with the tissue but I'll sit and think some more about the next step before I proceed.  Such is the nature of art and experimenting - things don't always go to plan and I always need to keep an open mind when on the 'journey' of creating!

Wiping off the ink to reveal the imagery

The inked plate

Finished print (detail)

Finished print (detail)

I took this photo as I cleaned up the plate,
I loved the tones left behind