Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Adding to my art toolkit - Part 2

In my last blog post, I talked about adding to my art techniques toolkit.  As well as the collagraph plates I discussed in my last post, I've recently been learning about Polyester Plate Lithography.

Lithography is a 19th-century printmaking technique traditionally used with stone and a lithograph press.  In recent years there has been an explosion of using different matrixes such as foil, metal, and now polyester plates.

Lithography is based on the idea that oil repels water.  Simple!

Polyester plates are relatively inexpensive and allow prints to be created using direct drawings onto the plate, drawings scanned and laser printed onto the plate, or digitally printed images onto the plate such as photographs.

Inking is via roller and oil-based inks, and printed with an etching press.

I was introduced to the method by artist Nicola Hooper last year in a short workshop and I was hooked by its simplicity and the direct connection between drawing and printing.  Since then I've undertaken workshops by artist Jenny Sanzaro-Nishimura and also Charles Cohan, Professor of Printmaking at the University of Hawaii.

This is another technique that I can combine with other printing techniques, including monoprint and cyanotype.  Nicola also tells me that she uses it to produce text for her artist books, something I must try.

The possibilities are endless with the potential for editioning - something that I miss in monotype printing!

Rolling up the ink onto the plate, with washes of Gum
Arabic and water

Heating the plate after drawing to set it
The three plates I created - left "Sparrow' is a drawing with
a litho crayon and black Sharpie pens, middle is a
plate created from a photo of Noisy Miner birds,
on the right is a plate printed from a scan of Kangaroo Grass.

The 'Sparrow' print.
I like the drawing prints the best, they
have a beautiful textural quality.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Adding to my art toolkit

In the past month, I've been adding to my art tool kit.  Not new brushes, inks or papers (I've got more than enough paper!), but adding to my printmaking skills.

Last weekend I hosted Jet James from Yeppoon for a workshop exploring creative approaches to collagraph plates.  He uses a PVC plate which gets around the problem of having to seal the plate with multiple coats of shellac as you would with book board etc.  It also allows the use of some ingenious materials and drypoint techniques.

I enjoyed the creative process of creating the plates using a combination of embossing, drypoint and collage, giving a variety of marks and textures.  The 'busy-ness' of imagery on my plate is what I really like when I'm doing my monoprinting.  I can see that I can combine my monoprinting techniques with these collagraph plates, and am looking forward to playing more with it in the coming months.

During the workshop, we also had a play with inking using more than one colour, which gave beautiful images but in a workshop situation of a group of 10 keen printmakers was very messy!

My bee print.  I've explored this bee image in drypoint and
lithograph, so its interesting to see it in a variety of

Wren print, multicoloured inking.

The Wren plate and print in blue-black ink.

The chaos of multicolour printing.......

Show and tell at the end of the workshop.
Great prints, great group of people!