The printmaking getaway

I spent a recent week at the marvelous Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology on the Oregon coast. I stayed at a friend's beautiful beach house, I stayed up late drawing and working, I had no internet so I fasted from technology, and spent my days in the company of a small group of creative women (the class wasn't limited to women, it just happened that way). I can't imagine anything more restorative, and I came home with a fresh vision for not just art but life.

The class was Animal Magic Captures in Linocut. We explored the ways that animals are depicted in art, and created our own images in linocut. I haven't done any printmaking since I took a class in college, and I still have my original Speedball linoleum cutters and roller! Don't they look vintage?

I loved printmaking the first time around, and the class has rekindled my love for the printmaking process. I love the manual process of carving the lino, inking the block and burnishing the print onto the paper. I love the reverse process; you carve away the negative space of your image, so you have to think backwards. And in reverse! And I love the simple, handmade feel of the images.

They took photos of our class working so I will share...

My first image was a frog. I was NOT happy. I tried manipulating the ink several ways, still not happy. Then I tried carving away more of the frog and it was even worse. Chalk it up to learning. I didn't even save any of the prints and I should have. Learning is like that.

The lesson was one color linoprint, and I wanted another go at it before we moved on to the next lesson, so I stayed up very late carving a new lino. I spent hours on it, more time than I would have had in class, and I didn't get much sleep, but I was really happy with it!

It's a single linocut and  single printing, but I made a two color printing by applying two colors of ink to the plate.

The second day we learned intaglio, which is an entirely different way of thinking. For block printing, you carve away the negative space and the area you don't carve is what prints. With intaglio, you use a sticky ink that goes into the carved lines on the block, and then you transfer it to damp paper which sucks it back out onto the paper. So the area you carve is the print.

You can also apply ink to the plate after you apply the intaglio ink, so you have sort of a fusion method. I played around with different ways of applying ink to the plate on this one.

Our assignment was to create a fantastical animal. I drew a catbullsnake...

Our third day we learned two color printing. We actually created two different linocut blocks, each for a different part of the image. I decided to use the time-honored method of copying an artist better than oneself, and made a drawing based on a silkscreen by the artist Elton Bennett. I have long loved this print, and it was a joy to immerse myself in it as I carved my facsimile.

My version

On that note, I departed with my head bursting with new ideas. I have some drawings started for a series of prints which I hope to share soon!


Unknown said…
Infrashine Flat Iron Free Shipping on all Salon Furniture and Equipment!

Popular Posts