I have been attracted to printmaking for different reasons. At first it was an interesting activity to get me out of the house for a whole working day on a regular basis. It also provides congenial companions as well as a whole area of image making to learn about (and I just love learning - and accumulating even more books on a new subject!). I am learning about all sorts of methods, and means within the methods, ... but two main aspects attract me most.I am excited by the unpredictability of the results. Sure, as one gains knowledge, confidence, and experience the gross surprises tend to diminish; but the different elements of inking, paper quality/wetness/colour, and miniscule variations in the plate itself always provide me with happy accidents. Indeed I look on the great majority of accidents as happy because the second aspect which delights me is the idea of repeats with variation. I do not want exact duplicates. I want subtle, or not-so-subtle differences.
Recently I made a collagraph plate with card, and incorporating offcuts from a rejected piece of stitching: the central panel, and the two triangles and bits of triangles at the base. I then printed onto sheets of Murano coloured pastel paper (which I bought when inspired and enthused by Meabh Warburton's post some time ago - I also used one as a base for my pastel work at West Dean).
So, I scanned the prints, and had a little play around with a bit more repetition. And I must say, I wish that I had Maebh's skills, because I'd rather like to render the results in tapestry.
I have also been trying some etching on zinc. We are experimenting with making plates reverse the normal practice of eating away the fine lines, and concentrating instead on the white areas of the print. Using aquatint, and then drawing with a litho crayon I took plankton as my subject - mostly because Holly, our brilliant teacher said that zinc works really well with blues and greens.
This is one of eight prints I made, using a different mix of green, Prussian blue, and white ink each time. I scanned them, and then played about a bit, and came up with this - which was inspired by a friend telling me about a recent diving holiday and by my seeing some dolphins on television.
I am not sure what I will do with any of these results of my play - if anything. But I am certainly enjoying this whole process.
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