Tuesday, March 13, 2007
A day's work
Once again, I made the drive up to Buena Vista, and the Colorado Mountain College. I spent the day with the beloved printing press. It feels a lot like spring now, so it is not an easy thing to spend a day indoors. Art is the one thing that seems capable of keeping me in. It is a beautiful drive from Salida to Buena Vista. Now is the time for spring calves, which I adore. There is something about them that holds me in a thrall. !!! I LOVE THEM!! I tried to get a photograph of one for you, but the mama cow had other ideas. Maybe I'll try again later.
After I reach the parking lot, it usually takes me two trips to get all the "stuff" I need for a day of pulling prints. I set out all the things I will need, and basically spread out all over the room. Good thing I am usually the only one in there! I like to squeeze out all the colors and mix them before I even make one print. I use a glass palette, and regular flexible painter's knives to mix the ink. As I mentioned before, I am using oil-based etching inks (made in France - oooh la la). Once I have some colors mixed, I am ready to use the brayers to roll the ink out on the plate. I also sometimes use the knives to apply ink, or a brush. Variety is key! Once the plate is where I would like it to be, I am ready to dampen a piece of paper with a squirt bottle. I then blot it on a paper towel before putting in on the press.
This is the press I have been using. There are two blankets under the roller, and I put the inked plate down first, then my sheet of dampened paper, and then lay the blankets back down. Now it's time to turn the big wheel, so that the heavy roller travels over the paper and plate. It's a pretty nifty piece of equipment. The pressure is what creates all of the exciting textures that would be time consuming, if not impossible with paint. I was there for about 5 hours. It takes a while to clean up, probably an hour, since I am persnickety. So usually by the time I get home, I am pretty tired!
Here are the fruits of my labors. Today, I was experimenting with a whole new palette of colors, so some of the monotypes I did I don't like at all. That is pretty normal, anytime you experiment with new colors, composition, etc. Usually, you have to suffer from some "growing pains". I don't mind, since I did get a few that I do really like.