Friday, February 4, 2011

The Experiment

I find more frequently that I tend to explore subjects in more than one medium. I might paint the same subject in acrylic, then pastel, or create a relief print. Each medium lends a different feel to the subject.

As I was working on the painting of the tree and the hawk in the sky, an idea started to take shape—what if I combined painting and relief printing?

Let's find out together. I'm going to share this experiment with you. You'll see it progress in stages and along the way, we'll find out together if this works or whether the pieces get tossed into the collage folder.

To begin with, I've taken three sheets of printmaking paper and painted them with a mix of "sky" colors using acrylic. Loose, free, splattery.

Then, I drew the image of the tree onto a piece of linoleum. Since I must cut away all but the tree, my forms need to be a bit simpler than they would be with a drawing or painting.

Here you can see I've started cutting away the linoleum. My tools were dull, and although my sweet husband offered to sharpen them for me sometime in the unspecified future (no, I want them NOW), I could not wait and elected to work with them anyway. Interesting how I struggled to remove the material, yet quite effectively cut myself. However, after a time, I developed a rhythm that worked well enough to reduce the cursing (yes, mine) to a nominal level.

Once I complete carving away the background, I will ink the plate and print over the pre-painted paper. Then, I may—or may not—embellish the clouds with paint or something else. We'll see…

Every print is an adventure. There are so many variables that can affect the success. Is the paper wet enough? Do I have enough ink on the plate? Is it even? Will I smear or rip it when I take it off the plate?

I can sense your growing anticipation over the next step of this experiment. I'm getting excited just telling you about it. Stay tuned, and I'll keep you posted on the progress.


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