Saturday, February 19, 2011

For Fran, Part One*

Although I'm in my "Whitney Phase", over the years I've completed several paintings of Wrightwood. And how could I not? I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such an inspiring landscape.

The Mormon Rocks along Highway 138 have been a recurring theme in my work. I think of them as the guardians of Wrightwood. Once they are in sight, I know I'm almost home. And each time I see them, they look different: pink with the first light of the sun, chocolate-brown from the rain, kissed by blue snow, or radiant-gold at day's end. I never get tired of looking at them or drawing and painting them.

Mormon Rocks, Tall

9" X 12". Monoprint.

Lately I've been playing around with printmaking again. A few months ago, I tried a new method where I inked a metal plate, and "drew" an image using the end of a paintbrush to scribe and scrape away the ink. The result is very similar to a wood or linoleum block print. However, with this method, you get only one print. Each image is unique. The paper absorbs most of the ink, so there is not enough left behind to get another. You can see that in the images. There are spots where the ink coverage is thinner.

I use an oil-based ink, which I extend a bit with some oily goo I found in a paint box that was passed on to me. I don't know what it is, but it sure works well to give the ink the right viscosity. The only downside to this technique is that I get ink all over everything—especially my face. My hands and nails are black for days.

Mormon Rocks

12" X 9". Monotype.

This piece uses the same process, except that after the print dries, I add color with Prismacolor pencils. That's why it's called a monotype—because it has been embellished in some way. I love the effect of adding color and the cool thing about Prismacolor pencil is the waxy quality of the material makes it show up when layered over the black ink.

I've really enjoyed this process—the near immediate gratification (if I've done the drawing well)—and the tactile aspect of it too. Yes, I rather enjoy getting dirty in the process. You'll see more of this type of print in the coming months.


* Fran wanted to see some Wrightwood art. Here you go, sweetie!


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