Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Left Turn

Distant Dreams
9" X 12"
Mixed Media
This piece ended up a long way from where it started. Is it a monotype, mixed media, or both? There's so much mix of the media, I'm leaning toward the latter.

I'd been dreaming about using the creamy printmaking paper and sepia ink I had on hand. So, I pulled out a metal plate, rolled a gooey layer of ink over it, and began scraping away the pigment to create the image. It was a water-based ink, which turned out to be runny and messy. As I scraped, the ink stubbornly flowed back into place. It was taking so long, I ended up wiping out some of the ink so that I could manage to make a print sometime before Christmas. By the time I was ready to put it on the etching press, there was more ink on me than the plate.

I gently placed the plate face up on the bed of the press, centering the beloved paper over the image (without adding too many fingerprints!). Then, I flopped the padding over the top of it and cranked the drum down so it would apply pressure to the ink-paper sandwich. A few good turns one way, then the next, and it was time for the reveal.

Oh my. It was a blurry mess. In printmaking, you dampen the paper to soften it and make it more receptive to your medium. There's a fine line between damp and too damp. I kinda over did it.

Yet I didn't give up on it (dang that paper is expensive!). After it dried a bit I went back in with watercolor to tint it here and there. Then I broke out the prismacolor pencils to bring back a little of the detail I'd lost.

I think I was able to save it. What do you think?