Almost done!

Hello everyone, I am back in the land of living!  I have pretty much finished my essay and we just have two weeks to go before I hand in my portfolio and that will be my first year over with.  The essay has been a marathon for me as I am just not used to writing them, but it has been fascinating too.  My subject changed three times in the process!  I ended up writing about Vija Celmins and Sol LeWitt.  Two very different artists, both fascinating.  There are many videos about both of these artists online, and some very good time lapse ones of LeWitt’s accomplished ‘professionals’ and ‘apprentices’.   I love this one.

I have also been experimenting with photo etching.  Here is my latest print.  The image came from focusing in on one of my drypoints, and enlarging a small area.  I drew the image onto drafting film with lithographic crayon and lots of charcoal and graphite.  It was then exposed onto a copper plate, which I had previously rolled with photo sensitive emulsion.  The plate is developed in Sodium Bicarbonate and warm water and hardened with UV light.  After this I put an aquatint over the whole plate, and put it in the ferric, and stopping out various areas with Brunswick varnish to create the different tones.  I have to say that the emulsion did not set properly so some of it peeled off but I decided to go with the happy accident and rather like the effect.

Photo etch 3  – 25 x 25 cm


A little light relief!

After spending all last Monday doing a test strip for an aquatint, I thought I would end the day with a little abstract monoprinting!  Above are the results left on the table!  Not on paper sadly.  It seems that just when you have to clear up, interesting things start to happen.  At least I have the photos.

I have decided that I need to stop doing drypoints for now because I spend hours drawing on the plate and can only get a few prints.  I am trying to learn how achieve a similar effect by using etching and aquatint.  Needless to say I haven’t succeeded yet, but it’s early days.  Since I have basically messed up a plate, I thought I would just experiment with differing techniques.  On this plate is an aquatint of varying bites, a hard and soft ground etching and some scraping out of the aquatint.  I ran out of time today to make anything of it, but at least I am learning.

First print after adding the soft ground.  Note the scraping out in the middle.
More scraping.
I added another soft ground and drew into it more and etched it for 30 minutes
The many stages of tarlatan or scrim

This week I have been to the Tate twice!  Once, to investigate an artist Vija Celmins for my essay and the other to see a fabulous exhibition on Picasso and his influences on Modern British Art