Friday, May 27, 2011

The Process Post

hey! hi!

The term is just humming along and all that stuff, it's good. Busy, challenging, etc etc. Have been working on a final project for relief printmaking, the independent study class. Yesterday I did a second print run.....and the registrations were off. By, like, a mile. On many of the prints. The press is all effed up and aargh. Felt really discouraged at the end of the day....I take that back. Not Really Discouraged. Just discouraged, with a diminutive d.

This morning I woke up thinking, I could do another very small print run, start from ground zero, and try another press. So I cut down some paper, called AppleCare (my computer has been freezing up; I am in the midst of troubleshooting right now pray for it pray for it, I don't have another car to sell for a new computer..), set some gears in motion, and then spent the day up on campus with a cadre of other printmaking students all trying to figure out their own processes.....

I figured some stuff out. And, I think the printing turned out really great! I still have a run of six to do that are half-finished but I was able to salvage a few good prints. Here's a quick breakdown:

The first block. I had originally planned out four blocks, but I accidentally cut out part of the red tshirt.......nix that block.

Fortunately I had three other good ones so I decided to print two colors on one pass, and it worked out pretty well - even though the orange marigold and the red shirt lie right next to one another. (Original edition of 12 was run, and I started another 6 today which are in this first stage here)

Yesterday I ran the second block through, blue. I wanted a bluish green, it looks more blue here -- to balance the warm colors, and the green would complement the red; the blue would complement the orange.

Third/final/key block. POW!!!!

Here's a proof I pulled; usually I need to ink up the block two or three times and run a print before the block is conditioned and the ink lies on properly, spreads evenly, and I get a feel for how much to put down for good coverage (but not too much, or it's gooey and the pressure of the press makes the edges fuzzy). I like this one too, actually!

I used the same press as I did yesterday because the one I wanted to use today was in use. The other other press I tried but it bounced all over and made my registration even worse. So I stuck with the Pelican (printing press name), and figured out its quirks (which seems to change as fast as the weather around here).

A satisfying day.

Prints are on Stonehenge, 16 x 20" and I am figuring out a price for them.

Here's the backstory: my friend Alex who lives in Leeds is the model for this one. I can't remember how many prints of him I've posted...but I've done a few of him. We both love Nirvana. Nirvana's song Marigold is also one of our favorites. I decided to see what, if any, symbolism surrounds marigolds. I found that they signify creativity and passion - cool! Alex is an artist! Also, some cultures believe that dabbing marigold water on your eyelids induces psychic visions; if you place the petals under your pillow you will have prophetic dreams. Awesome!

By the way, I didn't know that the End of the World had been predicted by, who, a Mr. Camper or someone? On May 21st? Which also happens to be Alex's birthday. RIGHTEOUS!!!


flask said...


i'm only just starting to catch up on the thousands of things i haven't read since my trip to PEI, and i happened to come and see your thing about your prints.

i love block prints, but even more than that i like process, and there's a lot of that in prints.

so thanks for the show 'n' tell.

V.K. said...

howdy neighbor! :)

It's interesting to go in cycles with media as an artist. There's a quote in the print studio, "I love printing because it takes a perfectly simple process like drawing and makes it as complicated as possible" (paraphrase). Some days that makes me laugh and some days I want to tear my hair out along with that quote :)

thanks for the hello, hope you had a great trip (I think you geocached up on a mountain?).