I needed to stay awake yesterday evening, so turned off the TV, got off the sofa and disappeared down the garden to the studio. A couple of friends have recently moved house, so I decided to make them new home cards, which took about an hour (including tidying up after, which I’m determined to keep doing!):
The backgrounds are mono prints using my Gelli Arts printing plate, layering up lots of different acrylic paint colours through stencils, sequin waste and removing paint with bubble wrap and foam stamps. I overprinted with white acrylic using the Claudine Hellmuth ‘Dwelling’ foam stamp, then outlined with her clear stamp set and Archival Jet Black ink. The sentiment is from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous ‘Simple Sayings’ [CMS155] printed in Archival Jet Black and mounted on background offcuts to tie it all together. I outlined areas using a Signo white gel pen (fine tip) just to help define some of the detail.
Well after a flurry of activity over the last two weeks watching my new studio get installed, and then decorating it, constructing furniture and moving in – as well as emptying out and putting back to right the dining room, conservatory and some of the craft room – I have my first ‘working’ day in the studio.
Of the various things I have to catch up with, college work is one priority as I have a mid-way assessment tomorrow. Consequently, I have taken pics of my latest light shade in my series. This one features one of the patterns I gleaned from a visit to the Islamic artefacts at the British Museum, drawn into Illustrator, adapted for the round and then screenprinted in opaque white ink onto thick tracing paper, and then constructed onto a card frame. As with the previous post, here are photos of the shade in daylight, and internally lit at night.
I’ve just put the finishing touches to two small quilts. They both feature my own pattern design, which I hand screen printed at college onto fabric offcuts using black textile ink. The first shows the patten, unadulterated, quilted using black cotton and free motion machine stitch round each of the circle motifs. The second is dyed with Adirondack Color Wash sprays (which despite my best efforts still covered everything nearby!), dried, heat set, rinsed, ironed and then quilted in the same way. Both are hand bound and labelled. I use backstitch to hand sew labels for my quilts as this is unlikely to wash off! They are both 22.5″x42″ in size.
This term in my print lessons I’ve revisited dry point – with a new twist which I hope to develop and share in due course… And then there was the lino cut – it turns out that lino is a lot easier to carve when warm, but crumbles when hot… And there was the collagraph – sticking items to a piece of card, liberally coating with PVA and allowing to dry before using it as a print plate. Part of the final project is to take prints that aren’t quite exhibition standard and embellish them a little:
Here’s the before and after of a piece of serendipity – I was washing out my large screen with a large repeat pattern on it, and the water/ink mix was caught by the scrap paper beneath – I loved the texture and distressed colours. I embellished it with watersoluble graphite pencil and a bit of frottage on sandpaper to add texture, and a distress ink mix to tone down the white paper:
Embellished with Distress Inks
Finally, I wanted to play around with a repeat pattern on a large scale… the screen alone was two feet square – and I chose to run off a couple of lengths of wallpaper as well as a couple of multicoloured prints:
Multicolour screen, first pass
Not sure that I’d want that repeat in black and white across the chimney breast!
It’s collograph technique time – who would think that a few bits and pieces stuck down and flooded with dilute PVA, dried and inked could make fabulous prints? Here’s a pic of the collagraph plate after a few prints:
Well, I thought I had it covered… I took my distress ink palette with me on holiday, intending to do some distress water colouring while I was away. I popped it in a bag with a piece of kitchen towel, sealed it up, placed in flat in a box, flat in the car boot and off we went. It seems that somewhere along the 4 hour drive to Holyhead, the ferry crossing to Ireland and 1.5 hours driving in Ireland there was sufficient rock and roll to slosh things about a bit:
Needless to say, I didn’t get any water colour done with this palette – I had to use my distress markers instead. I decided not to waste the lovely colours and used an adaptation of my paper towel printing technique to produce lots of lovely coloured napkins for backgrounds and decoupage:
I have several plies of the oranges, the blues and the greens ready for my collages and bits and bobs. After I’d rescued and used what I could, I set to washing up the mess and replacing the colour swatches on the lid. As you’d expect, all the inks rinsed off the plastic leaving no residues, unlike the stickers which left their adhesive behind – no matter, it just helps the next ones stick more! A couple of hours later, and my palette is restored:
A happy accident? Time will tell as I use up the various bits of kitchen paper I used to blot up the mess in my artwork – watch this space! I would also like to find a thin sheet of silicone/rubber to seal the palette for the next trip – or thin one inch rubber washers to stick onto the lid. The palette is great, both in construction and price – but it sooo isn’t water tight! I’ve also learnt to only use half a dropper full of ink in each well rather than the full one I did first time round!
As I mentioned in my original post, I planned to further work on my drypoint prints, adding tone and colour. Here is a gallery of the results – and the bottom right is the print I have given away, number 13 of 15 – and may be the winner will want colour added? Most of these are now mounted for the end of term exhibition. There are some other prints available to purchase if you’d be interested…
I think some work better than others – I’m not happy with the tea dye one, it’s too dark. I am happy with the greyscale/monotone trees with the colour window. The pastel is very much in keeping with Jacek Yerka’s work on which this is loosely based as he prepares his paintings with a pastel version first. Let me know what you think 🙂