I thought I’d share some of my experiments with drypoint and copperplate etching this winter. I shot some great photos last spring up in Northern Oklahoma and the Cherokee schoolhouse was my first photo to plate attempt using a product called Solarplate. (It was also incorporated into one of January’s mixed media pieces) Solarplate uses a UV light reaction to etch the plate which is actually a steel backed polymer, not copper or zinc used in traditional, more toxic methods. These are two of the many I printed of the Cherokee Schoolhouse here. One monochrome, the other using a yellow slug and blue to create a three colour effect.
The other Solarplate is of one of my paintings, “Window Seat“. I converted a photo of it into black and white and exposed the plate to create this etching. The result is rather ghostly and pretty appropriate!
The seagull was done drypoint using clear polystyrene late last fall. I haven’t done this sort of thing before, so he ended up a straight line drawing, figuring I might hand colour down the line.
This week, I decided to give the hand colouring a try. The seagull plate was in my truck and the plan for the day was to print him. On the way to the Edmond Fine Arts Institute, a bird which I am fairly certain was a seagull flew out of nowhere into my windshield on the highway. I was heartbroken. So, I did a couple prints in Payne’s Grey and sat down with paints. I wish I’d had watercolours for the job, but they didn’t survive the move. The acrylics were a little heavy handed, so I plan to try again with the right medium. These are dedicated to the that poor bird.
My next etching project will be à la William Blake. I plan to burn a plate of both text and image with the intent to hand colour. My calligraphy hand skills are so rusty, it’s shameful. It may take a while before I get the calligraphy just right and worthy of using a $9 plate. I’d like to get one done before the end of April, so stay tuned. My pledge here will, hopefully, motivate me!
A great discussion of WW1 era literature and films began on one of the blogs I read regularly (Ripple Effects). And, as always, I went left field into art and rambled on. In an attempt to break my 2013 ‘fallow’ period, I have been looking at modernist, mixed media and abstract art. I read Kandinsky’s “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” recently and somehow have come back to Lawren Harris. I am thinking that writing a post here expanding on what I discovered so poor Arti can get on with things! I am hoping you all will find it as interesting as I did.