4th Annual Print Show!
As a novice gallery owner, I am learning about print art. There are very distinct techniques employed in making a print. I am familiar with carved block prints where the design is carved out of wood or some other substance. That seems pretty straightforward, dip the block in ink and print it onto the paper right? Wrong… sometimes a block print can contain many different colors, which each have to be applied individually. Francy Blumhagen used block printing in some of her pieces for this show. But of course Francy is a collage artist too, so on this print she added collage touches as well! Click on carved block prints to view the video that demonstrates how a wood block print is made.
As the prints started to come in we were amazed at the variety of different types of prints that now grace Brackenwood's walls! Monoprint for instance: Buffy Cribbs explained she
etched ground lines onto a plexiglass plate. Then she rolled black ink over the design and wiped the black ink off which left an outline of black ground lines. Next she rolled color onto certain parts of the plexiglass plate. Then Buffy ran the plate and paper through the press. Buffy'f final touch was to hand tint with watercolor the rest of the print. Whew! Such a complicated process! But what a fun! Buffy can use this matrix (etched design) to make another print but it will be different because she can never perfectly reproduce what she first pulled off the plate.
Bruce Morrow on the other hand etched his drawing into a copper plate. Then he used an aquatint process to achieve the special tonal coloring on the print. Aquatint is a ground, a material that resists acid, but it is not a solid coating on the plate. Aquatint is used for making tones, and is composed of fine particles. Bruce’s prints are all beautiful tones of brown giving them a warm glow.
We also have two stunning prints from Briony Morrow Cribbs. Briony is a master etcher and these prints are no exception to the intricate and detailed work we have come to expect and admire. Briony was the illustrator for a recently published book called “Wicked Plants”. This video perfectly captures her etching process and illuminates to those of us that have never made a print the amount of work, time and creativity that goes into making one hand pulled print!
Bridget Fischer’s process is totally different from any of the others. She created Monotypes. This method is really a form of painting. She paints on a glass plate. Then Bridget scratches, wipes, utilizes substances that create interesting effects on the oil based paint, and/or uses various objects to create interesting designs on her original painting. Finally Bridget runs this plate and paper through a printing press and viola! She hand pulls a one of a kind print off the plexiglass plate.
Finally, Diane Divelbess… good grief! Diane used three different printing techniques for the work that is in this show. Reduction printing is a name used to describe the process Diane employed to make her “Sphinx” print.
Reduction printing usually involves cutting a small amount of the block away, and then printing the block many times over on different sheets before washing the block, cutting more away and printing the next color on top. This allows the previous color to show through. This process can be repeated many times over. The advantages of this process are that only one block is needed, and that different components of an intricate design will line up perfectly. The disadvantage is that once the artist moves on to the next layer, no more prints can be made.
So there you have it! A crash course in Printmaking! Don’t miss this great show, and now when you see the prints you will have a better idea what goes into creating these incredible works of art.