Monday, October 15, 2012

McDermot Avenue I

McDermot Avenue I.
Double-Plate Colour Etching, Relief Roll through Stencil, Blind Embossing.
45.5cm x 45.5cm. 2012.

McDermot Avenue I is part of a triptych about three blocks on McDermot Avenue in Winnipeg's exchange district. I'm just about to finish this series in time for my upcoming exhibition at Fleet Galleries in Winnipeg in November. McDermot Avenue is part of a beautiful historic warehouse district that has become a wonderful cultural center with art galleries, artists' studios, frame shops, and other stores. I cherish the memories of walking down McDermot Avenue past the bronze horse by Joe Fafard and the gossiping women (also in bronze), doing business with Jeff at Fleet Galleries around the corner, which you can see in the upper part of this print, and heading to my studio I had in the Silpit building for three years. 
I have ventured slightly out of my usual square format by rounding off the corners of the ceiling to break up all the rigid horizontal and vertical lines. I simply cut off the corners with tin snippers and smoothed the edges with a file. I had a lot of fun playing with the beautiful tin ceiling patterns that are still part of many of those old buildings. If you look closely, you can see I added a blind embossing above the rounded part of the print to resemble the embossed tin ceiling tiles. Below is a close-up. I drew the design, then worked with it in digital format and finally I got it cut into a linoleum plate with a laser cutter. This allowed me to get a very even and intricate pattern that I could never have carved by hand. I'm very excited how well this worked and perhaps I'll find a way to utilize the laser cutter in other ways, although I don't think I'll ever give up the good old traditional techniques. 

Close-up of the laser cut linoleum plate.

Close-up of the paper embossing at the top of the print.

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