Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Minneapolis

Well, here it is! I finally managed to get a print I am satisfied with a few days ago. I knew it would be a lot of work to print those two big plates, but I didn't expect it to be THAT much work.

My Minneapolis. 
Double-Plate Colour Etching, Relief Roll through Stencils.
60cm x 90cm. 2013. 

My Minneapolis is about my life for the past two years in this city. It is an (extended) view through my window past the Nasturtium in my flower box with the Minneapolis skyline on the horizon (see tiny figure at the window in the bottom left corner). The piece includes parts of the city that I know and like: the Walker Art Museum with sculpture garden, Loring Park, St. Mary's Basilica, the Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls, the Weisman Museum, the Sabo Bridge, the Midtown Farmers Market, French Meadows Café with the greedy sparrows ready to pick up crums (from your plate if need be) and of course, the Greenway. This is also the city where I fell in love with my husband ten years ago on a school of art field trip. I think I mentioned this before, but one of the memories I had from that trip was the Chihuly sunburst chandelier, hence the center part. That's it for now. I'm taking a little holiday break now and in January I hope to start printing the edition. Cheers!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Editing the Plates - Progress Report Six of My Minneapolis

I spent the past week editing and proofing and editing and proofing my plates some more. Here are some of the changes and improvements I made. I didn't like how the yellow stencil looked on the chandelier (left), so I etched some shadows into the sunburst (middle) and together they work quite well (right). The sunburst looks a lot more dimensional now.

For the Walker Art Museum I tried to re-create the uneven surfaces of the metal tiles that cover the building. I used a small burnisher to burnish a pattern into to the aquatints.

The Weisman Museum also received some burnished highlights which give it more life.

I also cut the stencils (top below) for the yellow and some red and green in areas where those colours would otherwise overlap, which makes it impossible to wipe à la poupée on the same plate. Through the stencil I simply roll the ink onto the surface of the wiped plate (bottom below). Well, three months later I finally have one good print, which I will try to post tomorrow, so you can finally see what the finished piece looks like. The editioning of the piece I will leave till the new year.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Soap Ground Detail - Progress Report Five of My Minneapolis

This past week was quite busy with preparations for the Winter Cooperative Exhibition Prints on Ice at Highpoint. But I've inched my way a bit closer to finishing the My Minneapolis print. I worked some more on correcting and adjusting some small things and I think I worked out a solution for the white space in the center of the piece. A few months ago I took a weekend workshop in soap ground etching, which I've been wanting to try out in my work. The soap ground is a mixture of finely grated ivory soap dissolved in water and linseed oil to create a paste. This paste is painted in various dilutions and thicknesses onto the copper and works as a permeable resist to the acid. (The soap ground is the white stuff on the plate; the black figures are stopped out with asphaltum so the acid can't get to them). 

Where the ground is really thin, the acid will get through to the copper quicker than in areas where the gound is painted on thickly. The result is a wonderful painterly effect. This is my first proof of the result of the soap ground. 

I softened the edges around the soap ground a bit, but I still have to see if this part of the image fits with the rest of the print. I wanted to give the figure some sky or cloud backdrop so they're not simply floating in empty space under the Dale Chihuly chandelier sun (Sunburst). The figures that are white in this proof will later be printed with the key plate. Anyways, a few more days of editing and proofing. I hope by the end of this week I can make the first few prints of the edition. Keep your fingers crossed.