Paintmaking in the Gallery

As part of our group exhibition, Accumulative, I will be in the Arts in Oxford Gallery this Sunday 23 October from 10.30 am until 4 pm making paint from rock from the Canterbury area and further afield.

Hope to see you there!

canterbury-pigments-web

‘Accumulative’ exhibition Print

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Waimakariri Near and Far, mono print on paper.  Detail of one of my Accumulative exhibition prints with Waimakariri and Waikari rock paints.

Carbon Footprint

 

Handprint1

We’re all in the joke mood at the moment, that is if you are doing an assignment for Art of the MOOC.  It has been a real battle for me to think of a joke related to a social issue or a social movement.  My attempts just sounded so silly, but after going on line to find some, I thought mine were not that bad after all…

So how about:

When is a thinking person’s coal mine empty?  When it’s mindful.

When can coal see?  When it’s fossilised.

Then I thought, if I am making paint from coal (which was my intention), to sequester it, for example, I need a link to paint and pigment.  Luckily, my brain caught on, and I came up with using charcoal (which is also carbon).  Now, as there is a good possibility that prehistoric man also used charcoal to paint or draw with, aka cave paintings, I could somehow make  a joke that linked carbon, pigment and paint.  I do have some coal left over from when we had a coal fire (oops, but we only used it once and we had to travel 100 k to buy the coal)…  but the charcoal came from the woodturning stove and the tree came from the garden and it did seem a little more environmentally appropriate.

So my joke for Art of the MOOC was:  Was there a prehistoric carbon footprint?  No, they used their hands…

I made a video of the paint making process which can be found on my Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/celia.wilson.56   It is also on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/147520835, and I have a link to Twitter…

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 11.10.34 AM

 

 

Kozo Tea Iron

This latest experiment was about getting a contact print through an immersion in a cold dye, in this case tea. I used two strips of dry folded kozo paper that I had previously drawn on with sumi ink;  one piece was held together with a metal bull dog clip.  A stack of dry printmaking paper was interlaid with leaves and seeds,  then sandwiched between two sheets of perspex and clipped together with paper clips.  All three packages were immersed in the tea dye container for a few hours.  The darker dye (caused by the metal clip in the tea) remained in situ around the bundle while the liquid was motionless.  As I removed the papers I could see the reaction of the iron on the tea slowly take place over the rest of the dye and turn it completely black.

The kozo paper was squeezed in the hand when taken out of the tea dye to get the lovely ’embossing’ (the photo does not really do it justice).  I am very pleased with the abstract nature of the results, even though the plant material left little in the way of images on the printmaking paper, but there are some impressions – a trace of the leaves on some sheets.  There are also a few traces of other colours from the plant material.  Some of the seeds left a darker spot on the paper.

There is a tension here (freedom and control) between allowing enough moisture into the stack and the pressure required to achieve images of the plant material.  Perhaps the paper in the stack should have been damp which might have allowed more wicking of the dye.  Needs more investigation.

Some of the tonal variation occurred as the printmaking paper was removed from the stack.  I tried to restrict disturbing the remaining dye but some of this did happen of course!  The printmaking paper has much value as a base layer for further work.

 

Kozo-and-print-paper

Spring leaves, nature prints and patchwork

On a walk yesterday I found a windblown leaf, and later picked some leaves and flowers from the garden.  I am not sure at all what species of tree the leaf is from.  It is difficult to define, mainly because it is immature.  However, I think it may be a Platanus  (plane, sycamore) as suggested by the stem and leaf vein structure.  To memorialise this arrested development I made prints from the leaves.

Leaf1

Leaf2  

I made a few nature prints, on paper and cloth.  The first print is from the inked plate (with the leaf removed after passing the two through the press).  I dropped the inked plate on the floor which accounts for the wiggly marks and scratches.  Liked the effect!

Leaf5  

This print below, taken directly off the leaf alone, is particularly interesting, delicate.  

Leaf4  

This print is made on damp 300 gsm paper   Leaf3  

Here is a small selection of the process – when the leaf was thick it caused creases in the paper and some areas did not print so well.  

Leaf7  

I have been busy…  Here I have printed on cloth; works very well.  The impression on the right was hand done with the roller and not put through the press, unlike the other one on the left.  I am getting confident with using the etching press.  

Leaf8  

Finally, the most beautiful object of all, the actual leaves, with a trace of the ink still on them. It shows the underside of the leaves.  I used Akua black ink, and many of the prints were printed on dry digital/inkjet A4 paper.  

Leaf9  

To end, here is a textile work I have started in response to following Spirit Cloth. I have printed on to cloth a mallow leaf and an image off a piece of old wallpaper.

Leaf6

January 2015 printing – Seeds and Seed Pods

Seeds and seed pods are really quite beautiful, make good subjects for art and design.  This is a collagraph plate that I made ‘last year!’ in December from dried seed pods of the Honesty plant (Lunaria annua, aka Money Plant) and one of the plant’s leaves.  I had kept the dried specimen from 2012, so it has lasted well.  I glued the dried plant material onto a piece of mat board and coated front and back of the board in two layers of polyurethane varnish –  but it still had a little warp.  This did not make any difference when the plate was printed.  (Or so it seemed to me…)  A small piece of the leaf had already broken away in the past, but apart from an interesting phenomenon that appeared when I inked the plate (the layers of varnish came away from three of the seed pods) the plate has held up well through its various inkings and cleanings.  The photo here is what it looks like, cleaned, after an afternoon’s printing with Akua water based ink.

 

Cineraria-plate

 

This is a ghost print (i.e. second print from an inked plate) from one of the initial printings.

 

HonestyP3

 

The next two images are of a print made by inking up a piece of plastic, sending the plate and the plastic through the press, and then taking a print off the plate.  The plastic creates an interesting background with plenty of unexpected results which is one of the reasons I enjoy printing.

 

HonestyP2

 

Finally, here is a the result of selectively cleaning the inked plate, so that only the raised parts of the collagraph will print.  Still have a lot to learn!  At least I now know that placing the paper on top of the plate creates an embossed image.  The digital ink jet paper is dry and probably causes the creasing.  I really enjoy using Akua ink as it is easier to clean up and I do not like using turps!  The ‘black’ ink (actually a combination of colours, more a dark grey) creates an image that almost could be a photocopy.

 

Honesty-P1

 

I have been collecting Rocket (Eruca sativa) seeds from the veggie bed.  Really quite fascinating, and I notice that the membrane between the two halves of the seed pod is similar to that found in dried Honesty plants.  I would like to find Lunaria rediviva a perennial ‘cousin’ of Honesty which has yet another variation on this form with more elongated pods.  [Just found out that they are all members of the Mustard family (Brassicaceae)!]

 

Rocket-seed-pod narrow

Rocket-seed-pods

Finally, poppy seed pods from the garden.

Poppy-seed-pods

December prints

A few prints, one produced at home, and the others at printing group.

This print is produced with Akua inks, on a smooth card, and I used my printer at home.  The print is taken directly off some old wallpaper that came from my parents house.  The original illustration of what I think may be a conifer is pale green, but here I used red and it suggests the NZ Christmas tree – Pohutukawa!  I used this print to make Christmas cards for family and friends.

Christmas-print-web

 

I’ve always had an interest in pottery, probably because of the glazes, but I really like the shapes of vessels and I am also presently researching cardial ware pottery.  The next two images are of prints I made using a piece of flat, smooth polystyrene packaging that came with food from the supermarket (nice to recycle!).  I traced the outline, cut the shape out and used a pointed etching tool to impress the marks.  I am still learning, so it is helpful to have an image I can work up on a block quickly, then be able to concentrate on the printing process itself.  I used two small pieces of polystyrene joined with masking tape at the back, and the marks and pits on the surface of the polystyrene helped to suggest the surface of clay pottery ware – as you can see below.  I really think these printing block are artworks in their own right.

Cardial-ware-block

I found the cardial ware pottery image by Joanbanjo on Wikimedia Commons.  The neolithic pot is described as decorated impressed ware, from the Cova de l’Or de Beniarrés, (5000 – 4200 BC) in the Museu de Prehistòria de València.  I used water based printing ink and dry paper for these works.

 

Cardial-ware-Villanova2-print

Cardial-ware-Villanova-print
Credits:   http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AVas_amb_decoraci%C3%B3_impresa_cardial%2C_Cova_de_l’Or_de_Beniarr%C3%A9s%2C_Museu_de_Prehist%C3%B2ria_de_Val%C3%A8ncia.JPG

By Joanbanjo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons

Finally from the garden, a photo of poppies for 2014 – red for love and tinged with white for peace.

I wish everybody a safe and bountiful 2015!

 

Poppies-for-2014