Saturday, July 21, 2012

Printing texture

Pinot Noir

A friend, Brenda Rowe, suggested some printing practice at her studio this morning, so I packed up some supplies and headed over.   I used a gel plate and brought water based and oil based inks with me, as well as some pieces of plant and feathers to add texture to the prints.  This first print is of a grapevine leaf, the variety is Pinot Noir, which I have growing in the greenhouse.  This was printed using Caligo Safe Wash etching ink, carbon black.

It was really odd as the weather was warm today with a breeze which was making the inks dry almost faster than I could print.  The paint was being picked up from the plate onto the roller and it became quite frustrating for awhile.   I switched to the oil based inks and had a few issues but they resolved themselves.   I'll be working on some monotypes for the future when I have time to manipulate the inks on the plate.  This time I worked on textures and printed on subi and rice papers - mostly because I forgot to bring my other papers with me!


I used a combination of cheesecloth and thread for this second print.  This is the ghost print which I prefer to the original, shown here.

 Neutral colours in these prints remind me of etchings, especially when the detail is finer.

 Hanging on by a Thread

I also used colour in some prints and this second 'thread' piece I like as well. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pouch Cove Highway

I keep meaning to do some night time paintings but never seem to get around to it.  Living in the country means that the dark is reallllllllly dark with very little lighting besides the odd streetlight and the adjustment of your eyes to the light levels.   Of course on the road, there are passing cars which are a blessing and curse as they go by in terms of lighting.

This painting was done as the sun was going down.  Its amazing just how quickly it does go down and how little time there is to capture that exact moment in light. Its part factual, part memory and part a wish and a prayer.

The sky was dramatic over the sun drenched clouds at the horizon and the lights of the passing car added interest and life to the scene.  

This view of the Pouch Cove Highway is the one I travel daily and the main route off the road I live on.  No sidewalks, lots of trees and the road stretching on to the sea in several directions. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Under the influence

 Under the Influence  SOLD

I am physically close to the ocean, likely emotionally too.  Its ceaseless motion is a constant factor and is influenced by wind and weather.  Its colour by light or lack of light.  Its sound influenced by the surface of the earth that it rolls its waves over.  Sand has a soft sound as the water retreats; pebbles clatter as they tumble with the movement of the wave backwards to its source.

This painting has all those influences in it.  An average sized wave making contact with the shoreline, a mix of gravel and sand.  Light giving shape and colour and the movement of wind and tides showing the water where to go.

It is 5" x 7" in oil on a canvas panel.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

All that glitters...

I've wanted to try a combination of oils and metal leaf in a painting for awhile and thought I'd attempt it with a little capelin.  Fish always have a sheen to them so were the obvious choice, at least for me.

Metal leaf is a fine layer of silver, copper or gold, either a pure form or composite material that is laid on a prepared surface.  The result is quite dramatic and near impossible to photograph well due to reflected light.

For this piece I'm using composite silver so I can work out the kinks without investing a lot of money in purchasing sterling silver or 24 karat gold leaf.   An adhesive is applied to the surface and let to sit to achieve a degree of tackiness.  The leaf is like fairy dust its so fine.  It comes on sheets of tissue backing ranging from 1.5 inches up to 5 or 6 inches square.  The metal is laid on the surface and gently brushed on, a similar technique to printmaking in some ways and you hope the leaf has adhered as you pull up the tissue.   Patching is always a given and is fairly seamless.  I use a template to mask the shapes I don't want covered in silver leaf, using tracing paper or similar to act as the shield.

In this piece I have some lumps and bumps where I was impatient in putting down the leaf when the adhesive was too wet.  The adhesive remains tacky up to 36 hours so there's lots of time to apply but only one chance to apply a sheet.   Over some areas that didn't adhere well, I added some gold leaf for interest in random, organic shapes.

The fish is a capelin and painted in oil.  The piece is still in progress so looks rough at the point, as expected.  It will be refined as I continue.   I'm not sure if I will leave the silver/gold leaf as it is and seal it or apply glazes in oil paint.  A glaze could be interesting as the silver would add another dimension in light reflection, not usually seen in transparent oils.  As its an experiment, perhaps I will try it to see what the effect is like.  I will wait until the oil paint on the bottom half of the image is dry as I want a cohesive glaze of colour over the whole piece.

Usually if left on its own, a sealer is used to prevent the metal leaf from tarnishing.  Again, another experiment of some with sealer before oil and without to see what the results are.

If it works well, I'll invest in some sterling silver and 24k gold leaf and work up some ideas for other pieces.