A block is a piece of wood, linoleum or styrofoam used as a matrix for a print. Ink, a mixture of pigment suspended in a water-soluable base with gum arabic, is used for block and Collagraph printing.
The ink is applied to the block with a brayer, the block is flipped and positioned on the paper and then a baren or spoon or even just your thumb is used to press the paper into the block to transfer the ink.
The number of images printed from the block is called an edition. These identical images are pulled by the artist (in my case) and then numbered in pencil directly on the print (for example, 1/10 through 10/10)
In many of my prints I make a block print (take a look at my duck) and then a monoprint over it. By adding the monoprint over the block print I’ve make each one unique. These are numbered with “V.E.”, meaning various editions.
I learned this technique in a program with Linda Kirstin Blix. You can find her at her website.
Monoprints and Monotype are the most painterly among printmaking techniques. They are essentially printed paintings; one-of-a-kind prints conceived by the artist and printed by the artist. No two prints are alike: although some images can be similar. The appeal of the monoprint/monotype lies in the unique translucency that creates a quality of light very different from a painting on paper or a print. This combination of painting, printmaking and drawing mediums is spontaneous.
Monoprinting is a unique process using a combination of painting and traditional printmaking processes. I used a Silk Screen frame with a stretched mesh fabric (historically silk) and paint with a brush, sprayer or wooden sticks on the screen with Procion “H” fabric dye solutions.
These dyes are responsible for the brilliant colours. Once the dye is dry, I use a traditional print making technique. A single sheet of Acid-free paper is placed under the screen and taped down. The screen is held up, and using a squeegee I flood the screen with wallpaper paste. In a monoprint, it is the flood stroke that allows the dye to soften. The wallpaper paste, Dynamic 212 premixed, is tested for lightfastness. I then lower the screen onto the paper and pull the print, using the squeegee again with firm pressure to push the dye and paste through the screen onto the paper. You now have an original fine art print. It will be numbered 1/1, named and signed in pencil.
I learned these techniques in a program at the Haliburton School of the Arts with the fabulous instructor, Linda Kristin Blix. You can find Linda's work on her website.
I spent a week with Linda Kristin Blix at the Haliburton School of the Arts in the summer of 2015 and joined her course at Arts at the Albion in Gravenhurst that fall. Linda is a fabulous teacher. One of the processes we studied was making a Collagraph. A Collagraph is a print made from a specially constructed plate that has been produced in a collage manner, resulting in high and low surfaces which hold the ink differently during printing. Here are a few photos of this process. You can find Linda, her work and her classes on her website.
I've always loved to paint urban and rural landscapes and in oil painting landscapes are a common subject. However, when I started to paint in encaustic medium I discovered that it's hard to get those clean edges that you need for the lines, perspectives and boundaries between colours when painting buildings. So I had to create a way to do this with the techniques I'd learned.
Take a tour of studios in the Township of Scugog, including my site, at Utica Memory Hall in the wee hamlet of Utica. (Just this year - next year it will be in my new studio!) I'm at site #9 on the tour. www.scugogstudiotour.ca Site #9 has 5 artists and features lot of different media. I've got encaustic paintings and quilts, Pamela Meacher brings her beautiful watercolours, Colin Whitebread will display colourful acrylic and mixed media work, Kelly Fraleigh is selling emotional photographs and finally, Libbie Burns will show a gorgeous selection of fibre pieces. Libbie will be doing demonstrations of how she felts wool to make her wonderful garments and I will demonstrate techniques in encaustic painting.
It's exciting to have both paintings and quilts in two group shows, both at Port Perry galleries. So get out there! The Kent Farndale Gallery is inside the Scugog Public Library and that show is on until Wednesday April 29th. Walk one blocks west and drop into the Scugog Council for the Arts Gallery. This is a group show "pre-tour" of Lake Scugog Studio Tour artists.
I've been busy painting and quilting this winter in preparation for the Lake Scugog Studio Tour. I've done more paintings in my series of urban landscapes of St. John's and have started to work on a series from photos I took in Sweden. I've also done more of the In The Birches series. My quilting is all over the place, from modern to abstract art to traditional. I hope to see you on the tour. You can start at my studio, 34 Woodbridge Circle, Port Perry, Ontario, and I'll give you a map to take you to 12 other studios with a total of 32 artists. When you Google or set your GPS use the town name "Scugog" to find me easily.
There's one really big quilt show in Canada put on by the Canadian Quilt Association and called "Quilt Canada". This is a juried show of about 85 or so quilts. This year the show is in St. Catharines, Ontario in June 2014. I had my quilt Floating in this show 2 years ago. This year I entered two quilts, Friends and Retired Not Retiring. Friends is a large wallhanging designed by Michele Hill of Australia. It is raw-edge machine applique (if anyone knows how to get WordPress to add an accent, please send me directions!) The other quilt, Retired Not Retiring, I designed for my brother and sister-in-law to give as a gift in honour of their retirements and a big move to a custom-designed modern home in Goderich, Ontario. I'm SOOO excited! And to top it all off, they both got into the juried show called "Quilt Week" that takes place in Paducah, Kentucky. Richard and I went to this show last year and they had about 400 quilts in the show. I'll be travelling to both shows this spring - who can resist seeing your quilt hanging at such wonderful shows!