Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Collagraph Printmaking

Susanne Clark - Soaring Into The Blue
©2011 Susanne Clark
Collagraph Print on Paper -  8 x 8 in -  $75.00

Last Friday night I gave a talk to an art society group about my art and printmaking.  In the first half I talked about my painting process and showed some photographs.  I set up the pictures in Power Point and connected to their projector.  The color was a complete disaster which was a pity.  It appears that they find it hard to get the color right when using the projector so in the future if I am asked to do this again for a smallish group, I will take my own monitor and use that, then I know that the colors will show correctly. 

The second part of the presentation was about printmaking.  I mainly make collagraph prints, a form of printmaking, which as the name suggests, comes from collage.  I took a variety of my prints and also some examples of the collagraph plates that I make to print the images from.   As usual everyone fell in love with the actual plates.  I think it is the texture and depth of the plates after they have been printed that is so appealing.  Because printmaking, and especially collagraph, is less familiar to many artists I think it was probably the most interesting part of the talk. 

To brighten up this post I have added a photo of a small collagraph that I experimented with last week.  I wanted to try using printing ink in a very transparent way.  It's part of a larger plate that I wasn't happy with so I cropped the image down.  It ended up being very simple but I think it has a very optimistic feel.  Does it  feel that way to you?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

All That Glitters is Gold? Using Gold Leaf in Paintings.

After spending quite a lot of time looking at art and thinking about what I really like ... which ended up being art with abstracted figures and faces in it ...  I have gone off and started a series of non representational works.  I decided to work in one size, 24 in square, as I already had several in this size and I like the look of a grouping of work all in the same size. The two I am currently working on are in a limited palette of black, white, grey, red and gold the gold being gold leaf.  I love the way gold leaf glitters when the light catches it.  I am not sure if they are quite finished yet but in the meantime this is what they look like.

Gold leaf is a bit tricky to work with.  It has a tendency to fly away from where you are trying to put it if you even breathe on it.  You lay down a glue where you want the gold leaf and then you have to wait until the glue is almost dry before you lay the leaf on and smooth it down with a soft brush.  Finally you have to fluff away the pieces of leaf that are not caught by the glue.  Hopefully then you have leaf where you want it.  I also have a glue pen which enables the creation of quite interesting lines in gold leaf.

Doing the non realistic paintings has made me quite unsettled about what direction I want to go in my art but I guess that's part of the allure of doing art, it's such a voyage of discovery.
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