Wednesday, 18 February 2009


Looking at some of the images printed yesterday. This one started as a photograph taken a couple of weeks ago. I like the way the print changes the character of a pretty ordinary photo and gives you so much more. I have faced the fact that the world of photography is safe from me! I had the idea that this single plant looking out over the frozen field is a sentinel waiting for Spring.

From one photocopy, I am getting maybe one decent print and two for the bin. Some of the lighter images may be useful to keep as background for something else.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Coming Up Roses - Part II and Dead Birds

Spent the day experimenting with gum litho lift. The image on the left, that I was going to abandon a week ago; photocopied in black and white and re-printed, has taken on a new life and the separate elements are working far better now.

It was a mixed result today with quite a few surprises. The little pansy image did not work out well at all - I know I promised to post the outcome but it wasn't strong enough to scan, so will do some work there to see if I can improve it.

Some of the best images were from magazines, the dead birds came from a National Geographic magazine - this might be the print quality, sharper images? I quickly ran out of photocopies , each one had a short life of maybe two or three prints before it started to degrade and there was probably one good one.

I am finishing the day looking at other suitable images to take to the photocopy shop tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Photo Lift

A photo-collage showing the end of the working day in the studio ...and its looking a little more normal with bits of paper and images that I am currently working on strewn about.

I have been experimenting with gum litho lift today. That is the coating of a Xeroxed photcopy with gum arabic and using the lithographic theory of oil and water not mixing to produce prints. I think that's it anyway. Oil-based inks rolled onto the coated photocopy attract the ink to the darker photocopy ink and is resisted in the lighter areas.

The results were variable - and are hanging on the line drying. The first few were poor and then I began to see some interesting developments, which I can build on.

I do like printmaking in that it often opens the option to take images that have not worked well in one medium and develop them in an entirely new direction.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Gin & Tonic?

Having spent the last couple of days clearing the studio out; the spider breeding programme was going too well, I thought it would be a good idea to post a couple of photographs whilst the floor, table and sofa were not piled high with paper, journals and sundry other essentials.

It is amazing how much stuff you can hide under a table. It will look this pristine for the next couple of days and then revert to its usual chaos.

I snapped these this evening and when I uploaded the photos, was amused to see that I had left the gin & tonic on the paper cabinet. I am rather fond of the gin & tonic end of the studio and its where I do my thinking - and take the odd siesta.

One of the main reasons for the clear-out is the decision not to paint for a while and concentrate on printmaking - so here goes...

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Gum Arabic Arrived

After a severe bout of internetitis in the last few weeks, I have finally recovered enough to get on with some serious print work.

Yesterday, I moved on with A Sense of Place project, after experimenting endlessly with the bottle in the window idea I found it kept running into a blank wall and came back to this little image of the pansy - I really like its simplicity. The initial scribbled drawing began before Christmas and has been rumbling along in various guises since. The combination with the pansy leaf seems to work well.

I am now working with hue changes in Adobe and have run off a series with subtle changes and on different papers. I will experiment with printing onto canvas this week.

And back to the title of the post. I have been meaning to get around to some gum litho lifts for ages and at long last got around to contacting the suppliers. That is the plan anyway. I think I will see what happens to this little image during gum litho lift and report back with the image - good or bad!