Friday, 30 October 2009

Birds on a Wire Series

Have been busy with the gelatin prints and am starting on a series with birds - tentatively entitled Birds on a Wire.

The studio looks chaotic but hopefully out of the mess some good work will emerge.

The two little birds I began with are morphing into other images, ideas are forming and I am out and about with the camera trying to get the shots that I want to develop into stencils for the work. I am interested in using the four images above for an artist's book - I have about 25 now in this series and they would be a good size to adapt for that.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Gelatin Print VII

Still exploring gelatin printing and today changed the format for the images - due largely to the fact that the gel was starting to break up at the edges, so I masked the worst bit of the plate and carried on until the cracks became too large to work with.

I have reduced the bird stencil down in size for these smaller prints and did try to get some more birdy photos this morning but Maria and Luigi - our resident crows weren't hanging around long enough for a family portrait.

At the end of the session today, I began printing onto newspaper and got some good results with that - the gelatin seems to happy to grip the newspaper, so I will now be searching for some good newspaper articles to print on.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Gelatin Print VI

Really struggled today with printing second colours and ruined some really nice images from yesterday. Salvaged these two circles and manipulated the bottom one digitally to see if I could enhance the birds. The original was quite ghostly but I liked the composition and didn't want to lose it by doing another horrendous overprint! So I'll keep it in the digital library. I am still clueless about file format for the web and the bottom image looks very pixelated when enlarged - sorry!

Once the circle started to crack I cut a square out of it and turned it over to get a bit more use out of the plate and got about 20 small experimental prints out of it. And I have just about run out of paper.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Gelatin Print III

I had intended to spend the day printing but my mistake over day, date and time for the workshop lunch threw that out of the window. Anyway, I enjoyed the get-together and seeing the work and managed to salvage the afternoon to myself and got about 15 prints - some better than others.

The gel is now on day three and holding up quite well - beginning to peel away from the glass plate a bit - but still viable. This is real progress - the plates I made with the previous 'recipe' lasted about 4 hours.

Pathways - Paintings from the Workshop

Workshops I and II

Diptych (Oil pastel and acrylic) - Jacqueline Owen

Got my wires crossed and nearly missed the Pathways workshop lunch at the end of the workshop exhibition. However, made it and it was good to see the work inspired by the Quiet Lane project and also to see the paintings generated by the second group who had approached their subject of a walk in a forest area in a completely different way.

The Pathways exhibition at Qube showing the work of the four lead artists involved has its Private View on Friday and I am looking forward to seeing their own response to the subject.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Gelatin Print II

Turned first print on its side and overprinted with circular gel plate
Second print
Gel plate with impressions left by placed objects

First print taken
Inked up gel plate with assorted items laid on top

Just figured out how to load multiple images! Not too sure why it has loaded in reverse order but here is some of the output from the day - the gel plate (bottom image)was first inked up using water based printing inks and a roller, then I laid a variety of stuff on top of the inked plate - ribbon, leaves, bit of lace, rubber bands. I placed a sheet of cartridge paper over the top and gently hand rubbed the back of the paper to obtain the first print. No need to go mad here just a smoothing over the back of the paper really.

Then I removed the items and placed a second sheet of cartridge paper over and gently rubbed the back of the paper to pick up the imprinted images left on the gel.

The top image is the last one of the day when I have overprinted one of the first prints I took with an image from a circular gel plate.

I have used 130g cartridge paper for this print run.

Gelatin Print - Making a Plate

A week on holiday got me thinking about gelatin prints again. I really got into this last year and posted about it at the time but felt that there was more work to be done here and that I could also use the prints with my stock of digital images. There was very little information online at the time; there is a little bit more now I notice, but it was enough to get me started.

The drawback was the time it took to make the plates and the fact that the gel broke up quite quickly - you would just get to the point where you were making progress and it was getting interesting and the cracks would appear.

So for those interested in this here is the latest recipe for the gel plate shown above.

Makes a plate about 8x10 inches and 1/2 inch deep

1 Pack Dr
Oetker Gelatin (contains 6 sachets)
1 pint water at room temperature

plasticine or clay
Plexi-glass sheet or reinforced glass (not picture frame glass, far too fragile)

Newspaper torn into strips

Put water in pan and slowly add all 6 sachets one by one and stirring slowly with wooden spoon.
I mean slowly! When you have added all the gelatin powder put on medium heat and stir constantly to dissolve the gelatin and then leave to cool down a little.

Whilst that is cooling make a dam with the
plasticine or clay on your plexi-glass. I previously used a tin tray but this is much better and you can make any size and shape you want. Just make sure it is pressed down onto the support and there are no areas that will leak.

Pour the gelatine slowly into the mould you have created and skim the surface with strips of newspaper to get rid of any scum and bubbles on the surface.

Leave for about an hour and a half in a cool place to set. ( I left it in the studio - it really does not need a fridge) Until it feels firm to touch.

Use sharp knife to cut right down onto the plexi-glass or glass and carefully remove the plasticine dam.

(This beats the previous recipe where you had do all kinds of stuff and then leave it in the fridge for 12 hours)

And the plate is ready to use...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Moors 'n Stuff

Back from a week on Dartmoor. The moors remained shrouded in low mists and rain for most of the time but we holed up in a cottage and made the most of the rest and getting away from it all. I was brave and fearless in not taking my mobile phone or laptop and managed to survive without them. I did however, take a load of books and some art supplies (for the one sketch I made the whole time!) I pushed myself into taking 2 photos. Really though, it was very good to do nothing.

I have made resolutions to cut down computer time and ONLY use it for really useful things(blogging????). Do I really need to Tweet? Do I really need to bookmark every site I visit?

Made a couple of random purchases in lovely second hand bookshop on the way back and now off for cuppa tea.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible:)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

September Roundup

Here we are at the end of a lovely September - probably my favourite month of the year for no reason in particular. The temperature has changed - just put the fire on in the studio for the first time today. The leaves are turning and its been a busy month in and out of the studio and a good one too.

I have concentrated on experimenting with paint - oils and acrylics. Decided to leave spray paint and bitumen aside for a while to give my lungs a rest! (I do try and think 'safety' but get carried away
at times and forget to grab the respirator and open doors and windows.) I spent a day this week with a group of people with chronic respiratory problems and it does give you a reality check.

It was great to have been invited to do the Pathways workshop and added to the experimental period that I had wanted to allow myself this year. When I have been away from home I have tried to catch up with learning more about digital art and how I can apply the techniques to my own work.

I also wanted to think about using a sketchbook journal again - probably allied to the fact that I have been playing around with so many different mediums and need to consider how they react together for future reference
(and be able to remember it all!).

So, what will October offer up?