Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Stag plate experiment

A very busy week in Artlandia! 

So...once upon a time, after doing the Green Printmaking Certificate in intaglio at Zea Mays Printmaking in 2015, I started etching aluminum plates with copper sulfate at home.  I was working on a Tarot deck...but about 2/3 of the way through, I got frustrated with some aspects of the medium, and my attention moved to other things.  However, I didn't forget about etching and always meant to get back to it. So! When I read that there was a presentation of new research by Zea Mays interns, Tessa Chambers and Nick Osetek, relating to some of my previous frustrations with the material, I decided to make a field trip to hear the presentation. It was very interesting and the results will soon be available (among other interesting projects), online at: http://www.zeamaysprintmaking.com/research/technical-research/

One of the things I was interested in but had some frustrations with was etching large flat areas. I had a good feel for the line work, but large areas of tone were a problem. The research has some tips for preparing the plate, recommendations for how to brushing the copper off the plate, and a formula for recharging the bath.  I decided to try it right away along with some other other experiments that had been percolating in my mind. 

I thought I "chose" to etch a deer (but in writing the blog and looking back at the last plates I etched 3 years ago, actually one of the only non-tarot plates I ever etched, and the one where I got most frustrated with laying down tones was also - wait for it - a deer. Haha, so maybe it's not as random as I initially thought.

I etched the lines with Copper Sulfate into an Aluminum plate prepared with BIG hardground.  I added lines sequentially in 4 rounds of etching to get variable line widths. So far, this is familiar territory
 Then, I cleaned the plate off and stopped out the deer in order to work on the background. Since I last etched, I learned more about the use of sharpie paint markers as a stop out. 

Then I worked on the background.
 Then I stopped out most of the background and worked on the deer again...
 I think it's ready for a proof - fingers crossed!

That was my main art-activity this week. 

In creature news...
Cuteness overload!

Max's first time venturing into the studio!
I love this photo of the 3 of them - I think it really captures their personalities - Mini is looking on from above as the conscientious big sister, while Max and Mo are playing (with the same toy, of course, despite the presence of multiples, haha.) Mo is blurred in action while Max is a little more tentative, but reaching out.  
The Mo - Honey dynamic remains the same .
Honey is such a sweet dog, and she took her human on nice walks.

We went to her favorite swimming spot, and we had nice dog and human time.
The garden is really starting to bloom and pretty flowers this week, including one of my favorites - the blue delphinium.

Non-color corrected!
Also, Honey and I came across this glowing, non-color manipulated view of a hydrant 
And our landscape shots of the week:

and  bonus! I caught this raptor in flight!