Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The joys of learning...

I love printmaking. I love the process. I love the results. I love that moment of the reveal when you lift the paper from the plate and see what has transpired - have you captured the perfect print?

After a funny old day in the studio I can answer that question quite emphatically - no!

I laugh.

It has been a very good learning process for me tho - as I had to look at each and every print and work out just what I had done wrong this time.

I guess that sometimes making art is like this - you do one thing, think you've got it, just need to tweak it and then it all goes horribly wrong and you seem to move further and further away from the happy place you started.

This wee dry-point print was like that. I sketched this willy wagtail (a bird we have here, not sure if they are elsewhere) and then dry pointed it in reverse onto the plate. I thought I had managed to capture the cheekiness of the bird with a few lines, so all was going well.

I inked up the plate, grabbed a scrap of paper, sprayed it with water, dried it off and went to press as the saying goes.


It came out pretty well even tho it had too much pressure - I liked the movement in the darker areas, and wrote a note to self - to keep the breast are white. Too easy I thought...

When I went to ink the plate a second time, I thought maybe I could make those dark areas darker - and I applied a bit more ink in a 'painterly' fashion (I am no painter) and printed. Well. Not what I hoped for!


So then I went back to wiping - but made a right mess of that. Poor old willy wagtail lost its eye in the process and had a very odd wing.


Sometimes the first one you do is the best...


So I kept on trying and made many a mixed mistake. One of these looked alright, but I had the plate upside down so the narrow part of the paper is at the bottom!  Gotta love it.


By the end of the day I had about 10 decent-ish ones, but only after many trials and many errors. Funnily enough I didn't get frustrated - I was more fascinated by the whole process, in an abstracted, objective kind of way which is a good thing I think. I hope I have learnt something!

10 comments:

  1. I HAD TO CHUCKLE ..... in the end though, as you said, enough cuties to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Susan, you would have been looking at me with the most quizzical of looks - how on earth can you keep getting it so wrong??? Still, it was worth persevering, the final little fellow is quite dapper!

      Delete
  2. I find the story of your process very enjoyable, likely even more so because you enjoyed/can appreciate the process. While they may not be each exactly what you were aiming for, as a whole the trials make for a nice collection - and "lesson." Sweet little bird, by the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa - it was honestly just one of those days, where I just kept getting it wrong, despite trying hard to think about it! Still, it was no big drama in the scheme of things and I like how they came out in the end. Go well.

      Delete
  3. That's exactly what I love about printing too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the magic of that moment isn't it Lyndell? So good when you get it right!

      Delete
  4. I love when artists share their working process, even (or maybe even especially) when the road to the finished result was more of an unintended detour. Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were ever so many detours Ellen! Still, the final results are pleasing, and I do think it is kind of nice to know folk don't always just produce the perfect piece every time...go well.

      Delete

I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.