So to get my juices flowing once more, I decided to take a two day monoprint workshop with Linda Goodman. It was a great weekend. She spent a good time showing us her prints that she did. I really like it when printmakers take the time to do this. She showed us some black and white demo's and then we broke for lunch. After lunch, we worked on our own prints until 4:00pm. The next day, Linda spent the morning showing us how to do color. We then took a print from the previous day and turned it into color.
This is the first monoprint that I pulled. We applied a layer of Linda's secret recipe black ink all over a zinc plate and then we subtracted an image from it. I had no idea what I wanted to do and stared at my plate for a while seeing if anything would coem out of it. I sometimes feel like Michelangelo when I do this. I love his half carved statues when you can see him just pulling that person from out of the marble. I wasn't sure how the ink would move, and was pleasantly suprised to feel it move away almost like butter. I started with the eyes and soon an owl appeared out from it, but then I didn't want just regular owl, so I gave him some fluffy horns that now remind me of Picasso's montaur now that I look at it. I wasn't sure what to do to the body, and honestly I didn't care at this point.
This is my second pull. I went over my ghost image, so this time I was adding to my image rather than taking away. I spend a good time on this one trying to get the body to work how I wanted it to. I also spent time investigaing textures and different viscosities of ink. I really like how this one turned out.
This was my final black and white. I didn't have time to build this image up to somehting I was happy with, but Linda really liked the delicate quality of this print.
The next day, Linda taught us how to use color. This print had three seperate runs. The first run I did with green washes. The second run was with blue drips, and the third run was a soft burnt sienna glaze and I subtracted highlights from it. As you can see, this print got very murky. One problem was that maybe the print in the first place didn't need color because on the second day when I looked at it, I really liked the delicate tones too. As soon as the green wash went on, I realized that I had lost those tones and it looked bad. The run of blue drips also made it worse. I think I have fulfilled my appetite for drips now, and I probably won't do them again. They are fun to do, but sometimes you have to know when the right time to use them is. The final color really pulled everything together, but it also flattened my image. This print needed one more run of a warm color just isolated in the owl/cat/thing to really pop him up from the background.
Linda isolated this portion of my color print and said how successful it was. I happen to agree with that now that I croped it on the computer.
All in all, I really liked this process. I know my wonderful prof. would knock his eyes to the heavens, but it really made me realize how I should be working in etching. I know now that it helps to work subtractively to get an image, but I also need to add and take away again. The class also helped me figure out how color can be applied successfully. I've always had problems with color on representationl pieces. Usually, when I work in color, it's always on absract images. These problems that I have been having for years have all of a sudden become so clear to me in just a couple of days. ChEERs and Hoarray!!!! Lets skip down a Lane.
A thing great about Linda was her concern for safety. Being young, I really wasn't the safest printmaker, but Linda made me realize that women need to be especially careful because we carry toxins in our body different to how men do. She said that a lot of printmakers have keeled over because of toxins. I'm glad that she brought these issues to life, and I am going to stop being macho and start caring about my health more. I'm thinking about switching over to non-toxic printmaking, but it is like learning all over again. Maybe I will find some workshops that will help me switch to these other techniques. Another good thing about Linda, is that she is not afraid to tell you WAS'UP. I get so tired of ambigious comments and most of the time no comments about my work. As soon as a print came off the press Linda was there to talk with you about the image, and offer good honest feedback. Because, I want to teach printmaking someday, I really like taking these classes to get different ideas on how to teach printmaking. OF course, my founding prof. J has been the best teacher so far, but I'm also finding other skills in people that I like and want to use. I hope someday I can be a grand old teacher.