Well, it's been a while, but I have still be beavering away doing bits and bobs. The start of March was quiet, a couple of mini-projects were done, but nothing major. Then I started #projectsiskin, which then turned into more of an 'April thing'.
I have treated myself to a new roller :-) and it makes a HUGE difference :-) it is much wider, and applies the ink much better too. You get what you pay for I suppose ;-)
#projectsiskin has been sporadic, as always being fitted around work and holibobs away. There was a bit of time between completing the first cut and making the yellow print, and then a hive of activity over the last week with a couple of late nights to get the print finished for a certain deadline - more details in a bit - which included two long sessions after work on Monday and Tuesday. Luckily Dave was out so he didn't have to put up with me turning the downstairs into my printing zone! The dogs coped quite well too - they got lovely long walkies before I started to make sure they were settled.
I 'pulled' (trying to use technical terms ;-)) twelve yellow prints, getting more successful as I went along as I got used to the tackiness of the ink - I didn't need as much ink as I thought to get the best results, and as I mentioned before, so much easier with a wider roller. I'd set up my register plate too - having to use quite a big sheet of card to do so as I was printing onto A3. I also worked in all different directions around the register (the piece of paper you use to make sure that you get your prints lined up each time) making marks all over the place. Layer two was great too see as it was added on top of the yellow. I kept a couple of grey/yellow prints too, partly because I liked them and partly because the third layer was tricker than I thought!
The third layer was challenging for two reasons: a) getting the register (as in getting it lined up perfectly) right and b) the fluidity of the black ink. I stood with my cutters cutting more away from the print block after each print - I'd been too cautious removing areas to start off with - as the ink was 'bleeding' slightly. I fixed it by cutting away lots of bits where it was 'blobbing' and then also by mixing a really dark grey for the final layer instead. This seemed to work as the white I mixed in was a thicker consistency.
From a yellow/grey run of 11 on my second pull, I finished with two three layer prints in the end! I stopped because I was getting tired and Dave had come home, and I was trying not to get frustrated. So the final 'Siskin' currently is a print run of two!
The prints were all left out for mum and dad to find on Wednesday morning as they were going to help me get it mounted ready for the closing date for submissions for the Coventry Open Exhibition on the Saturday. I still haven't learnt to leave time before a deadline! (At University I ran a much closer gauntlet, often pulling all nighters the day before an essay was due in! Very bad example I know!) Mum and Dad chose two prints and took them to Friswell's in Earlson, sorting out, not only a mount but a frame too. They made a great choice and the frame looks fabulous.
I nervously took my 'Siskin' and 'Bittern' prints in to the Herbert Art Gallery on Saturday with Dad. They reckon they receive around 300-400 entries, and from that choose 60-70 paintings/prints/photographs/sculptures etc to display, so we will see.... but you have to try don't you? We then very much enjoyed visiting the Grayson Perry exhibition 'The Vanity of Small Differences'. It is well worth a visit. Lovely to spend the time chucking with Dad and trying to find Grayson's signature mark in each of the weavings - an alternative version of finding the duck in Richard Scarry books I remarked at the time!
I've also set up a new facebook page for my lino cut, which you should be able to find the link to on the 'contacts' page, if you fancy.
Here we go...
The ramblings of a linocut printmaker.... and other artistic adventures!