Monday, October 27, 2008

Relay Replay, Sheila's book covers

I've had a hard time getting started printing this project. My mind is already onto my next projects, my two collaborations with various other artists that have either started or will start next year. I've spent a lot of time researching materials, tools, and processes. And Portland Open Studios website updates and other chores have kept me pretty occupied as well.

I did finish trimming and folding all the paper for this book, as well as trimming all of Sheila's prints down to approximately the same size, which mostly involved trimming a smidgen off some of the prints.

But today, I really, really had to get started printing. Sheila made her etchings on zinc plates, and from what I can gather from our printing sessions, she loved the plate tone from the etching process. So for the cover, I'm trying to combine two ideas—the color of the zinc plate (light bluish gray) plus plate tone.

Here I've mixed up a batch of ink using white, light blue, and silver (to give it a bit of a metallic shine), and I'm glopping it on one of my open screens. The tape and foam mark off the edges of my paper. The screen is showing wear & tear, but I've used it a ton:

Here I'm printing the cover in two sections.

The ink mixture is probably a little bluer than I really wanted, but it was hard to tell while it was wet. And also, I'm not seeing much of the metallic at this point. I'll see what it looks like in the morning.

Sheila's book will be a Japanese stab binding, so each of these sheets will be folded in half to form a single page (each page is double thickness).

And yay! I voted!

And about those collaborations

One of which has started, the other one will start sometime next year, but I've been doing some research on how we might be able to work together. She's an oil+acrylic painter, and I work in gouache. The two don't mix. (I almost sound like I'm considering marrying her.)

In addition, I've been looking for ways to present my pieces without having to frame under glass (I'm so sick of framing costs, and also cutting myself). And since I know of others who work in gouache and present their work without glass, it's obviously possible. The only problem has been that, if you read specs from gouache manufacturers, they all say pieces need to be frame under glass, and that colors will change if you put other media on top.

So I've been looking on wetcanvas, looking at potential protective media, and reading their manufacturer's specs. And emailing other watercolorists I know (I don't personally know anyone else using gouache). I'm getting lots of conflicting reports, but I've located a dvd on how to frame watercolors w/o glass!

Did you know that you can rent how-to videos from That'd seem to be a useful site to remember. Anyhow, this dvd is so popular that it will be at least a month or more before I get it.

In the mean time, based on what I've been reading, I'm converging on a potenial solution to try, although it would require a new toy...erh...tool. I think I may be able to airbrush a finished piece with Golden GAC 500 mixed with an airbrush extender, and then finishing that with a UVLV varnish. The hiccup is that a good airbrush is $359, and that's seems to be the very cheapest special price around.

So I'm patiently waiting for the dvd to arrive.


Dr. Russ said...

Look for airbrushes on ebay and craigslist. I bet that you can find some for a lot less. Maybe you can get an older one for a lower cost to see if this is something that you want to invest into in the future. It seems like a lot of money for a single project.

I have learned to "go used" on any project when it is new. I have too many "one use" toys that I have resold because I knew that I was going to dedicate my live to the new tool/technique.

Just my two cents worth. All the best--russ

fingerstothebone said...

I'm big on getting used too, and checked both ebay and craigslist, and even freecycle. Didn't find anything of the brands that I'm looking for. So now I'm really of two minds about this -- if I get a used one or a cheap one, it's possible that the experiment may not work due to the equipment rather than the idea. (For example, potentially uneven spraying?) If I go with the good but expensive one, if it doesn't work, then I know it's the idea, but then what do I do with this expensive piece of equipment?

Hopefully, the dvd will reveal all! I'm not buying anything until after I see the dvd. I do have sometime to figure this out still.

Michael5000 said...

...and let's not forget the Tale of Goku collaboration!

fingerstothebone said...

M5K -- I haven't, and I've been also thinking about that project, although not with as much a sense of urgency. I'm now thinking about it more as a series of paintings rather than prints/artist's book, and also something that might take a couple of years (or more). You interested in talking about it in person sometime? After Nov 15?

Michael5000 said...

I'd be happy to talk about it any time!