Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Printmaking Studio

I recently joined a printmaking group, and the studio is open until 9pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. As a night person, that's the best time for me. I went last week and this week, and besides getting a lot of printing done, I met a bunch of nice people. The group is having a sale at the end of the month, so everyone's getting ready. Some are working on a special project; images of I'olani Palace, the only royal palace in the U.S.
I joined a little too late for this project, but I'm printing some of my old plates, especially the miniatures. I used to market them in little magnet frames as "Fine Art for the Fridge" but this was pre-internet, and I couldn't find any premade frames I liked. I had to make the frames myself, and that took forever, so it wasn't as profitable as it could have been. Now with the help of the web, I found the perfect lightweight magnet frames, so I'm going to start selling them again. Everyone oohed and aahed over my little prints, which made me feel great - they especially liked the nudes - and said I would do well at the sale.
I printed some slightly larger prints, partly to test them out. Riverbend is one of my all-time favorites, partly because of the beautiful black areas. This was when I was new to printmaking, and testing out my aquatint skills (aquatint is an etching method to produce tonal results; has nothing to do with water color as some people assume). I was very pleased with the result.The Geckos also feature aquatint, but this time I was going for a speckled effect. I love geckos, and they are considered a symbol of good luck in Hawai'i, partly because they eat bugs, so you want one or two living in your house. They are usually shades of beige and tan, about 2 inches long, and they have gold eyes, so I usually gold-leaf the eyes in this etching.
I love printmaking, and watching the others at the studio working on other methods makes me want to do some monoprints and even delve into methods I haven't done before, like woodcut. One of the women in the studio was doing these large (24" x 30") woodcuts of beautiful Polynesian women...I don't think I would work that large, but I liked her method for printing multiple colors.
It's very tiring working at the studio, my back and feet always hurt when I come home. I'm hoping that doing it on a regular basis, I will get used to it. If I can make some money selling my miniatures (watch for an announcement when I put them up on my etsy site), I'll be at the studio every week.

1 comment:

  1. I am jealous! Hearing about this printmaking group makes me want to be there! I like the nudes too. I don't remember seeing them. I still have my Tara Wilde magnets on my fridge!