Monday, July 19, 2010

Edgar Degas' Birthday

Today in 1834, French Post-Impressionist Edgar Degas was born. The etching I include here is only the second soft-ground print he created, & is a portrait of his brother, Réné
De Gas (this being the original spelling of his family name, it's no wonder he altered it).
There is a connection to the sitter & freshness to the sensitivity of line that leads me to suspect that he drew directly (probably through washi) from life onto the grounded plate.
Made between the years of 1861-63, & is roughly 33 x 28" in size, large for an etching at that time. As there are only about 8 extant copies left today, this print, as one can imagine, is extremely valuable.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Roxanne's New Block

So, this is the block I'm whittling away at this summer...tedious, excessive & obsessive as all get out - just the way that suits me. The color that you can currently see is merely Sharpie highlighter, applied in order to better see the areas I've excised away. The hot pink color works the best, as the yellow & green is too close to the actual wood tone. The blue highlighter tends to be a tad too understated. The wood is a 24 x 36" sheet of Shina from McClains & the tools I'm using to carve are various veiners (also called V-gouges &/or parting tools) and U-gouges from Flexcut, along with my every trusty #11 X-Acto blade. The drawing (for the most part) was done with 9B woodless pencils, followed by a coating of fixitive & finally, Bullseye Shellac (spray can).

Initially, I thought of printing it as a reductive woodcut with lithographic "Sharpography" underneath it, but have since reconsidered that option. Now I'm leaning towards printing it 2x, so that the entire image (bleed edge) is 48 x 72" with an almost totally washed-out umber color underneath certain sections of it.

In my own head, the working title has been "Vertigo," but of course that overwhelmingly conjures up visions of Hitchcock (Alfred, not John). I didn't start out to make a work that in anyway related to my visual escapades, but the doubling, circularity & visual dizziness that vertigo induces are all encapsulated within the work. I think that it also shows the influence of Lee Bontecou's work from the 60's - those wonderful canvas & metal wall constructions that always seemed to me like the Delphic Oracle's prophetic maw.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Printmaking Studio @ Angel's Gate

This fabulous printmaking studio at Angel's Gate in San Pedro is available for rentals, on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. One needs to complete a one-time only training workshop with their Master printer before being allowed to use the shop, a reasonable request. The workshop training fee is $60.00 & the monthly rental fee is $100.00. Looks like they're set up for copper etching, & screen-printing, & I'd imagine one could print woodblocks. They do make mention of a litho press, but don't detail anything about stones, so I'm guessing one might have to use aluminum plates.
For more info, contact Dana Helwick, 310/519-0936 or