Friday, August 21, 2009

The Summer Of Screenprinting V

Here are the final prints I made as part of my summer silkscreen class. The last day of the class was used to demonstrate monoprinting and finish up prints in progress. I wasn’t really working on anything, so I printed a transparency of this image to expose onto a screen.

This is an old photograph placed on a scanner and moved while the scan was in process. I decided to print with a blend of two colors of inks, mainly to use up some custom mixed colors. I settled on brown and light blue.
Here’s a print made once the colors had started to blend together.

There was also some red ink, mixed with just a touch of metallic silver, that needed to be used up. I threw some on the screen and ran another print.

Some more red ink added, and a couple of prints pulled to bleed the colors, and this was the result:

This one I like. It’s kind of creepy, the red has a splattered blood look that makes the portraits look ominous.

While making these prints, I had first printed onto a piece of mylar to help with registering the paper under the screen. I forgot to move the mylar with the wet ink while pulling a print onto a piece of scrap newsprint, and found afterwards that the ink from the mylar had transferred to the paper. Here’s the result:

I really like this. I find the wrinkles and visual noise appealing, and I can see myself exploring this idea further in the future. I love happy accidents!

So, that’s it for screenprinting, at least for now. I’ve just set up a screenprinting lab in my basement, and am currently running exposure tests and troubleshooting. Getting exposure times right is kicking my butt a little, but I hope get it worked out and start making more prints soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Summer Of Screenprints IV

Here are a couple more prints from my recent foray into silkscreening.Both of these prints are remakes of pieces from my Postcard project from last summer. You can click the link for more details, but in a nutshell, these are reworked postcard sized collages from twenty years ago. I'll start with the original, a simple black and white photocopy of the collage made in 1988.

From Lightbender

Here's the digital reworking of the collage I did last summer:

From Lightbender

And finally, here's that reworked collage translated into a two-color screenprint:

While there may not seem to be much difference between this and the digital version, when viewing these in person the difference is immediately noticeable. The screenprint has a tactile quality that isn't present in the digital print, and the pink background is much brighter (I mixed white with a florescent pink ink to get that color).

Here's another of the old postcard collages remade. First, the photocopy of the original collage.

Next, my rework of the original from last summer.

From Lightbender

Finally, here is my revised collage done as a screenprint:

I like this quite a bit. I used two inks, pink and purple, and screened them together. It looks great, I like the colors, and the halftone pattern works really well with this image. I plan on experimenting with putting a gloss coat of a 50's inspired pattern over this, but haven't come up with anything I like yet.

Making these screenprints has rekindled my interest in these old collages once again. They seem to somehow make sense as screenprints. I'm in the process of setting up a silkscreening lab in my basement, I wouldn't be surprised if more of these postcards end up as my first prints once the lab is ready to go.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Summer Of Screenprints III

This is the third post in a series looking at my recent attempts at screenprinting. By now, I’m getting used to the process of silkscreening, and starting to think more about what can be done with it. These prints are some of the favorite ones I’ve made as part of my lessons.

The first two are admittedly kind of puerile, but I can’t help but like them. They make me laugh. They started as photos I took when playing around in my studio, which I often do when I’m between projects and looking for inspiration. I had been shooting photos of small toys placed on magazine pages, then switched to office supplies.

It doesn’t show up much in these photos, but the silkscreen prints are done on black ink against a background of metallic silver ink. The black on silver looks really great, and really makes the images pop.

This next bunch of prints were made from a photograph of a huge statue of a Mesopotamian human-headed winged bull in the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
The first one is printed with green ink on a piece of newsprint.

The next one is also green ink, but with a mauve background. I did this for fun, and ended up liking the psychedelic feel of the print. The figure isn’t particularly easy to see, but it’s a fun print.

Here’s a third version of the same image. This one is a color blend done by placing blue and yellow ink together on the screen. Several prints are run, the ink becoming more blended with each consecutive print until a gradient results. This is one of the earlier prints in the run, and the colors are sill pretty separated. The newsprint this is printed on had a rectangle of metallic silver ink on it (left over from printing the images at the top of the post) which I thought looked pretty good with this photo screened onto it.

I still have several prints to post, look for more over the next couple of days.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Summer Of Screenprints II

Here’s a few more screenprints made as part of my silkscreening lessons. I made a collage of text from 1950’s homemaker’s magazines, and silkscreened it onto wallpaper. These were done using the photo emulsion silkscreening method, which basically involves coating the screen with a light sensitive emulsion, and exposing an image onto it. The printable areas are washed out, leaving a sort of stencil on the screen for making prints.
Here’s the original collage:

and here are several versions of it silkscreened on to various pieces of wallpaper.

I went through some old wallpaper sample books in my studio and chose pieces that I thought would work well with the text. I decided to print with just black ink, because as a beginner, I wanted to keep it easy. I may go back and reprint this while making some of the text red.

The last one is my favorite. It looks much better in person, the photo I took of it looks pretty crappy by comparison.
I'll post more screenprints soon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Summer Of Screenprints

As I mentioned here a couple of posts ago, I’ve been taking lessons in screenprinting. The printmaking instructor at the school where I teach has been giving me lessons in her basement studio. I’ve learned quite a bit in a short period of time, and while I still have more to learn, I’ve been happy with what I’ve been doing so far.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about the silkscreening process, but I’ll share images and discuss them a little.

This is the first real print I made. It uses the drawing-fluid method of screenprinting. I was interested in printing over a background image, so I made a 50’s inspired design that had a lot of space. Not the best piece I’ve ever made, but it served it’s purpose. Here’s a test print on newsprint, without an image behind it:

You’ll notice it didn’t print real well-it’s uneven on the left side and along the top. This was a 13 X 18 inch print, and the screen I was using was 16 X 20. What I didn’t know at the time is that you should leave a larger border on the screen around the image you are trying to print. I kind of like the way this looks, however. The flaws in printing add visual interest.

Here’s a few more versions of this print. I printed 13 X 18 inch photos on my inkjet printer, and silkscreened the image on top of them.

This was printed on top of a photo of moss I took while on vacation last month. I like this one quite a bit.

This is printed onto a black and white photo of grass. It’s ok, but I like the other ones better.

This one is printed onto a photo of ferns I took when in Hawaii a couple of years ago.

I added a clear gloss coat over the black, which as you can see in the close up, was out of registration.

I made a second version on the same photo, and on this one, the gloss coat is better registered. It’s my favorite of these prints.

I’ve got several more prints to share, I’ll post more over the next few days.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

F-Stop Magazine

The new issue of F-Stop Magazine is now online. They published two of my photos. To see them, click on the link, then on the group exhibit (titled 'Amusements'). My photos are in the bottom row, on the right hand side.
While you're there, take a look at the work by other photographers. There's some good work there.