Thursday, March 24, 2011

Croton reduction linocut 4

Croton reduction lincut, the third colour

This one was disappointing. I lost the first four (out of twelve) because of mis-registration and took ages to figure out what was wrong. My system consists of a sheet of the same paper that I'm using for the print run taped to the work surface, with an outline of the block drawn on it, and with narrow strips of lino acting as guides. The guides stayed in place but the tape holding down the paper became unstuck allowing movement to take place. In a nutshell, the block shifted in relation to the guides when burnishing the back of the paper. I now know that I need to devise a better registration system.

After figuring it out and securing the base sheet, there was considerable improvement but it became evident that slight shifts had taken place in the earlier colours. So none of them will be spot-on perfect.

I'm not too cast down. It reminds me of a time some years ago when I was drawing a friend, a successful businesswoman. It didn't go well and the friend commented that she would never choose to do something with such a high failure rate. It made me stop and think ... I'm still thinking ... it's true, in art the failure rate is high but it's one of those things that one accepts as an artist, it's part of the job. The rate improves over time, with practice and experience, this I know for sure, my rate is far better than it was ten or fifteen years ago. Definitely a long term prospect though, no quick miracles in this field.

Right now I'm relatively new to printmaking and expect glitches to occur and one did and no harm, it's good experience. I will continue with this linocut (two more colours) and will be happy if I end up with three or four passable prints.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it failure so much as intense learning. I'm enjoying being able to see your progress.


Unknown said...

Hi Mary, Remember Andy Warhol when you think of your prints. The best things are often achieved by happy accident. Printmaking is such a long process, don't throw out anything until you have finished and can see all of them side by side, you may be surprised by which you like the best. The best thing is that they will all be unique.
I think it is looking great so far.
As always all the best

Mary Adam said...

Thanks Catherine. I wonder if that's one of the characteristics of artists, that we see it as "learning" rather than "failure"? -- the positive view?

Claudine I agree about Warhol, love his off-register portraits. Thanks for your support.

roberta said...

testing if i can leave a message.

roberta said...

Hi Mary, I've found I can post a message not using the blogger identity which currently doesn't accept it.I was very interested to read your account of the most recent print layer. It sounds familiar to me, I'm used to versions getting picked off along the way by various mishaps. Yesterday I had to tear a print off a block, coated with PVA, which had worked fine for hand-burnishing at home but using thin damp paper and a press the effect was to firmly glue it to the surface. Half of it has survived so i'm keeping it as I maay cut it up and use it to cover or line something or in a collage. I recently started to keep a box of such spares. The sketch book - another place they can be used, to sketch over!
Anyway, I like the example you've posted and it looks as though the surface has printed ok over the previous texture as you were hoping.

The bike shed said...

Failing is part of the process, part of learning - but like in writing it is always possible to go back and find something - a spark to ignite a new fire.

Tricia said...

Hi Mary - remember saying about keeping going and practising in Knowsley more years ago than either of us may care count! Still applies to you I see - as I am trying to learn Bach's preludes and fugues - still applies to me! Tricia Murphy-Black

Mary Adam said...

Hi Tricia -- what a thing! Thanks for visiting and for the comment, I remember Knowsley so well. On our side of the water the saying was "Dogged does it". Funny isn't it, the things that stick. Bach's preludes and fugues must be a challenge, all the best with them. Maybe see you one of these years soon. Best wishes, Mary