Friday, March 26, 2010

Third Intaglio Plate

Above is my 3rd Intaglio print. This is the final, well so far it is the final version. The image is after a painting by Gustave Caillebotte, a French impressionist 1848-1894. His painting showed a gentleman walking his dog (a poodle). Our assignment was to take an "Old Master" and modify it in some way to make it humorous. While I know the French use pigs to hunt truffles I doubt they dress up for the occasion. The plate was etched twice. After the first etching I did a proof which I felt didn't have enough dark areas, so I reapplied a ground (a clear hard ground) and added more lines. The Instructor had boosted the etching solution by adding some citric acid to it and I was afraid that the plate was a bit over etched, it seems to be ok. I did add some dry point lines to the rear pant leg to make it as dark as the forward leg. It was the forward leg I was darkening in the 2nd effort and it came out a bit too dark in comparison. If I weren't so rushed (limited number of classes to get 6 plates finished) I probably would have reapplied ground and re-etched that leg. The dry point won't last through a lot of pressings, but I only need 4 good ones so I felt that was the fastest and easiest way to darken that area.

The ink color is Phthalo Viridian, I think it is a pretty blue/green which complements the composition of the plate. I have to say I am the adventurous one with color in the class, I am the one who drags out the different colored inks and tries them. After I have a go some to the other students will use something other then the dark grey or black inks that are standard. We can use any color we want, we just  have to use it for all 4 of our pressings. Since we have run out of black ink (unless a student purchases their own) more folks are going to have to start using different colors.

I am working on a new mandala with Egyptian motifs, not getting very far very quickly on this one, but the research has been fun. Also working on my Narrative Story poster for Graphic Design, and for Photography we have to take an ad and modify it in various ways. I am using a sewing machine ad from a couple of years ago. Not sure how that is going to turn out but, well we will see.

Last Saturday I went on the school sponsored bus trip to NY city, we visited the galleries down the in the Chelsea area first for about 2 hours and then went back uptown to the MET. The galleries were kind of fun, though I only saw a couple of artists that I really liked. One was an artist who uses large sheets of rice paper, and burns holes in it using a burning incense stick. The holes make pasterns, usually trees, or clouds or stars. In the right setting they would very impressive. Are they great art? Probably not, but they could really decorate a space. The other who I am kicking myself for not writing down his name, did lovely portraits, and cityscapes. He mainly used a warm though restricted color palate, but had great tonal variations, I loved his work. The portraits were very expressive but also enjoyed his cityscapes, usually either Paris or NYC. At the Met we viewed the Art of Illumination Exhibit, the pages of the Belles Heures of Jean De France, Duc De Berry done by the Limbourg Brothers in the 1400's. All I can say is that they are beautiful, even after 600 years the colors they used still glow, and I have no clue how they could work so small and in such detail without modern lighting. I have loved Illumination since I was in High School and it was a real treat to see this book. We also visited the room that is storing a lot of the American art work while they make changes to the American Exhibits. It was like wandering through an attic. I do wish they would get the paintings out of there, they are so hard to see through the glass of the cases, but it was sort of fun anyway. The photo above is one I took of the Met on Saturday, did I say it was warm in NYC? It was in the 70's and a perfectly beautiful day. Sorry this got so long, had more to say then I thought I would. Per usual comments are welcome.