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    Click Here for the New Monthly Issue of ARTtalk Local Beacon, N.Y.

     ARTtalk  Each month you’ll find informative articles that deal with a variety of subjects such as artists and art history, current events and art world news, schools, competitions and workshops, and a Kids?Korner. Subjects vary each month. art supplies, airbrushing, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, matting and framing, arts and crafts, and more. These explain various techniques—how to work and paint with artist's watercolor on paper, oils or acrylics on artist canvas; how to use pastels, pencils or  pen and ink; how to work with different surfaces grounds; how to paint with the airbrush and compatible materials; the use of projectors and light boxes in your work and more. You’ll also find artists information on magazines, art books. (Established 1990)

    ARTtalk Cybercopy - posted JAN. 1, 2015
    (ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is posted on the 1st of every month.)

     

     

     

     
    The Anne Hill Blanchard Uncommon Artists Lecture: 

    Emery Blagdon and His Healing Machine


    January 31, 2015

    10 am-12:30 pm
    Free; click 
    here to register.
     

    Join documentary film director Kelly Rush for a provocative discussion following a screening of her 27-minute documentary on the life and art of Emery Blagdon (1907–1986). Born in Callaway, Nebraska, Blagdon worked on the family farm and on horse ranches as a young man. After the early deaths of his parents and sister from protracted illnesses, he created what he called a “healing machine,” a series of hanging objects and paintings he believed could harness magnetic and electric healing energy. Composed of recycled materials including glass, copper wire, tinfoil, beads, and vials of various elemental substances, Blagdon referred to the ever-growing installation as his “pretties,” adding new parts for more than thirty years.

    Ms. Rush, an artist herself and a longtime producer for NET Television in Lincoln, Nebraska, will also share new discoveries and information not included in the film. Art critic and poet John Yau will provide commentary on Blagdon’s life. A discussion with the audience will follow the presentations.

    IMAGE: Courtesy NET, Nebraska Public Television.

     

     

    TEEN STUDIO (GRADES 10—12)

     
    Writing: American Art
    January 31 and February 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Education Studio
    Online registration for both sessions begins at noon on Wednesday, January 21.
    Spend a Saturday at the Gallery looking at works of art, experimenting with studio materials and techniques, and meeting other teens who are interested in art! Explore different perspectives on American paintings through drama and creative–writing activities led by a playwright.

    Led by artists and museum educators, each five-hour workshop includes an interactive tour in the galleries, group conversation, art instruction, and open studio time to experiment with materials and techniques. Lunch and all materials are provided.

    www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/education/teens/studio.html 
    Image: Childe Hassam, Allies Day, May 1917 (detail), 1917, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Ethelyn McKinney in memory of her brother, Glenn Ford McKinney
    For more information call (202) 842-6252, e-mail teens@nga.gov, or visit www.nga.gov/teens
    National Gallery of Art
    6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20565 | Map
    Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-6pm
    Admission is always free
     
    www.nga.gov
     

     

     

     

    ARTPOURRI—NEWS

     

     

     

    Paintings Preserved — Paintings by Mark Rothko are among those most frequently sought out by visitors at MOCA in Los Angeles and are a cornerstone of the museum’s collection.  Go behind the scenes with conservator Tatyana Thompson as she prepares MOCA’s collection of 13 Rothko paintings for exhibition and preserves their greatness for future generations in Mark Rothko—The Art of Conservation on MOCAtv:  http://bit.ly/MOCAtvRothkoConservation.

    Award Recipients Announced — The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, has purchased two artworks for its permanent collection from the exhibition World of Wonder Hudson Valley Artists 2014.  “Grove Trophy Border Plate” by Holly Hughes and “Strapat” by Stephen Niccolls were included in the group exhibition of 16 artists.

    Cast Your Votes — Visit http://uspsstamps.com/

    to see the U.S. Postal Service’s “The Year in Stamps & Stories.”  Vote for your favorite 2014 stamps and revisit the most popular stories.  As of this printing, the most popular stamp was “Vintage Circus Posters.”

    Agreement Reached/Finalists Unveiled — The Guggenheim Foundation has approved a 20-year extension of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao agreement.  Since opening in 1997, the Museum has welcomed close to 17 million visitors and presented nearly 140 exhibitions.  And the Foundation has also announced that six concept designs have been selected as finalists from the 1,715 submissions to the architectural competition for a proposed museum in Helsinki, Finland.

    Survey Results Announced — Visitors to The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s presentation of four special exhibitions during the spring/summer 2014 season have generated an estimated $753 million in spending in New York.  From May—August, 79% of the visitors traveled from outside the five boroughs of NYC, while 53% of out-of-town visitors cited the Met as a key motivating factor in visiting NYC. 

    Auction Recap — For 2014 Sotheby’s saw a notably intensified focus on the emergence of female power players in the art market with a surge in appreciation for and reappraisal of works by female artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Kay Sage, Vija Celmins and Julia Margaret Cameron, among others.  The Top Ten highest prices at auction in 2014 were for works by Giacometti, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, Bacon, Rothko and O’Keeffe.

    Opening Scheduled — The Whitney Museum of American Art’s new 220,000 sq. ft. building is nearing completion and scheduled to open on May 1 in downtown Manhattan. In a new partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art, they are mounting a succession of works by key American artists on the façade of the TF Cornerstone’s building at 95 Horatio St.  The first installation, Katherine and Elizabeth, 2014, is by artist Alex Katz.

    Grant Winners Announced—In its 2014 cycle, The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program has awarded a total of $600,000 to 20 writers.  Ranging from $6,000 to $50,000 in four categories, these grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences.  artswriters.org.

    2015 Color of the Year Designated—Pantone has named Marsala, #18-1438, the Color of the Year.  Think marsala wine, with its red/brown roots.           

     

    ART EXHIBITIONS

     

    Masters of Disguise:  The World of Camouflage, Intrepid Museum, Pier 86, NYC, thru Feb. 24.  This exhibit explores the art and science of camouflage in the natural world as well as its cultural adaptations.  Using digital imagery, artifacts and interactive elements, visitors will explore color, shade and shapes and learn how they can fool the eye.  Free with Museum admission. intrepidmuseum.org.

    An Aberrant View, The Safe Harbors of the Hudson Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY, thru Feb. 14.  This exhibit explores how a group of 20 contemporary artists reframe the dominant discourses in contemporary art and is comprised of iconoclastic multimedia works that convey an aesthetic of the unusual or aberrant, while defying traditional and conventional expectations. 

    annstreetgallery.org.

    Illustrators 57, Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, NYC, Jan. 7—31.  The exhibit features works by leading contemporary illustrators worldwide, selected by a prestigious jury of professionals.  This first exhibit includes works in the categories of Institutional, Advertising and Uncommissioned. 

    societyillustrators.org.

     

    ART OPPORTUNITIES

     

    2015 Cole Fellowship—Each year The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, NY, selects three candidates to join the staff and participate in the research and interpretation of the work, home and studio of Thomas Cole.  The Fellowship runs from June 3—Nov. 12 and includes housing and a monthly stipend.  Deadline:  Feb. 18, but priority will be given to applications received before Jan. 30 thomascole.org/internships/.

    Peace & Justice Regional Juried Exhibition, SUNY Ulster, Muroff Kotler-Visual Arts Gallery, Stone Ridge, NY, Mar. 13-Apr. 17.  -  Artists/designers are invited to consider the different aspects of peace/justice and submit visual interpretations.  Open to artists 18 and older working within the Mid-Hudson Valley region.  Deadline:  Feb. 1 http://apps.sunyulster.edu/events/2464.

    Basic Airbrush Workshop—Beacon, NY, choose Jan. 20 or Feb. 10, 6-9 p.m.  Learn the fundamentals of airbrush technique in a concise 3-hour hands-on class, designed for the novice who wishes to paint fine art, crafts, signs and myriad other objects.  Limited seating; equipment/materials are provided. 845.831.1043; arttalk.com/workshop/workshop.htm.  

    32nd Annual Sculpture in the Park, sponsored by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, Benson Sculpture Garden, Loveland, CO, Aug. 8-9—America’s largest outdoor sculpture show and sale.  Deadline: Jan. 31

    sculptureinthepark.org.

    Exposure, High School Photography Competition, The Art Institute of Mill Street Loft, Poughkeepsie, NY, Mar. 16-Apr. 13 -  Open to all high school students grades 9-12.  Awards.  Deadline:  Feb. 22.  http://millstreetloft.org/exposure-competition-call-for-entries/.

    National Endowment for the Arts 2015 Funding Guidelines have been posted online for Art Works and Challenge America programs.  http://arts.gov/grants/apply-grant/grants-organizations.

     

         EVENTS

     

    Interaction of Color, Arts Society of Kingston (NY) will have an opening reception on First Saturday, Jan 3, 5-8 p.m.  Members present works that explore color as symbol, emotion, object or idea (thru Jan. 31).  At this time they will also celebrate the release of the 2015 Kingston Community Calendar, with images by seven local photographers.  ask.org.

    Works & Process, Guggenheim Museum, NYC—The Spring 2015 season has been announced for this performing-arts series that has championed new works and offered audiences unprecedented access to leading creators and performers.  Visit

    worksandprocess.org.

    Community Free Day, Dia:Beacon, Jan. 10—Admission is free for residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties—with government-issued ID.  See schedule at http://www.diaart.org/sites/main/beacon.  Jan.-March Schedule:  Fri.-Mon., 11am-4pm.

    2015 Ice Skating Season, NGA Sculpture Garden, on the National Mall, D.C., continues through March 16, weather permitting.  Surround yourself with the grand architecture of national museums and monuments enhanced by views of post-World War II sculptures by internationally famous artists.  For hours, fees class info and more visit www.nga.gov/skating.

     

      

     

     

     

    Wet-in-Wet and Drybrush Watercolor Techniques

    Wet, wonderful watercolor! The colors are dramatic; the methods of creating a watercolor are many.  All types of paint applications can be used, but there are two that seem to be associated with watercolor more than others.  Wet-in-wet and drybrush applications are very important as well as fundamental to many watercolorists’ repertories of techniques.

    Wet-in-wet is a true description of the method and the technique of application.  Wet paper is flooded with rich, fluid color that can be either thick and creamy or very light and barely tinted. The resulting tones, once dry, vary greatly; and because of the lack of control or predictability and the diversity, wet-in-wet is considered one of the most important watercolor techniques.

    The amount of water that is soaked into or floating on the surface of the watercolor paper greatly affects the results.  Well soaked paper that has been allowed to set for a while is less watery and will result in a more defined, yet slightly softened image.  Very wet paper, flooded and soaked with water, will allow the pigments to stream and flow.

    Soaking a large sheet of watercolor paper can present a challenge.  One method is to soak the paper in a bathtub.  The depth, temperature and length of soak are easy to control as is the quality of water.  It should be stated that minerals in some water might have long-term effects on the paper and paints used in watercolor.   Where minerals and cleanliness really come into play is when an artist is in the field or painting in a new area where the quality of water is unknown.  If you plan to do plein air work in watercolor, presoak in the water at your home.  It is much cleaner than any you might have access to out in a remote area.  And your technique will be challenged if things are greatly different from that to which you are accustomed.  So play it safe and soak ahead of time. Also carry ample working water so you control that quality, too.

    Transport your dampened paper by slightly rolling it, wrapping it in a clean plastic trash bag and slipping it into an oversized mailing tube.  As soon as you reach your destination, remove the paper so that it will relax prior to tacking or taping onto your work board.

    Another element in the mix is the texture and thickness of the paper used.  If very heavy, pre-soaked but somewhat drier paper is used, the results will have more edge and less fluidity.  Overly damp papers, both thick and thin, will not retain detail.  Thin paper tends to buckle and allow the pigments to pool.  Finding the right paper for your style is part of the fun and experimentation of watercolor.  Changing paper weight will often alter your plan of application, too.

    Brushes used can be almost any, but artists seem to have special wash brushes that they prefer.  This brush might contain a thick tuft of hair, might hold lots of diluted pigment and be able to cover lots of paper is just a few strokes.  Marine boar bristle brushes offer a good value and can hold lots of fluid.  Hake brushes do the same and can be used for other application methods as well. 

    Wet-in-wet methods lend themselves to topical textural additions as they set up and begin to dry.  For instance, when dropped into fluid areas, rock salt will pull the pigment into star or crystal figurations.  Resists such as oil and sometimes common rubbing alcohol can be dropped into pools of color to create unique patterns and tones.  None of these are possible with other methods of paint application.

    If you like to add linear details to your work, working wet-in-wet will give you an opportunity to do so.  When the wet areas have begun to dry but still have moisture, you can use a blunt instrument (pointed paint brush handle is ideal) to scribe lines through the damp areas.  These lines will take on a much darker tone than the painted areas they lie in and will give you a chance to add an infinite sketchy style to your works.

    Drybrush is the closest thing to a wet-in-wet opposite that is possible.  Dry paper is contacted with non-watery brushes full of rich pigment.  The resulting painted lines and shapes are rigid and well defined.  There is no fluidity to the images created with drybrush.  It is a method of application that is added over other methods for sharp detail and definition.  Textures, roughness and highlights are some of the ways drybrush is used to accent a nearly finished work.

    Drybrush is a great additive technique.  Whether you want to increase the depth of a shadow or use an opaque white tone to add sharp highlight, drybrush is a good way to do it.  Remember, your brush will be charged with a paint that is far less fluid than ordinary watercolor application, so the paint will sit upon the surface rather than react as a wash.  The amount of paint and the degree of dryness will determine the crispness of the look you achieve.

    By combining drybrush over completed wet-in-wet areas you will see other ways in which they can help you achieve dramatic results.  Slightly damp areas respond differently than those that are totally dry.  Salted areas respond differently when scribed than unsalted, smooth, wet areas.  Dragging drybrush over scribed areas is different from dragging it over dry smooth areas.  New discoveries are limited only by your time and energy.

    With experimentation in wet-in-wet and drybrush work, many new and exciting opportunities will arise.  Both methods have huge potential in watercolor work and will give you many challenges.

     
           

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    Basic Airbrush Techniques

     

    Workshop

    with

    Robert Paschal, MFA

    Basic Airbrush Workshop—Beacon, NY  FEB. 10 2015 6-9 p.m.  Learn the fundamentals of airbrush technique in a concise 3-hour hands-on class, designed for the novice who wishes to paint fine art, crafts, signs, customized autos/bikes/snowboards and myriad other objects.  Seating is limited.  All equipment/materials are provided. 845.831.1043; arttalk.com/workshop/workshop.htm 

     

     

             

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    Camp Cōkaboodie in the Adirondacks Mts. Jerry Savarie Road (off Big Brook Road) Indian Lake, NY       We are located on Lake Abanakee with beautiful views and sunsets!

     

     

     

     

    Airbrush

    Airbrush History Trivia

    —Abner Peeler, of Webster City, IA, invented the airbrush in 1878.  Imagine, over 130 years ago!  Abner, a professional inventor who tinkered with things such as screw machines, bicycles and typewriters, developed this painting tool—originally called a “paint distributor”—specifically for photographic retouching.  The paint distributor, which was similar to today’s oscillating internal-mix airbrush, had a wooden handle with metal parts and sold for the incredible price of $10.  The first such airbrush was sold to S. M. Thomas, and we know that the first painting completed with this paint distributor was a self-portrait of Peeler himself done by his wife on an enlarged photograph.

    The painter Man Ray (1890-1977) is probably the first fine artist to exhibit paintings done exclusively with the airbrush.  Ray, considered the only American Dadaist, learned to use the airbrush while working in an ad agency in New York City between 1917 and 1919.  His fine art airbrush renderings were shown in NYC galleries and called “aerographs.?nbsp; Looking at them with today’s standards of what we consider airbrush painting, these works of art would be considered simplistic—but at that time, totally new.  They consisted of images developed by airbrushing around found objects, such as paper cutouts, tools and paper clips that were used simply as stencils.  Man Ray worked flat on a table, allowing gravity to hold the stencils in place, and sprayed around them with black ink.  He repeated these images in both opaque and transparent ink and the end products lent themselves to the look of cubism

    .It is said that Man Ray was primarily interested in producing paintings with a smooth machine-like finish.  And because the ink was airbrushed onto the surface, there were no brush strokes in the artwork, which imparted an industrial appearance.  An excellent collection of his works is held by and exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago; and even viewed today, their simplicity is astoundingly modern.

     

    Artist Profile

    Pablo Ruiz Picasso 1881 - 1972

    There is much that could be written about Pablo Picasso, arguably the greatest artist of the 20th century. The enormous volume of work he completed stands without question as legend. His influence on several generations of artists and his recognition as the founder of many art periods, most famously that of cubism, attests to his immersion in creativity. For 80 years of the 91 he lived, he devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed to development of modern art of the 20th century. And, all the while, Picasso was a man who loved women. During his life he had affairs, lived with or married over six women and fathered four children. He abhorred being alone when he was not working.

    Aside from the tumultuous personal life, Picasso was devoted to his art. During his early years he abandoned most of the classical training given him by his father and first instructor for his own interpretation of the world around him. Five “periods?are recognized as brought to life by Picasso.

    Most have heard of his Blue Period that lasted from 1901 to 1904 in which somber, blue tinted paintings prevailed. These were influenced by the loss of a friend. Images of this period include depictions of acrobats, prostitutes, beggars and artists.

    His Rose Period (1905 to 1907) brought out paintings with overall tones of orange and pink, many involving images of harlequins. During this period he was seriously romantically involved and the warmth of the relationship is seen in his palette of colors.

    Soon after the Rose Period came an African Period (1907 to 1909) that was influenced by artifacts from his personal collection. Many paintings of this period repeat the use of two figures.

    Cubism, the style for which Picasso is most famous, came into being when he and his friend and painter Braque challenged each other to dissect and “analyze?objects, then paint them in terms of their shapes. Color played a large part in this period of work ?monochromatic browns and shadow tones prevailed as a common thread. Each artist developed the style in his own way and each had strong similarities.

    His Cubist Period ran from 1909 to 1919, and included the use of collage as a fine art form. Heretofore, no artist had used collage and cut paper to convey images. Imagine art without collage?

    Picasso had many artist friends and some rivals. Matisse was one of the “gentle?rivalries experienced in Picasso’s lifetime. Both were strong, talented and seemed to challenge one another. A recent collection of works by both artists reveals they had a lot in common, although their styles were personal and not derivative. The bold, outlined and highly decorative nature of both artists' works is without question.

    Historically, a lot happened during the 90+ years Picasso lived, but he remained detached from any personal commitment. He was a proclaimed pacifist, refusing to fight for any side in the Spanish American War, World War I or World War II. If was thought by many of his contemporaries that his dislike of war and his unwillingness to fight was less political and more cowardice. Being Spanish but living in France during these conflicts, he escaped involvement and thus proclaimed and solidified his pacifistic standing. He did, however, remain a member of the Communist Party until his death.

    At the time of his death, Picasso had enjoyed wide acceptance as the greatest artist of his time. Many of his works were recognized within his lifetime. Some include The Old Guitarist from Picasso’s Blue Period, on display at the Museum of Modern Art; Las Meninas Series, on display at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain; and Guernica, in Madrid, Spain.

    “My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.? Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.?- Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Last words: “Drink to me.?/td>

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    Painting How To

    Painting on a Grand Scale

    When artists gravitate towards large scale works, they face some interesting challenges along with the actual creative process. How art is created ?on a grand scale ?is different from small artworks. Every aspect of the act of mural painting and other large scale artwork has considerations that make it fun and stimulating - well worth those deliberations.

    From the very ground onto which the artist places sketch lines, brushes of paint and blended colors, large scale nudges the artist into new realms of production. In order to paint large scale, the preferred ground ?canvas of some sort ?must be acquired in an appropriate size. The content of the canvas and its weight are both vital considerations when the painted surface is gigantic.

    Widths/lengths and fiber content of canvas-type grounds vary greatly, but there are sizes as large as 12 feet wide. More commonly, large scale works are completed on canvas of 60? 72? or 84?widths. Roll length purchases are necessary and can vary by manufacturer ?from 6 feet to 25 yards.

    But, after width and length, the fiber content may be the single most important element of the painting. As you would expect, there is cotton fiber in a variety of weights, but there is also linen, jute, cotton/linen blends polyester (all synthetic) and cotton/poly blends and all can be found primed and unprimed. The weight and texture of the canvas will have an important bearing on the finished artwork, and most artists match their style with the texture and surface of their ground. Choices abound!

    Rather than traditionally sized tubes of paint, most muralists/large scale painters use jars, tubs ?even gallons of artists?colors. Most manufacturers of paint offer a wide selection in larger quantities. Selection of textures in those containers is also sometimes available. Thicker paint means more pigment for application and working into large spaces.

    Application tools include brushes for sure, but those used are much larger in size. Consider when doing any work—if the scale were huge, you would want to use larger brushes. And, additionally, rollers (like those used for wall painting) and trowels are also used in larger scale works ?tools that would be difficult to use small scale become a necessity for bigger works. Trowels, scrapers, and tools not often associated with “painterly?applications are used by muralists and accomplish the job they want. Painting pads and hand “mops?for decorative surfacing of walls can come in very handy on larger scale artworks.

    Easels play a big part in big works. Studio easels in both wood and metal often accept works as large as 5-8 feet tall. They help hold the work at the proper level ?that at which it will be viewed ?so the artist is always aware of the scope, perspective and dynamics of his/her work. Some artists who do large scale work cover a wall with plywood and then staple or tack their canvas to that surface at the proper level for work and viewing. Easels and wall attachments ?whatever they might be ?help artists by allowing them to step back and take in the “big picture.?For large stretched canvas, wall mounted easels are great. They can accommodate works of around 100 inches in height. They are sturdy, help hold the stretched canvas firmly and adjust to all points up to around 100 inches.

    And lastly some artists employ the use of airbrush to do a lot of the design layout and fill-in on large works. Texturing with an airbrush can be accomplished by painting through screening, metal mesh, decorative pierced metal sheeting and many more items. Airbrush gives the type of color gradation almost impossible to achieve in any other way. Mists of tone-on-tone and the softness achieved is a huge asset to some muralists.

    In review, large scale artworks bring new thought processes to ponder and hurdles to overcome.  But, isn’t that what contributes to making art so enjoyable and rewarding—to accept the intellectual stimulation of such works and to succeed.

     

    Printmaking

    Printmaking Techniques & Materials

     Printmaking is an enjoyable expression and is accompanied by some terms that often seem a bit difficult to understand. So, here some of the common terms and techniques will be explained. The scope of printmaking is huge and can be enjoyed by nearly any age group. Some of the materials used are found around the home, while others must be purchased from art material dealers
    Graphic Chemical & Ink Co.

     

    No matter the level of your involvement with printmaking, it is sure to be exciting. In some techniques, duplication of results is nearly impossible, which seems a bit contradictory to the basic term: printmaking. Let’s take, for our first example, the most direct and simple of prints…monoprints.

    A monoprint (mono meaning one) is created by applying ink or paint to a hard flat surface (plate), pressing paper against the plate and lifting the paper from the plate. The resulting print is one-of-a-kind, since ink or paint would be nearly impossible to set in the same place time after time. Simple doesn’t mean uninteresting, and this is a great technique for any artist.

    Collagraph, a very simple form of printmaking, is a print created from a plate (Masonite, mat board, chip board, etc.) that has natural and/or found objects with texture glued to it. The surface of the plate is sealed and, when dry, is inked on the textured plate, excess removed and a paper placed on top. Downward pressure (using a press or hand roller) presses the paper and ink together and the images are transferred (in reverse) to the paper. Again, the simplicity of collagraph prints makes them easy for everyone to try. Many, but not unlimited, prints can be made from a master collagraph plate.

    Wood block (woodcut) printing advances in difficulty because the artist uses special gouges and carving tools to create a dimensional image in a wood block. The high surfaces of the wood block are inked, paper is pressed against the inked areas and the resulting image is a woodblock print. Surfaces other than wood can be used; linoleum, wax, and rubber are a few that are a bit easier to carve. Early wood block designs were used for fabric embellishment and those blocks endure as collectables.

    Reduction prints are created with care by print artists who desire more color and texture in their work. Each color is printed individually on the ever-decreasing wood block. Working from back to front colorwise, the artist reduces the wood block with every color, printing that part of the plate that will reflect a specific color, and then removing more mass to print the next color. When finished, the only areas that remain on the block are those representing the very last color.

    Drypoint etching is more involved because it starts with a metal plate. The plate is scribed (scratched) by the artist to record a subject. Ink is rubbed into the slight toothy grooves created by the scribing. Paper is then put on the plate, pressed and the resulting print is pulled away from the plate. For all but the tiniest of printed images, a printing press is invaluable in the process. Strong definition and evenness is difficult with hand pressing methods. Many prints can be made from the original plate. Etching can be taken yet another step by using acid to enlarge and remove areas of the metal surface.

    Intaglio prints are made from a metal base into which designs have been created. This is often done with harsh chemicals, the metal dissolving where there are scribed or etched lines that have been made through a protective covering. Because of the chemical contact (acids), this level of printmaking is considered advanced and should be done under supervision and instruction. Many prints can be made from the original plate. Ink is rubbed into the low areas, paper is pressed to the surface and a print is created.

    Finally, following is a simple explanation of some terms associated with printmaking:

    brayer - a hard rubber roller on a handle used to transfer ink to the plate.

    plate ?a surface on which an image is formed, usually metal.

    baren - a circular padded tool used to rub against the back of paper to obtain an image from a master.

    hard ground -an acid-resistant material applied to an etching plate through which you scribe to create a design.

    mordant - an acid or other corrosive substance used to “bite?into a metal plate to create an image on that plate.

    gouge ?a V- or U-shaped tool for cutting a wood or linoleum block.

     

     

     

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