22 February 2007

Chemistry Experiment

Today I wanted to add some blue shapes to the print. I wanted an artificial sort of blue to contrast with the blue of the ocean. To my dismay, when I opened the can of Akua white intaglio ink I had ordered from Daniel Smith I discovered that it wasn't white ink at all, but "oil converter," used to stiffen ink that's too thin. So rather than wait the 1-2 weeks it would take for me to order and receive a new can of ink, I decided to work with what I had. I started with some pthalo blue intaglio ink. Pthalo blue is about the strongest blue on the planet and I wanted to tone it down to something like robin's egg blue so I started pouring in white pigment suspended in water. It worked color-wise, but the texture was all wrong -- kind of thick and lumpy and when I tried it on a print it was too opaque. So I started all over using just watercolors and no intaglio ink. It dried too fast for my stenciling technique. So I went back to my intaglio ink glop and worked on thinning it. I tried adding glygerine, which made it more transparent and smooth but also too sticky -- paper fibers lifted up on my test print. Tried thinning with water. That changed the color, but got me the right consistency. A few more adjustments and I finally had an acceptable ink.


Above is the second stencil placed on the board and inked. I put dots on the stencil where it should line up with the kento marks so I wouldn't accidently flip the stencil around the wrong way. Here's the print with the blue particles added:



Beth Zentzis said...

Annie, independent of the issue of global warming and the melting of huge chunks of our glaciers etc., I just gotta say that I am completely swooning from the blue in your print. It's dynamic! The depth you've achieved gives me the vapors (no pun intended)! I'm being silly with my words, but I do appreciate your candidness about the issue, your attempt to address it using the language of artistic interpretation, etc.

I admire your tenacity and drive to express, in a print, the issue of global warming, specifically how it is affecting Greenland. I will be following your progress regularly.

I'm not clear about how you are printing with a stencil. Are you using it on the block, inking up, removing the stencil and then printing onto moistened paper for each print? Forgive me if that seems like a dim question...

Annie B said...

Thanks for the swoon, Beth! Isn't blue the greatest?

Yes, your understanding of how I'm using the stencils is correct. You can see the process better in the previous post. I put the stencil on the block, ink through each opening with a stencil brush, remove the stencil and print onto moistened paper *for each print.* That means, in this case, doing it 20 times.

Beth Zentzis said...

Jackpot! Maybe pulling out the trusty X-acto and using acetate will give my fingers the physical break they need from my tendency to push too hard for my own good while carving. I read up about acetate, and I was worried about it being a petrol based product but it isn't! It's cellulose! Liberation! And not only that, your solution still allows the ink to be on the wood. I love the idea of using both materials together, preserving blocks and fingers, yet using them as they have traditionally been used for as keyblocks, etcetera as well, right along side the new technique. Hats off to you.

I owe you many thanks, Annie. The references you've shared along with what you put out there in this blog have really fueled my mind toward creative, interpretive work again. Thank you. You've given me hope many times over.