Saturday, July 25, 2009

Art Centre - July 13-17, 2009

Art Centre Summer School July 13-17, 2009

This summer the Art Centre offered a week of classes and I took a printmaking class.
In the third year at the Art Centre, students select one medium for concentration as they prepare their portfolios and produce a body of work to go into the schools’ end of year open house exhibition as well as to the graduating class exhibition.

Before I started the three year program in the fall of 2007, I had an opportunity to take an evening course in printmaking for nine weeks and there I met printmaker and teacher extraordinaire, Dawn Hemmy. She encouraged my decision to come into the adult program at the Art Centre at the Central Technical School here in Toronto and as it turned out, she was the teacher who interviewed me for admission.

In my first year, I had a year long course in printmaking with Dawn as well as her design class. In my second year, Dawn was on sabbatical however, she was available for an advanced class in printmaking in the fall term in the evening and I was in that class as well as taking printmaking from another instructor in the day program.

In year three, in the fall semester, I’ll have printmaking with Dawn again and she has also agreed to be my guide and support teacher for specializing in printmaking (as my chosen medium). I find that so far, this area gives me the greatest range. I can use my skills in photography to capture subjects for inspiration in printmaking. My drawing skills are used to move from the photographic image to the one I want to express in some way of working – for example, scratching on a zinc plate to etch then transforming the print with water colour or gouache. Or finding an image to cut into lino or wood. These are only a few of the possibilities for rendering my ideas into works of art.

Here are examples from the week-long course this summer….

Serigraph - Silk Screen

These two silk screen prints are of my cat, PeepEye. The top image was drawn on the computer in the Windows program, “Paint” using a mouse and the lower one was taken from a 35mm photo that was scanned and traced. The background is an old T-shirt. The silk screen images are from a screen I created in year one printmaking and revisited.

Relief - Woodblock

This is my first ever woodblock and again the subject is PeepEye. The image is from a photograph that I use as a background image on my computer screen.

This is a print made from the woodblock.

Relief - LinoBlock

This is a 12X 12” lino block print. I’ll be using the lino block again in the fall to experiment with variations in how to print – one will involve covering the flowers to print the leaves and border, then reprinting to make the poppies a different colour.

I also plan to print in a pale colour on a dark background then paint the flowers and leaves in contrasting colours.

Intaglio - Etching

My final project of the week was an etching on a zinc plate. The inspiration was a photo of an Amish quilter taken at a Pennsylvania Dutch fair some years ago. Here is the process so far.

The photo

My drawing from the photo

The zinc plate after the etching is scratched on and the plate cleaned.

Two printings of the plate – the next step is to use watercolour and/or gouache to colour the prints for a varied edition. Aquatint is another option to vary the outcome.

And there you have my summer school accomplishments. For the rest of the summer I will be thinking about subjects for series and types of prints I would like to undertake in the fall.

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