Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One of My Favorite Places

This fall, I posted about my new plein air painting system, and how I was practicing using it on my own property.  Well, here is a painting that I worked on outside until the weather shut me down and the leaves fell away.  My plein air painting became a studio painting based on photographic references.  This painting then served as my reference for the etching I did in my last blog post.

8x10 Oil on Canvas Panel 

I’m giving it to my husband.  It’s a painting of the patio that he built and is rightfully proud of, and the place where we like to eat our summertime suppers together.  Life is good.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I’ve been taking a 5 week etching class at the IAC.  Etching is a printmaking process that goes something like this:

1.  Prepare a copper plate by cleaning it, spray painting the back side, and then coating the front side with asphaltum.

2.  Scratch through the asphaltum (like scratchboard) with a sharp tool to expose the copper plate.  Every scratch mark will translate to black in the final print.

3.  Soak the plate in acid for about 25 minutes or so.

4.  Clean off the asphaltum, leaving a clean, etched copper plate.

5.  Ink the plate, and wipe off most of the ink with a wad of starchy cheesecloth.  The ink will settle down into the etched grooves.

6.  Place the plate and a moistened sheet of printmaking paper together, and run it through a press (like a big, overgrown rolling pin).

7.  Separate, and voila! 

Tonight I finished up with steps 3 through 7, and I just wanted to share what my first print looked like.  It measures 4"x6".  I think I’m going to tint it with colored pencil.

I’ve done this process back in art school, and in a future post, I might share some of those.

Note to my family...yeah, I know it's the reverse view of our patio.  I forgot to reverse the image when I was scratching the plate.  Oopsie.