Archives for July 2012

Prints in progress for “Visions of Victoria 150 Project”


Prints in progress on Historic Rock Bay Industrial Site

Last week I was working on prints for the “Visions of Victoria 150 Project” I’m participating in with members of the Ground Zero Printmakers Society.  (see blog post “Printmaking Project:  Visions of Victoria” May 22, 2012)  Above are some of the prints that focus on the Historic Rock Bay Indusrial Site.  These prints incorporate stencil, chine colle and a plant print.   Back in May I spent an afternoon with some of our members on the shores of Rock Bay on Bay Street between Ludgate and Bridge where we gathered reference material for our prints. 

Rock Bay Industrial Site print

The stencil I used in this print represents an old bridge structure that I could see across the bay during our plein air outting. My stencil is a simplified image that I drew and cut onsite.  That day we were sitting among the grasses along the shore working on our sketches or transfer prints.  I felt the piece of grass added a nice line quality and works well with the stencil shape and the chine colle close-up photo of a wheel cog.  I had taken the photo on another outting to the area and printed it onto ivory “Kozo” paper from my home laser printer.   Another print design of the Historic Rock Bay Industrial Site is below:

Another version of Rock Bay Industrial Site - stencil, chine colle & plant print


25th Annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In


Demonstrating lino cut prints

Yesterday I participated in the 25th Annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In, or as the locals know it as, the Moss Street Paint-In.  I was one of the palette stations which meant that I was to have an art activity available for the public to try.  I decided to keep it simple and used a lino cut design I created a few years ago of apples and a jug that the visitors printed onto a shipping tag using Acqua Wash Sepia Ink.

Lino cut prints on shipping tags

I inked up a brayer and allowed the visitors to roll up the lino plate, lay the tag down, burnish it with a barren, and pull their own print!  Many were very thrilled with their results.  I was surprised at how many adults wanted to try it.  It’s usually just the kids and the adults shy away.  Several of the adults commented that they had done this in their high school art class … a little trip down memory lane maybe?

It was a great day to meet new people and see old friends and neighbours – even our former neighbours Adrienne, Mike and their little girls all the way from Calgary stopped by to make a print!  The Paint-In gives the artists an opportunity to bring our studios out to the public and show them our materials, talk about how we create our work, and offer opportunities to learn more about our art.  Thank you to Mary-ellen Threadkell and her crew at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria!

Artist-in-Residence Program

My home for six days!

I recently participated in a 6 day Artist-in-Residence program facilitated by the Coast Collective Arts Centre in partnership with Parks Canada at Fort Rodd Hill/Fisgard Lighthouse National Historical Site.  The site is located about 20 minutes west of downtown Victoria on the Esquimalt Harbour.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to create new work in a different setting.  There will be other artists participating during the summer months, a new artist each week or two.

The artists have been given a couple of rooms on the main floor of the “Warrant Officer’s Quarters”, pictured above. And no, I didn’t stay there overnight!  My hours were 11 am – 4 pm daily.  I set up in the spacious front room displaying my prints, cards, portfolio, etc.  In preparation beforehand I had decided that I’d like to concentrate on printmaking and since I wouldn’t have a press there, I chose to work on relief cuts.  I wandered the site and took photos of buildings or things that had interesting structures and forms thinking I may approach this work in a more abstract way.  Well, that didn’t happen!  However with the photos I collected I think there is definitely enough material there to create some pieces using structure and form at a later date.

Photo taken on-site of iron gate

Above is the photo I took and used for reference for a relief cut carved from “safety cut”, a soft rubber-like material.  Within the viewfinder I attempted to frame the structure and form of the gate with spikes against the gray sky.

Black print on "Kozuke" paper

It was pretty tricky trying to get clean, crisp shapes for the spikes on the gate and the lettering was a challenge too!  Perhaps the lino material may have given me a better image.  I also tried printing blue for the background on an uncut piece of safety cut then printed the black overtop which I think gave it a more dramatic look. 

Black over blue background

I used my Charbonnel Aqua Wash inks that I bought when I was working at Cecelia Press.  This is only a sampling of what I did while I was there.  Part of our agreement was to do an interactive activity with the public and I introduced them to lift/transfer prints.  I spent a lot of time talking to the visitors about printmaking, the many techniques, where to take courses, about print studios, etc. which was time worth spent.  I believe I introduced at least one art form to many visitors who are not used to looking at art or for sure not discussing art with an artist!

Upon reflection, next time I might spend more time taking photos and doing some plein air sketching (which I hardly ever do!).   Thank you to the folks at Coast Collective Art Centre and the coordinating staff at Fort Rodd Hill/Fisgard Lighthouse for an enjoyable experience!

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