I’ve been wanting to do something with leaves etc that I saved from last spring and summer and now that my eyes are on the mend I decided to try some mono printing. I have previously printed from natural objects that were glued to a base and ran through a press but I don’t currently have a press and I wanted to try various ways of using the same material more than once. These leaves have been sitting in a pile on my table all winter and finally ended up in a bag hanging from my bulletin board so the time had come.
First tests of monoprinting with plants
Some were used alone, some in combination with each other, and some repeated in the same print. I used a mix of red, green, and yellow inks as well as straight black. Some results are more successful than others but I really am excited about the whole process and may combine this with some of my rusty bit prints.
I love the look of these leaves after they were used for printing.
Here are the leaves I used (and the “helicopters” from the maple trees). Think they will have a future life as well!
Haven’t posted for a while but on May 2, I had cataract surgery on my left eye and two weeks later on the right. I chose special lenses which were to work with the astigmatism I have and restore my normal site to not needing glasses – just some readers. I thought I was pretty together about this – seems like everyone and their sister my age has had this but I realize I was fixated on eyes. I drew my eyes, I photographed them, I journaled about it, I even included mention of eyes in some rusty dyed fabric stitching.
Sketch of my left eye.
After the first one I did see without my glasses – incredible! And bright lights at night were now one source of light instead of the multitude of sources that I had been seeing. And, whites were white – the world wasn’t washed in a golden light – is that why its called the “golden years”?
But only in one eye. For two weeks the other eye still needed glasses and still had lots of bright light sources and still revealed a golden world. And each eye was fighting to see who was boss – very tiring. Then last Tues Dr Fung did the other eye!
Whenever I’m anxious sketching helps. All I had was my iPad, so I used that.
Rough sketch of Bob waiting for them to wheel me away!.
Here’s a sketch I did of Bob who was waiting for them to wheel me into the operating room. Done with my finger on my iPad with my eye very dilated and iv tubes in my arm. Turns out the red bit hanging up is an important part of the pre opt operation. If the sign is still up, the patient isn’t ready to go!
I’m still on antibiotics and anti swelling drops, still have to wear a plastic shield at night but… it worked!
Continued to work with Rusty Bits. Balancing the amount of tea and the effect of the various rusty bits. Have some wonderful diagonals from Jay and some wonderfully round rusty bolts from a pier in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia… I like the fact that I know where the bits came from and that they represent experiences and interactions to me.
Print from Rusty Bits and morning tea bag.
This piece has more textures than some and has wonderful fine lines which are more easly seen in the larger view.
Will post some more in the future. I love the fact that while I can adjust the tea and rust—even the type of paper makes a difference—the result is a wonderful surprise! I’m working on some stitched fabric that I can try with this—printing the rusty patterns after the stitching.
Cleaning up and I came across this skein of hand spun linen I did a while ago – pretty rough but I like it’s character.
rough hand spinning from flax!
I like sketching with pen and ink but taking a bottle of ink on location is a bit daunting so I’m exploring fountain pens. I’ve also been trying out a water brush and am working with the two together. First I drew some supplies on my desk – next some small bottles of nail polish I was about to throw out – (have decided I really only like natural colors – so out with the reds, the greens and the blues…)
Quick sketches of things on my table
Tried it out on people sketching and buildings outside. All were very quick sketches – each perhaps five minutes at most (house a bit more…but just a bit).
Quick sketche of Bob on phone and of the Back of my house
This is very fun and I like not worrying about spilling ink but I’m going to look for a pen that gives even more of a thick/thin line.
Been a very busy Spring Break! Finished the long warp, Worked on drawing each day, and just wrapped up a project I’ve been working on since last summer on eco dyeing with leaves etc.—little major gets done during the school year. The eco dying was done while I was dying fabric for “Stitches, not Words”, only it was on paper and also involved plant material.
I layered various leaves from my yard between pages of fairly heavy paper, bundled them up and dyed them in a pot over heat for an hour – let them cool for several days before opening the bundle. Very happy with the etherial result, on both sides of the paper.
The original idea was to make a small book but when I saw them I wanted to see them much larger. That’s when they went into a drawer with other ideas, waiting for a final solution. Sooooo, a bit ago I took them out and scanned them at a high resolution to be printed archivally at 18 in x 24 in. This one and two others are posted on my printmaking page
One of a series, more on my Printmaking page.
I’m really happy with the results and have entered 2 in different juried shows (not pieces shown here)—so we’ll see where this goes. I’m always nervous about entering work but regardless of the outcome there, I will be doing more of these – once school is out in May and once something grows in my snow covered yard!