Sunday, June 14, 2015

End of Year Evaluation : Gravure

It is a lazy Sunday and there is a noisy summer storm in progress.  I have the summer off from the printmaking class and I am in the process of looking through what I have produced...  seeing what was successful and what was not. 

   Examining the finished work,  I can see that there is room for improvement and some prints I will try again.      Too bad archival paper is it is difficult for me to actually put prints in the "poubelle".   However,  if I were doing an edition for sale , many prints would most certainly end up as trash.   

The biggest problem I seem to have in my current classroom situation is "impatience".     The large press in the studio at school is coveted by all the students as it takes large paper (preferred for exhibition) and is more accurate for lino prints than the book press we have at our disposal.  But though the large press prints both metal and lino, the instructor is reluctant to re-regulate it for each new class every three hours. 

To print linoleum blocks on the large press,  it is required that one  take away the blankets and substitute runners the height of standard linoleum.  The instructor must also change the tension on the press.  Since she is the only one allowed to make these adjustments, it is up to her if we get to print our preferred plaque at class each Wednesday.  

  I think when she puts on the "green light" for us "lino" students to use the large press....I get excited to do as many as possible. 

Lesson number one:   Slow down and concentrate on each print each step of the way. ...  better to do just one then have to throw some away.

I have a single two toned print to show you today.    This is taken from a gouache painting I did years back and I intended to make it into a linoleum reduction print.   However, I found that the size of "lino" I had chosen to work with this year was too small for the number of details required and the number of colors I wanted.  

Painting by Mary M Payne
 I have carved the painting as a simple lino and printed it below in a two tone print about the size of standard French A4 paper.  The coral color oil based ink went on and dried for a week before I put over the black layer.  

 It is also difficult to roll out two colors at school as we have a very small glass area that everyone shares.    Otherwise I would have tried "wet on wet" which means printing the black immediately after the background. 

 I reversed the print on this design as I didn't feel that was critical to the result.   I have experimented with several new techniques this year.  This one reminds me of a silhouette done by paper cut artists like Kara Walker.

Linocut engraving by Mary M Payne


  1. gorgeous piece of art! i love it. brava! loved the posting with the details too. i spent a lot of time on linoleum prints in high school. they are so cool

    Karen Vicki

  2. Beautiful work Mary!