Tearing right along • • April 19, 2018
I still don’t understand how to make this whole printing with India ink thing really work. Mostly, I make big messes, but occasionally I also get images like the one above, and wow oh howdy, do you see why I keep at it?
It seems one trick is to rapidly wet portions of my paper and slam ink down, then layer in my printing materials (and often more ink or water) before cranking everything through the press. If I do that, some of the image prints, and the rest of it is achieved when the ink is either lifted off the surface or driven into the sheet. And of course, there’s a lot of ink that squeezes and squishes around too. That can be particularly interesting.
Did you notice the center crease in the top picture? My press isn’t large, so I’ve been printing a 17″ x 24″ sheet by folding it in half and doing both sides at once. When I’m finished with a picture, I trim out the fold ugliness, and end up with a two sheet image like the next one (which I just did this morning):
You should click each picture to take a close look – very worth it!
I often layer painting and printing, which is kind of fun, and also nerve wracking. False moves kill pictures! BUT I have a big secret: there is so much press pressure that my ink is driven clear through the sheet. Even if a picture really tanks, the back can look utterly exquisite!
Case in point: the picture below is actually made from two different ones. Look carefully and you’ll see a ragged, torn edge separating the top of the image from the bottom 2/3rds! Now get this – that bottom is the back of a really bad picture. I ripped and taped it in place, then wetted it, brushed and spattered ink right over top, laid in my printing material dry, and ran it all through the press! I also did some printing via hand rubbing – I get completely different effects going that route.
Now, I must flatten, and assemble this one, before tweaking it to the finish line.
Okay, are you ready for things to get even stranger? Keep scrolling down!
In the next picture, I’ve begun putting a top on two smaller lower sheets! Yes, of course, I’ll have to add more on each side at the bottom. Trust me, that’s the easy part. This picture is such a big mess right now, but if I can pull this off, it might be amazing. I’m excited and confused.
I saved the best for last! This morning I was just messing around with scraps and the remnants of losers, when this weird, assembled image fell into place Actually, I’m collaging more and more, so that’s not new, but this time I may have sprained my brain a little. I don’t know what to think of this hint of a picture. Some vague, marvelous idea is floating around in it. Now I gotta find it!
I’m going back in. Might not post again until next week – I’ve got my hands full!