Friday, June 26, 2009

Etching with Z*Acryl

I did a test plate using the water-soluble hard-ground, Z*Acryl. I just freehand sketched this goat kid onto the plate feeling out the differences between the way the etching needle cuts into the Z*Acryl hard ground versus the traditional asphaltum-based hard ground. I found that in the areas where my hand was light, the point "skipped" yielding a dotted line. Yet, overall the line was even and thicker than my lines are when using traditional grounds.

In the spirit of fully testing the Z*Acryl products on one plate, I did the aquatint version using the Z*Acryl stop-out. The brush-strokes didn't "spread" the way they can when using traditional hard ground as a stop out. Even when hard ground is mixed with asphaltum to thicken it up, it still is tough to control brushstrokes sometimes. So, there was an advantage to using the Z*Acryl stop out in this regard. However, the Z*Acryl stop-out is a green color that wasn't easy to see on a zinc plate.

I plan to do more experiments with these environmentally-friendly, water-soluble mediums but unfortunately I can't say that I'm ready to give up traditional hard ground yet. There's still nothing like it that I've come across.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Open Studios

After a long process of internal deliberations, town approvals and the actual physical creation of it, the Brown Street Studios sign was finally installed above the door just in time for Open Studios.

The weather was beautiful and we had a steady stream of visitors all weekend. Most of the artists in the building had their studios open and there was a festive feeling in the air as we came together to support each other and direct visitors to each other's studios. There are alot of great artists in this building and I feel privileged to be part of this talented group.

This year was the first time that I opened my door for open studios from my new space which I have occupied for a bit less than 2 weeks. I love the new studio and this weekend it provided a nice "gallery" for visitors to come in see the art. But more importantly, I have a much better layout and more space to do my work.