Time and Pressure
I arrive at the print room, it’s moved to a different campus but there is a very reassuring presence here, in the form of the printing presses on which my first prints were produced 20 years ago. A printer has a very unique attachment to presses, strange really, because all they do is apply pressure to transfer ink from one surface to paper. I think the press becomes a point at which invested time and delicately constructed subtleties meet an unsympathetic machine of abrupt force. A final focus of expectation and a moment of uncertainty which, over time, starts to border on ridiculous superstition.
Indulge my nostalgia for a moment and look at the beauty of the Colombian press, with its counterweight Eagle and elaborate detailing. This is a reunion where I don’t have to ask what these friends have been doing for the last twenty years, either granting creative wishes or a lofty rebuttal to each hopeful student.
I start with a few Drypoints. This involves scratching lines into a piece of Perspex or metal with a sharp point. Ink will fill these lines and then I also add to these marks, drawing other elements on the surface using brushes and wiping techniques. This is finally transferred onto damp paper via the etching press. Both these prints are from the same piece of perspex so you can see how I’ve managed to relate to the lines on the “plate” in a different way.
As I’m on the Canyon stage, the images relate to my early painted studies, musing on the nature of the rock formations there. These successes came late in day, as with my paintings it took time to engender the right frame of mind to make these images freely and earlier attempts were a more effective lining for the bin.
It’s great to be back in this environment surrounded by others which I do miss in the studio. There’s the inevitable conversations about the progress in the work but also the quiet concentration of mutual creativity. I look forward to heading back next week.