Well, the best kind of surprise occured when doing what is called a “ghost print.” The rest of the class got a chuckle when I about lost my mind over it. If I hadn’t been there to see how it happened I would never have figured the process.
A “ghost print” is a print you can make once you have completed the intended print. You send the plate through the press again as it usually has enough ink on it to make one or two ghost prints. With these works, I took off the stencils and then made the ghost print. That’s why the magic happened. Edgar Degas is known for making gorgeous ghost prints. I didn’t make this up!
What a gift that student gave me. And what a surprise birthday party sort of a thing art is. Never quite knowing how something is going to turn out and then getting to see how it turns out, well, I can’t get enough of it. And I can’t wait to be wrong again.
The example below is of a ghost's ghost.
The last couple winters I have taken a printmaking class. One of my classmates saw my palette and loved it. She suggested I try something she does. What the heck.
I made four prints and contemplated them for weeks. My classmate prints on top of them. I planned on giving them to another student; they simply were not my style.
One day, I read an article about black holes. The photographs looked just like my strange prints. Off I went! I became obsessed and dreamt of hogging the press.
You can see my original spacey background through the stencils. I am in the process of designing the second layer.
Again, you can see through the stencils to the starry background. When printmaking, you have to think in reverse. But when working with words, not only do the letters have to be positioned backwards, but so do the words. Thank goodness I figured out that my words weren’t spelled backwards before I printed this. The result didn’t thrill me. My palette for the second layer ended up too like the palette below. Darn it. I loved the words: MAGICAL ERRATIC FIZZLING IMMENSITY.
With this next piece, something on press went awry and the stencils slipped. However, the accident was happy. The sliding letters illustrated the concept so fabulously. Something that is voracious is hungry and in space that means the entity pulls debris, stars, planets, anything into itself.
I carve wax away as often as I apply it when creating an encaustic painting. That wax is gathered in a ball. And when it gets large enough, I melt it into a wonderful neutral that I couldn’t have mixed in a million years. Recently I looked at some of my carvings and thought, “I can make art with these instead of melting them down.”
The circle just might be my favorite shape. But then, I’ve always been a grid girl so maybe it’s the square. It’s not a triangle. But I think a variety of triangles together is really interesting. Oh, and I love ovals! But aren’t they elegantly squished circles? And, really, the tricks a square can do are impressive; rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, rhombi. And don’t you just love the word “isosceles”? Oh, no, this could lead me back to triangles.
And the word “circuitous.” Man, I love that one.