Sunday, 2 October 2011

Hard work but good

Yesterday, I went to college for a whole day's printing.  It could not have gone better.  Tracy and I met at about 9am - her plan was to design her repeat print, and my plan was to print the second and third colour layers and get the fabric to the stage where no more accurate print needed to be done, so I could lift the fabric.

Tracy, with better planning skills, had brought milk, tea and florentines, which were very welcome during the day.

Hand screen used to overprint a coloured layer on the outline print
 I started by printing over the outline print, starting at one end with a fairly bright clean green, and as I worked along the print run, I added a spot of magenta at a time until I ended up printing with a sludgy brown.  This was to represent the deterioration of mental processes.  Two thirds of the way along I went back to a bright clean green.  This represents how life carries on, after someone with Alzheimer's dies.
Half way along the first colour layer.

This shows the change from sludgy brown, back to bright green. 
 Then I used another hand silkscreen to do another layer of colour on the gum nut pattern, once again working from right to left, from a brightish green, to very pale green.  As I worked along the pattern, this gave a lot of pattern definition to the part where confusion starts.  Technically it also demonstrates quite advanced colour mixing.  I've always loved colour work and I'm really starting to understand how colour represents emotion for me.  Previous work of mine has used quite high colour, but now I'm working with conceptual issues for my degree, I'm getting better at using subtle, muted, complex blends of colour.
Overprinting at random, to represent confusion

Really starting to get the confused, obliterated effect I want
By the time I'm finished with the overprinting here, the dark section will have very little white fabric left.  Dark, murky and confused.  Unfortunately, by this time, I was getting tired, and I have smudged some dark binder onto the light green area to the left.  As I want a straight line where the where the dark, confused area returns to perfect pattern, I should have taped some sheets of paper over the section to remain clean.  So I may have to extend the dark area to cover the smudges. 

Once I have the confusion graduating down the print, I plan to overprint again with glue and foil, using first the outline print, then the hand screens, demonstrating how the thought processes get disrupted by amyloidal plaques building in the brain

As I had finished all the area that needed to be accurately printed, I tidied up my workshop while I waited for the print to dry, and then lifted the fabric and rolled it back on to the cardboard roll. 8 hours well spent, and I was totally exhausted.

Tracy had a good day too, having mastered her repeat design, exposed it onto a trial handscreen and printed a couple of repeats on fabric.  This demonstrated her design repeated accurately.  I like working with Tracy.  She has a calming effect on me, and asks sensible questions to enable me to clarify my thoughts (even if I scowl at her occasionally when her questioning leads me to conclusions that I don't want to do, even though I know she's right - like testing more colours before I print with them!).

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