Saturday, May 1, 2010

Primitive Thoughts - gelatin printmaking


Almost prolific. My coloured pencil works are few and far between. They take a long time to do (and I probably spend more time staring out the window than I ought to). How refreshing to discover gelatin printmaking, where I get play with colour for the sheer joy of it, where I can use found objects, and old linucuts alike to create new and original works of art in the space of hours as opposed to days/weeks. It invokes playfulness and experimentation and a real sense of freedom and joy in the process (until I add that one layer too many-duds are part of the process).

So now, instead of having not enough art to post, it’s a matter of ‘which one’ and also time, as I’m spending more time printing than blogging.

Here we have my ‘China’ linocut put back to work to create a series of background layers. I cut back the outer edge of my Prayers for Little Souls submissions and use it for texture. It’s fascinating to see just how many iterations one get out of one piece, and the real number is infinite. Above is Primitive Thoughts, a detail. Below, the whole piece.


Gelatine printmaking is unpredictable, and begs experimentation and ‘letting go’. I liken it to performance art, as while I may start out with something specific in mind, each new layer creates it’s own character. Mostly I dispense with the plan and follow the path where it takes me. In this one, the colours and arrangements hinted at Aztec, Mayan and other art of the equatorial regions. (before stamping). It begged for new carvings, and it got them. I decided to forgo research, and doodle the new designs on instinct; I will leave research and historical accuracies for the anthropologists. Art is an expression of the soul, and here are my primitive thoughts.

PS. my 1st gelatin plate was very small as I had only 1 box from the grocery store. It was enough for a 6x6 inch plate poured into a sandwich container. Happy mistake, as it’s shape and edges are endlessly fun.

PPS. Why is spell-check telling me I should be spelling it ‘gelatine’?

PPPS. More detail/close-ups on Etsy


ldeandyment said...

These look lovely. I've never done gelatin plates but yours make me think, "Hmmmm...."

kaslkaos said...

just google 'gelatin printmaking' and you'll find the same easy peasy instructions I did. 1 box of knox gelatin will do a 6x6 square. Go for it.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I don't know anything about print making. I did a lino cut so I could put it on fabric once - but that's it!

I love your print work.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Michelle, I find printmaking fun. Probably more physical and immediate than other art, at least for me--no picking and poking the way I do paintings and pencils.


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