Wednesday, 27 June 2012

PLAIN COVER and The Occasional Small Etching

Mickey's Birds

Printmaking is a contrived and calculating way of picture making. It's guarded by mystery, masteries, and the mystiques of arcane almost alchemical processes and newly by clever software little understood by the artist practitioner.
I no more understand the science-art of viscosity resist printing Hayter-style than Photoshop, yet I work with both.
Etching, copperplate intaglio printmaking, is a dirty business of stop-out varnish and turpentine, meths and resin, ferric chloride and noir taille douce, oils and solvents and cleaners; those heady vapours; of grime, dust, and the poison of it all in today's safety-first expectations and health consciousness.
Acid and ink mar hands. Greyly intaglio finger prints mark me out a social pariah, a one who works in dirt, a user of hands not head, an apron-wearer, a copperplate printer, an artist with a trade so not a real artist at all.
Though no less contrived and calculating for all the sit down conveniences of the digital revolution, making prints is a cleaner dirty business now. Cleanly made print-fare for us clean viewing kindle-kinder, clean bar the spittle spray of frustration, the nail bitten repetitive strains and screen blinded, buttock weariness.
Printmaking is a publishing affair, one of promotion, production, distribution, and percentages, and still dirty enough in process and association to attest to the effort. Style is half about getting decorously grubby mixing it and doing a thing. And simply caring.