When what you think you are working on isn’t what comes out in the studio.

Last year, Barbara Martin and I decided to learn gelatin printing. We both enjoyed the spontaneous starts the prints generated that we could use for doing other collage and mixed media work.

I didn’t think of this work as anything other than a fun break from other things I was doing. The prints created little visual challenges I could draw back into while watching a movie. At first it was trees since that was what I was drawing and painting.

As the Gelatin Cracks

Barbara asked me to join her in an afternoon of printing using some gelatin plates that had been used previously with acrylic inks. For some reason, the plates were cracking. This created some interesting spaces in the prints. I made a bunch of pages, not thinking much about it. I was busy chatting with her and another friend who had dropped by the studio.

I went through the prints later, looking for one to draw into. That’s when I became more intrigued by what I’d done. The cracks grew over the printing session. They were a bit unpredictable, setting up a series of visual problems that were related but unique. None were particularly interesting as is, they showed potential but needed something.

Drawing into the Prints

By sitting with each print, I got ideas about how to add more visual interest. I combined watercolor pencils with wax based pencils over the prints. Working with the cracking from the plates, I drew beyond the print on the paper.


 The Start of Something New

I’m intrigued by what is starting to happen with this work. Not sure yet where it is going, but it has my attention. There are elements that have repeated in my work over the decades, so I know it’s something to pay attention to.

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  1. Christine, these are great! Anybody else want to make prints with me using broken down, home-made, falling apart, pock marked gelatin plates, lemme know. 🙂 ps We had so much fun!!!!

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