When I haven’t been photographing vintage artwork, doing laundry, making dinner, cleaning the house or chasing the kids I’ve been playing the deconstructed screen print relief rubbings on fabric. There is way to much fun to be had with this method of printing. I had an idea of using musical instruments for a design. And luckily my house is chock full of instruments to pick from. Don’t ask me to actually play any of them unless you are looking for a way to torture someone. But Victor and the kids seem to be rather gifted with musical talents so I leave the music to them. And no I didn’t use Victor’s way cool electric guitar hanging on the wall or any of his keyboards. I went for the far more inexpensive and replaceable toy guitar that was collecting dust on a shelf. But I confess I did use the 100 year old antique, hand-carved piano. The Neocolor Crayons are water soluble and the piano is now cleaner than it’s been in a long time. So it’s a win-win there.
I spent longer than I did before on refining the drawing on the screen than I had in the past. I think this really paid off. I also went back after I did this initial rubbings and used watercolor pencils to work more definition into some of the lines. The use of white was also new for me. It put in a nice contrast with the mass of dark colors. So here you can see the screen and the print for the first print called Impromptu.
That one came out so darn well I had to try it again with a slightly different design but similar to the first one. I called this one Reverberation. The second one is a photo of it drying, hanging on it’s side.
In the midst of this creation (over several days), my friend Lynn invited me to a Golden Paint Demo. I’ve been using their products since my art school days and I love them. I learned so much and gathered oodles of information in just that little session, my head was buzzing for hours afterwords. I really wanted to try and screen print with some the Open paints. They take longer to dry, hence they could make a cool screen print. Victor happily took a quick break from work one day and ventured over to the Dick Blick store in Dearborn to pick up some of these for me:
Aren’t they pretty!? Deep, rich earthy tones just waiting for messy printing fun.
So here was my idea. Every time I do a print I will usually do two or three pieces from each screen because I can’t stand to let any leftover crayon still on the screen go to waste. Problem was that only the first print was really usable and the second and thirds were pretty washed out. Hence I pretty much just wasting fabric and matte medium. So last night I mixed up some Open paints with fabric medium, did some quick designs on the screens and overprinted the washed out second and third prints with the paint mixtures. I tried to match my crayon colors to the paint colors I was going to use, with some variations. Are you following me so far? Maybe the photos will help.
Here’s the screen ready for printing. I’m using faded prints from the Impromptu design mentioned earlier.
Here’s the paint mixed and ready to go. I didn’t mix as much as a would for first time print. This stuff ain’t that cheap, but the colors are very strong, so I didn’t want to over do it. I used a brush to add in one other color, just to see what would happen.
Here’s the first one: (yes, it’s upside down)
It came out really cool. But I realized (duh) that the surface isn’t going to be soaking up the paint like it does with a first print so I got some globby type marks when I pulled the screen up. But it kinda looked good, so I left it for the first one.
For the second one, I got a similar type glob but I decided to take a paint brush to it. That was fun too. Got a totally different effect that was just as interesting. Sorry about the glare here.
So all-in-all a pretty successful experiment. I’m hooked. Onto the next print!