Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Show and Tell: You Can Turn to Stone Now!


You Can Turn to Stone Now! by Kathryn M. Bennett




 

In my printmaking classes at WOU, we were required to choose a theme each term. Since I was also studying anthropology, I chose to focus on folklore and mythology. This project was originally a plan for a painting (yet to be done... but I will). Many sources say she was ugly, but I wanted to illustrate Medusa as a beautiful woman who was cursed with the inability to let anyone get near her. Also, most images I found showed her with the snakes all the same kind and I chose to give her a variety.


I was fortunate to have classmate Diana as a model. She was a beautiful and willing subject. I had found the light in the women's room near the classroom had the best diffused natural light and had used it on a few occasions. While I took the photos, I told Diana to think this way... “I want people, when they look in your eyes, to just know that they are going to turn to stone.” She did a wonderful job (thank you so much DW)!

 

 

 

Cropped image

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also did my own research for snake images. A couple months earlier (while planning the painting), I had photographed snakes at Brad's World of Reptiles exhibit at the 2010 Oregon State Fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I developed a few charcoal and graphite sketches.

 

 

The final design was redrawn on mylar. Since this was a two-plate project, the second was for the additional blue.

This imaging process used ImagOn, which involved laminating a photo-reactive film onto copper. It took me two weeks, eight tries, and numerous trial prints to get it to work for me. The trials would work and then the plate would not. Fortunately this method is fairly inexpensive. The film on the plate appears to have begun to break down through time. I need to research and find a way to repair and perhaps seal it if I want to make more prints. (If not, at least I still have the mylar drawings I used to make the plates.)

 


 

 

Intaglio printing involves applying ink (I used Akua water-based inks) to an etched or textured surface, wiping away the surplus, and printing on damp paper using a roll press (of which I do not have but is on my wish list).


I made two kinds of prints. One with a two plate process (printing each paper twice and getting the registration just right) and another by using both the black and blue ink together on one plate.

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also experimented with monotypes by applying Akua colors on plexiglass and printing over the intaglio image. They aren't listed online but they are for sale.  Contact me!




These prints are available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

 

Feel free to browse any time and if you see something you would like to see featured, just leave a comment and I will bump it up on my list. Please help me by sharing these blog posts with your friends and in advance... thank you!











Note: Actual image is 9" x 12" I made a few prints using Arched Rives BFK paper, but listed only one each, so if you try to purchase and it says, "Sold" then let me know and I will post another listing (while they last).

20 comments:

  1. Fascinating, Kathryn. I've always found the mythological Medusa quite intriguing but to give her your own rendition is classic! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Vatsala! I really enjoy illustrating myths and folk tales. And Medusa has always intrigued me also.

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  2. What a beautiful work of art - and I loved your explanation and your interpretation of Medusa!

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    1. Thank you Kimberly! I enjoy sharing almost as much as making! A lot of people do not know how much work goes into a project. I am sure some think we just walk into the studio and it magically appears. haha

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  3. Aside from being mesmorized by this art work, I so admire your ability to describe and document the process. So often, we have NO idea what it takes to produce the final work of art.

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    1. Thank you! I am glad that when I work on projects I document them. Originally it was for reference if I needed to go back a step. Also, it helps to study them as I work. Flaws and problems often show up better this way. And... makes for great blog posts!

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  4. Really nice work of art! I especially enjoyed the black and white print with blue accents.

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    1. Thank you for liking it and your nice comment! That is the two plate one. I did a separate plate with just the blue. I chose to mix a soft and subtle blue ink to add shading and depth.

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  5. Very interesting process, Kathryn. The live model really seems to have added an incredible reality to your work and it seems to the actual process as well. I really enjoy how you document and take us through your thinking and doing process to arrive at the end result. A wonderful Medusa, indeed!

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    1. Thank you! I try to keep them short and sweet. I didn't tell about the best part. I was struggling with it so much that when the plate 'worked' I ran across the building and crept into my prof's drawing class to show her. We were both excited!

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  6. Wow. You can flat draw. This is beautiful. I liked learning about the process but your results are amazing.

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  7. Really intriguing. I love learning about the process, both your real world research and the media you used. I always wished I could draw. I did a couple of those TVGuide cartoons way back when.

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    1. Thank you Shannon! I remember those ads... you need to start somewhere right?

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  8. I love the idea and the final result. Can I volunteer to be your next model? I'd love to be drawn as someone from Greek Mythology.
    Brilliant work as always Kathryn. You are an inspiration to those of who are lacking in artistic skills.

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    1. Thank you so much Caroline! Maybe someday I can come get reference photos! Sincerely, I see it less of a skill and more of a blessing. I'll write about it in a post soon.

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  9. The process looks so complicated and fascinating at the same time! Had no idea of everything that goes behind the scenes to make it happen, Kathryn!

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    1. Thank you Delia! I really enjoyed getting my arts degree because it meant learning all these things.

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  10. Beautiful art! So much detail.. and patience :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Probably about 20% patience and 80% stubbornness!

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