Show and Tell: A Visit to the Aquarium

Aquarium etching cropped



For this Show and Tell post, I am showing a series of three prints instead of just one piece.

In 2009, I visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport with my dear friend Paula. I love that place! I took a lot of photographs that provided me with some great images to use for artwork. A few months later, I did use some in a printmaking class at university, where we were learning to do intaglio etching. It was required that we choose a theme for each term so I chose aquarium images.

I loved learning to do the etching process. We used non-toxic materials and methods to etch the designs into copper plates. Intaglio means that the ink was rubbed into the plate and the excess removed before printing on dampened paper with a roll press. Here is a great site to learn about nontoxic printmaking.

My first print was of a Lionfish. It is such a beautiful fish and I did my best to portray its grandeur. It was an edition of 50 with 18 going to a class print exchange.


Lionfish etching
Lionfish photo
Lionfish copper plate

Here is the etched plate for the Lionfish print.





Seahorse etching

The second project Seahorse was made with two plates. I custom mixed my colours with Akua water-based inks. These creatures are quite intriguing! It was an edition of 6 in addition to 3 artist prints and 3 B&W test prints I plan to use as mixed media projects.

Jellyfish photoSeahorse photo

My third print, Aquarium was made by layering different papers during the printing process called 'chine colle.' For the water, I tinted wet Japanese mulberry paper with Akua watercolours before the application. The black foreground is another layer of Strathmore drawing paper. The base is charcoal grey Canson drawing paper. It was in an edition of 4 due to the complex process.


Aquarium etching
Aquarium photo
Aquarium framed


I have listed all three prints for sale in my shop on my website KmBennett Art




I apologise for the lack of imagination in naming my prints. At the time, I was focused on other things. I did improve later! 

Thanks for visiting!