“Vanitas Hew”

“Vanitas Hew” 6″x 6″ 7 Layer – Limited Edition – Silk Screen print – $25

This beautiful screen print is the byproduct of a collaborative project I’ve been involved in with artist and printmaker Victoria M. Barquin through her company Halftone Projects, LLC. The print is in production now and releases on November 9, 2019 at the Chicago Printers Guild 4th Annual Publishers Fair.

It’s been fun opening to the idea of collaborating in this way and I am really happy with the outcome.  The print evolved from one of my still life paintings called Vanitas III created last year.  Ms. Barquin created some extracts from that work ultimately using this cropped section of the painting to focus on and digitally modify with her own creative vision.  The word “hew” in the title means to “sever from the whole or chop”and felt relevant.

If you aren’t familiar with the process of printmaking hears a description of the process from the artist herself.

“I began by cropping down the original painting, isolating an area I found most interesting. Then, I started working with a digital brush in Photoshop to mimic Catherine’s linework and emphasize her subjects. After building up layers upon layers of color, the drawing was complete.”

“In order to transfer the image onto the silkscreen, each color layer needs to be separated out and converted to absolute black. I then use my inkjet printer to export each layer onto its own letter size sheet of 20 lb. computer paper. This piece of paper is transformed into a transparency by applying vegetable oil to the page and letting it dry out so that no sheen remains. Each transparency is referred to as a “stat” or “positive”. Once dry, the stat is then placed face up on the exposure unit and the coated screen is placed face down. The light from the exposure unit cannot pass through the black areas of the image so the photo emulsion stays soft in those spots, hardening around all of the black shapes and lines. The current exposure time on my unit is 7:40 minutes; so, when time is up, I bring the screen into my bath tub and spray it thoroughly with water until the image area has washed away. This is where ink will be able to pass through when printing.”

“After all of my screens are prepared, I begin color mixing. Initially, I attempt to match the colors generated in Photoshop but ultimately I let the handmade quality of the process come through and make decisions during the physical production that divert slightly from the digital mock-up. Each color is printed on top of one another until the print is complete. Then, I usually cut the prints down to bleed—trimming the border almost always has a more immersive effect for me. The last step is always to sign and edition the prints.” VMB


**To purchase a print visit halftoneprojects.com  – this is a limited edition of 25. 

Categories: Flowers, Still Life, VanitasTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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