Thursday, June 24, 2010

The etching workshop experience by Justin

Hey, I just got done with etching boot camp all last week. Ray, you drilled us hard, but now I'm ready for battle against copper. This was an interesting class to take for me because there were many concepts of nontoxic etching that were almost the same as the traditional techniques I'd already learned. The only fear I had about nontoxic compared to traditional was that certain techniques would've been left out. Thankfully they were all options with nontoxic just achieved in different ways. Spitbite, Soft ground, Chine colle, Sugar lift, and others are all options just a little different. Before this class I avoided Aquatint with my life but not I hold it dear to my heart. Ray, thanks for your entertaining banter and insight on the world; i enjoyed it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Justin takes Monotype Workshop!

It's Justin again, and I just finished the Monotype class taught by Mary. It was a completely new frontier to my printmaking career. The direct results of this form was my favorite part. I realized that monotype is either instant satisfaction or instant disappointment. You can also build up layers easily to fix the weaklings. Thanks Mary, you were a great teacher and I hope we're monotypin' side by side again soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Brian Giza makes an impression with his drypoints!

Giza’s show of ballet dancers and backstage scenes is reminiscent of old master drawings. Giza, who is a retired dancer himself, spends all his spare time sketching and drawing. Most of his plates are created directly in the ballet studio – dancers have become quite accustomed to be drawn by him while they are tying their shoes, doing their hair, or stretching.

In fact, Giza spent the reception drawing one of his dancers. His drypoint demonstration, a first for New Grounds, drew a huge crowd.

In this technique a sharp tool such as an etching needle is used to scratch directly in the metal plate creating a burr that yields a characteristically soft and expressive line. In addition, Giza also uses a mezzotint rocker to layer darker areas into his plate.

Mezzotint, just like drypoint, is a non-etch intaglio technique. No acid is used to create information on the plate. Instead, the plate is worked on directly with positive marks as in drypoint, or with negative marks as in mezzotint. In the latter, the plate is literally covered with small pits by rocking the toothed tool systematically across the plate which results in a completely black plate. The image is then created by burnishing some of those pits which will create a variety of gray values. Brian uses the rocker as a positive tool to create dark areas which are not intended to be burnished. He creates some shading by only partially rocking the plate. The resulting image has rich color, texture and depth such as seen in “Sylphide.”

To proof the image, Brian covers the plate completely with ink, removes the excess with a heavily sized cheesecloth also referred to as a “tarlatan and places the inked plate on the press bed (not shown here).

Printmaking paper is placed over the inked plate, and the image is then transferred to paper by rolling it through the etching press.

Ah, the moment of “lift-off” when the paper is peeled off the plate and the image is revealed. What a lovely image, Brian!

Brian also does portraits from life directly on plates. Here is a plate with an image of gallery assistant Tanya.

A special thanks to everybody who helped with this reception, Mike Rudahl, Mary Sundstrom, Pamela Wesolek, Tanya and Anise.

Last but not least, our intern Justin (here with his girlfriend) did a tremendous job as a greeter. We love you Justin!!!!!!!!!

The show will run until June 26 if you missed the reception or if you would like to see it again. It’s a stunning show.

Also, click below to see a video of the demonstration!

Oh, and here is the embed code for sharing the video:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First Friday from our Intern, Justin Camilli

Hi, my name is Justin Camilli and I'm the new intern here. New Grounds has taken me under its wing to teach me the art of nontoxic printing. Sadly I'm only here for the summer and I'll go back as a junior to CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado where I'm majoring in traditional printmaking.
This was my first First Friday experience and it was great. I was surprised at how friendly people were and how much everybody was "jonesin' " to see art. It was also my first time as a greeter of anything, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the eager faces enter and the satisfied exit. I was especially stoked to see shirtless tan man. The only thing was that my face muscles couldn't function afterward because of my extreme greeter smile. Anyways, I'm excited for the next one and the interesting faces it brings in.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Figure in Ballet – Drypoint and Gravure by Brian Giza

14 x 11"

12 x 15.5"

Brian Giza is a former dancer and current balletomane. His elegant and monochromatic prints focus on portraits, nudes, and the environment of the ballet. Giza is an expert drafts person who takes his plates to rehearsals and dressing rooms to work on them directly. He will produce several plates in one drawing session, considering some of them “sketches” and print only the one he considers successful. The resulting images exude an immediacy, intimacy and refinement comparable to old Master drawings.

Exhibition dates: June 4 – 26
(Early Bird Preview: June 1 - 4)

First Friday Artscrawl Reception: June 4, 5 – 8:00 PM

Demonstration during the reception:
6:30- 7:00 PM.