August 17, 2015

New Prints: Cardboard and Collage/Potato

Red Squares, ink on Sekishu natural paper; image size 12 x 12, paper size 22 x 22 in., ed. 4. 

Recently, for my cardboard prints, I've worked with very simple compositions using a single color. (See my previous two cardboard prints here). Within a 12 inch square are 2 larger and two smaller squares; the solid color of the smaller squares balances the larger squares made up of lines. After I'd printed it and was looking at a proof hanging on the wall, I noticed that there was an optical shift going on, with the squares bouncing forward and back. Another inadvertent element: the top of the linear square at the right has a rolling dip, a subtle curve down and up, which I didn't notice until the plate was printed. I like it: for me the irregularity adds some amusement and some energy to the outline.

Untitled 80, ink on Nishinouchi paper, 16 x 14 1/4 in. 

I had prepared several collaged sheets for this day of printing, but Untitled 80 is pure potato print, the only one I did that day.

Untitled 81, ink and pasted paper on Masa dosa paper, 16 x 14 in.

I am intrigued by the textural and shape relationships between the painted, pasted paper and the shapes made by a potato print stamp. In Untitled 81 the triangle and rectangle are pasted paper that had been painted with egg tempera; the lines connecting them are made with a potato print.

Untitled 82, ink and pasted paper on Izumo Mitsumata paper, 10 x 10 in.

When I began doing Book Paintings (see the post about them here), I thought it would be fun to try some new papers, so I ordered a few, sight unseen, from the fabulous NY Central Art Supply paper catalog. This beautiful hand made mitsumata paper, which I bought in several colors, turned out to be too heavy for my books, so I will use it for potato prints. The piece above has a collaged vertical blue rectangle with small shapes added with potato print.

Untitled 83, ink and pasted paper on Izumo Mitsumata paper, 12 x 16 in.

The yellow translucent paper pasted onto the mitsumata is a hand made gampi, a paper that I found too smooth and fine for books, so it will serve another purpose. A small stamped square holds the composition in place.

Untitled 84, ink and pasted paper on Akatosashi paper, 2 panels each 19 1/4 x 7 in.

Rectangles of pasted paper and stamped squares converse with each other across a small divide.

Untitled 84 detail

Here is a detail to get to give a better sense of the textures. The two papers pasted on the darker one are a Sekishu natural, and Gifu green tea medium. Much of the time I paint the papers I use for collage, but in this case their actual color worked well on the darker Akatosashi.

Untitled 85, ink and pasted paper on Izumo Mitsumata paper, 16 x 12 in.

Another print on the shimmery mitsumata, three long rectangles––one pasted, two printed–––move diagonally up the surface of the paper. I photograph these prints in a raking light so as to show the surface textures and irregularities; in other lights they don't appear as strongly, but for me they are part of the character of this work.


  1. I really like the color and form of the first one. Big Red.
    Can you explain what you were thinking when you made the other ones? Or perhaps just one of the other ones. Were you playing with color, texture and form?

    1. Thanks.
      As for the other prints, I'm always playing with color, texture, and form. In the collages, I start with the shapes and try to have interesting tensions between them, than add printed shapes to emphasize movement or color.

  2. I tend to like these works of yours. The way I approach your posts about them is to look first and then read your words.

    1. Thanks for reading my words; many people just look at the pictures.

  3. #80 and the detail on #4 hold both the most

  4. Movement and texture and engage me.