In the studio are hundreds of sketches, along with stacks of short-hand notes on light-effects, clouds, trees, compositions, etc; all done on location. Most of these sheets of paper measure no larger than 7x10”, some as small as 2x3”, and many bound in hand-made sketchbooks.
I use these precious sketches and notes as reference when developing a piece in the studio. The oil paintings, watercolors, and prints composed in the studio head to the marketplace, but field sketches remain in the vault for further use and admiration.
Etching (from the Dutch “etzen,” meaning “to eat”) is my primary form of print-making. Lines are scratched into a protective rosin that coats a copper plate. A Ferric Chloride salt bath cleanly eats these lines into the exposed copper, after which the rosin is removed before printing. When the finished plate is coated in ink and wiped clean, the ink-filled lines are transferred to paper using a high pressure press. Drafting skills are laid bare with only line to express composition; this denudation fuels my devotion to the craft. Prints are pulled on a Rembrandt Graphic Art Etching Press, which carries a 24x36” bed.
Published November 22, 2013 on MN Original, tpt's weekly arts series celebrating Minnesota's creative community.