I have just shipped these three portraits by Robert Sivell, RSA to The Stewartry Museum in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. It was a surprisingly difficult process, but the paintings should arrive there on March 3rd. The package is underinsured at $600 for all three, but … done is good. I love to think of these on display periodically in Bob’s home town museum, where I hope they will be enjoyed. These paintings represent this artists’ town history, as portraits of Kirkcudbright residents, by a resident artist. Left to right are: Robert Sivell, self-portrait, Agnes Wylie Sivell, the artist’s mother, and Robert Sivell Sr, the artist’s father.
The workshop was all about re-working / completing old prints. At left, I reprinted an unsatisfactory etching over monoprint, then brought it home for more work: drawing with pen & ink over the layers. The center piece is a collaboration: I printed using monoprinting with brayer and stencils over an etching from workshop participant Nancy Fredrick; we all passed an old print left, and worked on what we received. The lovely tree branches were etched onto an acrylic plate then printed with black ink by Nancy. The print on the far right is not finished yet!
Yay! I have sold this art light to a good friend & neighbor. The key was finding the right LED string. I needed plug in lights (not battery) that were not too bright, and not a 30′ long string for this small piece.
I found a 16′ string of LEDs on a dimmer that is a bit fussy to use, but works. The lights can be plugged in to a timer, and will retain the last setting used. This lets us ignore the many flashing modes, and determine the preferred brightness once and leave it alone!
I added a top cover, mounted the acrylic to a glass tile base, touched up and sealed the image, and it is delicate but stable enough to be functional (as well as fabulous of course :-).
The image is based on two overlaid images: a drawing inspired by a photograph of my maternal grandparents Bob & Belle, and a sketch of my granddaughter Fionna. The other two sides of this piece are displayed in previous posts.
This is a new variation on a small light featuring my digital collage of drawings in mixed media using Inkpress backlight film. If I can find or make a working string of plug-in LED lights that is not too long & too bright, I can mount this piece onto the glass tile in a way that will be somewhat secure, though still quite fragile.
I found I had to add a color diffuser layer inside, around the LEDs, and touch up the color on the printed film for the saturation I want. I printed to the matte side of the film, which takes the ink beautifully, but is very matte/dull. For this light, I wanted a brighter more saturated look, so added watercolor and finished with gloss clear spray. It is now almost a satin finish …
The film I used is very stiff, and cannot be readily folded to wrap the corners of this 3-sided acrylic piece, although it could be wrapped around a cylindrical tube. It is not stiff enough to work without a support however. I have been experimenting with various transfer methods, all of which are problematic in one way or another (of course!). All require considerable additional remediation/enhancements to be satisfactory. Working with the lights is not easy: I cannot predict the clarity & saturation that will satisfy me and much trial & error with rework is needed.
At left I printed a scan of my water soluble graphite “drawing” (The Ghost Children) on watercolor paper, then added water color (pencil & paint). At right, I worked directly with color and Water soluble graphite together in one step.
This is another variant of a digital drawing collage. The two adult figures are my maternal grandparents: a drawing derived from a very lovely photograph of them together.
The child is a transfer of a poor likeness of a a portrait of my granddaughter (by marriage). The whole is 11″ x 14″, in an acrylic box frame backed by LED lights.
Sounds simple enough, but it took a LOT of work & rework to get this right. There is just enough color and light diffusion so the piece looks good lit and unlit, I think.
The plug in LED lights are very bright, and come in long strings. I have not experimented with shortening them for a bit less light, but I do want that option, especially for smaller pieces.