Leaves via Screenprinting
Recently, I took a screenprinting class at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, Maryland. The leaves above are one of the results from my shot at screenprinting… I first tried using just green ink, then experimented by adding yellow and then pink. The resulting printed image was a nice blend of the three colors.
Let me back up here: I had never screenprinted before, so this was a neat chance to explore a different way of image making. My drawn image of leaves was exposed to a screen that had a side covered with emulsion. When I sprayed the screen with water, the part behind the leaf image washed away — so the leaves gradually appeared as transparent areas surrounded by the areas still covered with emulsion. Then us students printed by placing ink on the screen, then sliding a squeegee across. The ink was then applied to paper below the screen. (Wikipedia has a nice overview of the screenprinting process.)
This was fun to try a new method of creating images. I’m so used to designing on a computer, that I think it’s why I’ve been enjoying painting so much — getting my hands dirty with ink (or paint) and watching a visual gradually appear from a blank canvas is mighty satisfying. I’ll post some paintings soon… I have to get around to taking photos of them.
Pyramid Atlantic is a great resource in the Washington, DC area, where you can take classes in screenprinting, letterpress, block printing, paper making, book binding, and more. And you can rent studio time to work with the equipment. They’re celebrating their 30th anniversary on April 9 — it’s free and open to a public. A cool way to get introduced to the place!