James Groleau: Tide
July 17-August 13
Artist's Reception Saturday, July 22 4-6 pm
Color ink washes are first painted on crumpled paper, then torn into pieces and glued onto stretched canvas. The image is created in layers; in general the darker colors are laid down first, while the highlights are the final touches. When the image is achieved the collage surface is sanded to an even finish and worked with wax pencil to indicate both highlights and shading and to serve as a guide for subsequent applications of collage. The surface is again sanded before multiple applications of varnish.
Mezzotint is an engraving process, which utilizes tones to define and create an image through the sole use of hand tools. This technique, developed in the seventeenth century, has changed little since its inception, however in recent decades there has been much experimentation combining other techniques to new effect.
A metal plate, usually copper, is first roughened by means of a mezzotint rocker, a serrated tool which, when rocked across the copper plate, will produce a rough surface. The plate is rocked in one direction, then another, again and again, until it is uniformly textured. The artist then carefully scrapes and burnishes the prepared plate creating the highlights and median tones of an image. Once the desired image is achieved the plate is inked and run through an etching press transferring the image to paper.
Under the pressure of the press, the finely scored mezzotint plate presses into the printing paper, depositing ink, while at the same time increasing the surface contours of the paper through embossment. Because of this added texture, the mezzotint reflects back to the eye a rich and saturated color in the same way that velvet will.
Color is introduced to the process in a number of ways, perhaps the most common being multiple-plate technique. Chine Collé utilizes color paper, which is glued to the larger printing paper during the printing process. Another technique, a la Poupée, involves inking one plate with two or more color inks. Any of these techniques may be combined to excellent effect.
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