Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finally no more processes...but still there is stress

Just came from class, where the teacher gave a lecture on a process called "litho" something or other. Chances are I will have forgotten everything he said by next class; I seem to be forgetting a lot of the processes lately. I totally forgot aquatint.

Fortunately, this is the last process he is teaching us, with the end of the semester coming soon.

I finally bought my zinc plate today, for $59, and I sold half of it to one of my classmates since I didn't think I would be using it all and got back $30. I got it cut and used one of the plates for my second soft ground print (the one I'm doing with leaves & foliage I collected) and another plate - long and thin - for my aquatint, which I bought a set of stencils for because, according to one of my classmates, you needed to make a stencil (although the teacher refuted this). I got confused about the aquatint but fortunately the teacher helped me out. He asked me what exactly I was planning to do with the stencil as far as aquatinting and I said, I didn't really know exactly but that I needed to do an aquatint cause I hadn't done one yet and I didn't want to be behind, and that somebody had told me you needed to make a stencil for it. He told me you didn't need to make a stencil, but since I had one and some extra space around where I would've put the stencil (I had made the plate have space around where the stencil would be on purpose when marking my plate into smaller plates, thinking I would need it), he said, let's go and experiment. So we did. He used my stencil (of a line of roses) and did three of them, one on top, one in the middle, one on the bottom. Then he took some metal mesh thing he'd picked up on our way to the spray booth (where you can use spray paint safely away from others, since the fumes are so bad...someone was using that when we got there though so we did it over a trash can) and laid it on there so when you lifted it off, it filled the blank space. Then he told me that if I liked it to go put it in acid.

The mesh thing was actually pretty cool - you do a similar trick to this with tarletan (which is also like mesh but is cloth) with the foliage soft ground, to produce the same effect (filling the blank/negative space).

Here is a picture of the design of the stencil, blown up a little via Photoshop:


But despite all my work today, the only fruit of my labor was one print of my second soft ground, in green, and accidentially upside down (this happened with my first print of my first soft ground too). An attempt to print this same thing in blue turned out so light you couldn't see anything, and the aquatint, in black, ditto. *sigh*

So I am bummed. This on top of Amy leaving for the start of her basic Army Reserves training today (we did talk yesterday though on IM), just plain being restless, buying a book that sounded good but is actually pretty disturbing, the heat (although it is cooler today), and the stress of knowing I gotta get ready for my final soon, picking my 5 pieces to present. And the pieces will actually be displayed in the gallery here! Scary! I hope the matting covers my smudged edges, the result of touching the paper with inky fingers.

I don't know why I've been so restless lately. Maybe I'm just tired, or maybe cause I'm trying to eat healthier I'm not getting as much sugar or protein (both energy boosters) as I usually get. Or maybe I'm sick. Or it could just be a pre-menstrual thing; I'm starting to get restless before day 1 of my period now.

I did have a whole quarter leg (a thigh and leg together; it's a service deli item) for dinner on Sunday, just to see what it tasted like. That probably messed up my "diet" right there -- although the chicken is baked, not fried. And baked chicken I think is better for you. It was pretty good though, but very messy to eat. And very filling.

I've gotten back into listening to my Divine Comedy audiobook, which I have found does not interest me as much as I expected. I am on the Paradiso now. I think that the first part (Inferno) is easier to read (or listen to) because more is actually going on. The other two parts (Purgatorio and Paradiso) have less actual action and more "discourse" -- long speeches on various topics, mostly theology. One gets lost in the wording and rather confused. Not to mention that medieval Christian theology (such as Dante and the readers of his time would have known) is very different from modern Christian theology in many respects, so it is difficult to understand the former when your main education is in the latter.

Well I better go, it's getting late and I want to buy my May bus pass before I leave and maybe get something to eat to lift my energy. Bye.

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