Today's postings

  1. [Baren 35769] Re: Printing Black tips and brushes ("Mark Mason")
  2. [Baren 35770] MFA Printmaking Programs? (Dan Allegrucci)
  3. [Baren 35771] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs? (Barbara Mason)
  4. [Baren 35772] Re: Latest Prints ("Ellen Shipley")
  5. [Baren 35773] Dave Bull and the appendix... ("Mark Mason")
  6. [Baren 35774] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs? ("DePry Clan")
  7. [Baren 35775] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs? (aqua4tis #
  8. [Baren 35776] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs? ("Imin Yeh")
Member image

Message 1
From: "Mark Mason"
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 14:30:55 +0100
Subject: [Baren 35769] Re: Printing Black tips and brushes
Send Message: To this poster

Hi all,

I'm about to start printing up the first set in my latest print project (see my latest blog entry at curiouslydrawn) and a lot of the success or failure will be largely to do with the quality of my black printing on a mixture of fine and large lines.

So I'm looking for tips and advice to help me along. I'll be printing waterbased colour on hosho paper with a baren and I'm using Kaimei Bokuju (from McClains) to print the black.

Is it ok to "charge up" the block before printing by allowing ink to absorb into it a few times? Is there a different balance of paste to use as compared with colour pigments, and is printing with more pressure and less ink preferable? I've tried various dilutions of the ink with water to get a balance that is strong, but not overpowering. Any comments, help and advice would be gratefully received.

Regarding the recent posts on the use of brushes, I've never wet my brushes before printing, I didn't think you had to. I've always only ever used them for blending pigment and paste on the block and brushing the blended colour over the printing area. The brush then gradually gets charged with the pigment/paste blend, but never gets "wet" as such. Mid-way through printing I find that I can get a few blocks printed using only the pigment that's absorbed into the brush. The wood of the brush near the bristles never gets wet, and I try to avoid wetting it when I clean the brush, which I do (after removing any excess pigment on a paper towel) by a quick rub of gentle hand soap on the palm of my right hand and then lightly scrub my brush into it, rinsing a few times under a slow water tap. I then give it a good shake and wipe with a paper towel to get as much moisture out as possible. I leave it to dry out completely for a couple of hours by resting it on it's side. No signs of split brushes yet.

I have a set of the smaller brushes for each main colour group to avoid any intermixing. Red, yellow, blue, black. ( so far any greens I've printed have either been over printing of blue and yellow, or bluey greens. I use either the red or yellow brushes for any browns or ochres.
Member image

Message 2
From: Dan Allegrucci
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 06:44:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 35770] MFA Printmaking Programs?
Send Message: To this poster

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone had any experience or opinions about getting a printmaking MFA, especially later in life when one has a family? I'm not really looking to teach at a university, I'm looking at it more as a way to take my work to the next level and springboard my art into a career more than a hobby. Any input is appreciated. Also, does anyone know of any programs that are especially woodcut-friendly?
Member image

Message 3
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 07:59:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 35771] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs?
Send Message: To this poster

I have to tell you that most of what I learned about
printmaking I learned after I got out of school by
doing it and working with other printmakers. I would
advise you to find the best printmaker in your area
and see if you can work with them. Then go on to the
next person, what you learn in a relatively short time
with each artist will be amazing.
If you do not care about teaching, I don't think a
masters will buy you much, but since I did not go that
route others may have different ideas. It might get
you connections that pay off, but there are many who
get out of art school and never make a job out of art
because that seems to be the one thing they forget to
teach you.
Earning a living as an artist is tough but
possible...Maria has done it going the art fair path.
Galleries are iffy, they sort of store your work and
occasionally sell some. I think you would need a dozen
to actually make a living at it.
Once you find your voice as an artist, that is your
imagery is pretty solid and not changing every month,
it is easier to find support.
What type of imagery do you do? There are many on this
list who can offer advise about how to market
yourself. Some of us are very successful financially
and some just love making art. Every level is probably
represented here.
My best to you
Member image

Message 4
From: "Ellen Shipley"
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 09:24:36 -0700
Subject: [Baren 35772] Re: Latest Prints
Send Message: To this poster


Your sea prints are amazing. I always love your medieval ones, but the sea looks like a departure for you. I love the movement in them.


Ellen Shipley
Trompt As Writ
Member image

Message 5
From: "Mark Mason"
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 18:56:12 +0100
Subject: [Baren 35773] Dave Bull and the appendix...
Send Message: To this poster

I had the opportunity to have a good look at Tashen's huge new publication: "Hiroshige, 100 Famous Views of Edo" link:

It's a very large format edition with some interesting features. The image on Amazon is of the "silk" bound portfolio style box/slipcase which is held closed by 2 "bone" style clasps. The book inside is softback, and bound using a Japanese stitch method. Each back to back page is actually one single large sheet, printed on only one side and folded in half, so that the page edges are actually the spine of a fold. It reads in the Western format.

There is a good deal of information about Hiroshige, Ukiyo-e and printmaking in the earlier part of the book but the bulk of the book is made up of all the prints from this series, at full size, which to my knowledge is a first in book publishing. On the facing page of each print is a detailed explanation of the print.

Finally, and here's where I explain the connection between our Dave and an appendix:

At the back of the book is... an appendix, and under "Internet Sources" 2 websites are listed, and one of them is with the note "Last accessed in June 13th 2007"

I hope this leads to a flood of orders for Dave : D

Put this book on your wishlist if you're interested in Hiroshige, it's very nice. Maybe someone will buy you a copy for your birthday!
Member image

Message 6
From: "DePry Clan"
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 15:29:07 -0700
Subject: [Baren 35774] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs?
Send Message: To this poster

I got my MFA in printmaking and started my family in the middle of it. It diffinitely forced me to manage my time in the studio and at home; didn't have time for the social school stuff. If anything the MFA is set up to take your work to next level under a structured environment that will give you skills, feedback and the ability to experiment. To me it makes sense to do it if you need the accredation but if you have discipline I don't see why you would want to pay all that money on tuition and such. Hope that helped, got any questions let me know.
Later days,
Double D
Member image

Message 7
From: aqua4tis #
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 20:05:59 -0400
Subject: [Baren 35775] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs?
Send Message: To this poster

im doing my mfa online through the academy of art university. however, i agree with everyone else. if youre not going to teach why spend all the money, when you could study with printmakers.
Member image

Message 8
From: "Imin Yeh"
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 18:32:28 -0700
Subject: [Baren 35776] Re: MFA Printmaking Programs?
Send Message: To this poster

I am a first year Printmaking MFA at the California College of the arts and
let me tell you it is easily one of the most challenging things I have ever
done. i got my undergrad at University of Wisconsin-Madison which has a
really large printmaking department and a lot of great support. CCA has
only two printmaking MFA's this year and it is a very conceptual
and theoretical program. I do not learn any technical printmaking skills
here whatsoever. The program is not set up to make you a great printmaking
professor, it is set up to make you a great artist (or as good as you can
That being said, i think i am challenged more in this program than any other
MFA program and it has pushed me to be a much better artist (i'm still doing
woodcuts despite being the only one in the school...) across all mediums not
just within the printmaking world that I had become so familiar. They also
have a large Printmaking scholarship (it is one of the largest the school
offers), thus making it a very affordable decision. Plus the Bay Area has a
plethora of opportunities and delicious fruit to partake in.

Sometimes I miss a strong printmaking community, but than I just check my
email and talk to you all here.

Imin Yeh