Time to vote, art lovers!

As I’ve mentioned before, my screenprinting style is similar to Warhol’s in so much as I print several blotch areas and then overprint with a screen with the detail. Usually I produce the blotch screens by printing out the photograph on my computer and the cutting around the shapes. This means that registration is fairly straight forward.

Recently I’ve felt that these well registered prints looked a bit too “crafty” rather than “arty” if you know what I mean. Warhol’s misregistration is part of the appeal of his prints.

One of Andy Warhol’s screenprints of Liz Taylor

Here is a print I did recently based on a photograph I took on Blackpool promenade. It has printed, registered gold and pink blotches under the lamp-post and the seagull. Unfortunately the photograph is not good.The light brown background is actually even, not patchy as it appears.

The next print is one where I’ve physically painted the red and yellow blotch areas before screenprinting the black detail. Again, the grey blotch is even on the print. Painting the blotch areas will automatically lead to a varied edition as each painted bit will be different.

There is a third option which basically combines the two and that is to paint the blotch then use the painting to produce a screen. This would then not lead to a varied edition.

So. as the title of this post says, it’s time to vote, art lovers! Which way should I go with my blotches? Please ignore the fact that the colourways are different.

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About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
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22 Responses to Time to vote, art lovers!

  1. seascapesaus says:

    I think the second option looks fresher and has more chances of exciting accidents than the first!

  2. The second option’s my favourite – that print has so much character and humour to it and more evidence of your own hand. They’re both great, though.

  3. clinock says:

    As an art piece I’m with the first two commentators; however, if it was for commercial purposes I would go for #1…

  4. Nancy Farmer says:

    I can see why people have voted for the second one, but as both a painter and a printer it goes against the grain with me to reverse-engineer ‘accidents’ with careful technique to make something less perfect. Handmade prints aren’t perfect and the imperfections are part of their charm, but if there aren’t enough imperfections it seems bizarre to me to resort to painting to ‘mess them up’ a bit more. I think of painting as a way to create something more accurate than handmade prints, because you put the paint on bit-by-bit and you have complete control, so I worry that your imperfections will become contrived. Personally I think you should develop your prints as prints… but that’s just me.
    Sometimes I find Wharhol’s mis-registrations a bit contrived too mind you…(plus, I have a project in mind myself combining painting and printing but for quite different reasons, so maybe I should shut up now!)
    Oh, I also liked the first one best anyway 😀

  5. Drew Kail says:

    I really like the first print, but think it would be interesting to see the two systems together. I love Andy’s work as well, and have been to the Warhol Museum countless times (It’s in my hometown). He did some combinations of paint and screen also, but I can’t remember for which prints. I can’t wait to see the results of your experimentation.

  6. Deanne says:

    Interesting comment about reverse-engineering accidents. I voted for the 3rd anyhow, just for the sake of trying out something new.

  7. Many thanks to you all for your comments. I hope you don’t mind my replying to you collectively rather than individually. I have decided to head down the path of option 3 (which will look like option 2 anyway) by painting blotches onto tracing paper in ink or black paint then using that to produce a photoscreen. However I take on board the comments about the risk of the prints looking “contrived” and going “against the grain”. Clinock, I’m not sure what you mean about “commercial purposes”. Van Gogh may have only sold one painting in his life, but most of us want to sell a bit more than that. I don’t claim to make wonderful art, but only “things someone might like to hang on their wall”.

  8. Pingback: Warhol at the Dulwich Picture Gallery | notes to the milkman

  9. Pingback: Warhol at the Dulwich Picture Gallery | notes to the milkman

  10. Ann Jones says:

    I think Warhol’s ‘Shadows’ – http://www.diaart.org/exhibitions/introduction/98 – are a combination of paint and print and of all the work of his I’ve seen they somehow made the most sense to me. So I guess I don’t see a problem with combining paint and print (or paint/print and photography, sculpture, stitch, sound whatever). I guess the nature of editions is that we expect them to be the same (give or take the slight differences caused by the vagaries of the process) but the idea of multiples that are the same but different is also fairly well established.

    • Before I started screenprinting I used to be a gum arabic transfer printer. All of my prints I considered “variable editions” as due to “the vagaries of the process” it was impossible to get two prints the same!

      • Nancy Farmer says:

        I am reminded of what a very talented and long-established printer tells me (in whose studio and with whose teaching and advice I actually do my print work)… and that is that the idea that you have a run of identical editions is an invention of galleries, not artists. It’s only convenient for the galleries , who like to sell a run of identical editions.

  11. Pingback: A Small Reflection and A Big Thank You | notes to the milkman

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