Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Starfish in trouble

Insanity seems to be King around here and was apparently waving his scepter and demanding allegiance about last January, when in a fit of fealty I signed up for yet another exchange.  Albeit, this one is a small one - paper size is a petite 5" X 7",  it has a large theme: Let This Be A Sign.  Say, what? Immediately after sign up I realized that the dizziness I was feeling was caused by the million and one questions rotating in my mind, trying to land on something substantial that I could evolve an image from.  But, nothing was happening - it was like when the little whirling circle on the computer just keeps whirling and never stops until you force quit.  This unfortunate state of being lasted for approximately two months.  Then there was a miracle, I kid you not.

On the news one night there was a segment on the status of starfish, some people know them as sea stars, and their perilous fight for survival.  Or fight for something.  They are dying up and down both coasts of the US. and probably other places, too, but those two for sure.  Furthermore. they were exhibiting very unusual behavior such as tearing their own arms off and eating them.  Ewww.  These poor things are in peril big time.  And, then it hit:  OMG that has to be a sign of something, pollution, change in water temperature or salinity due to the polar ice cap melting, no one seems to know what.  But, wait a minute!  Did I say "a sign of something"?  Yes, yes!  It is a SIGN!  And, to add to the festivities, there is a zen tangle drawing in my sketchbook that might be just what I need.  Ahh, but which sketchbook?  I found it without too much sleuthing:

There it is in the lower half of the page!  Next I traced it onto a piece of acetate and exposed it onto a Solarplate™.  Now, a normal person would have just printed it black on white and been perfectly happy with it.  But, we are speaking about moi.  The first thing I thought was, rainbow roll behind the image - yes I could do that - so I did.

Ummmm, she kind of gets lost in the background - maybe a little chine collé.  After trying a pink and a purple I landed on yellow - most of the starfish I've seen on our coast have been a bright yellow, so that was a winner.  I made an acetate stencil to lay down after the black ink and before the rainbow roll.

Never one to quit before it's too late, if one chine collé is good, how about two?  I just happened to have something perfect in the "white decorate papers" drawer.  So, a wonderful paper with streaks of silver undulating through it seemed to me to be the perfect complement.

The only problem was that the silver from the wonder paper would be forced onto the plate after every trip through the press and it would not come off with anything.  I tried baby oil, turps, mineral spirits, water (which is really not a good thing on solar plate). and finally, in a fit of desperation, De-Solv-It.  Which fortunately did not dissolve the plate, but did get rid of the silver residue, and that stuff had to go because it wanted to collect black ink on the next print and that certainly would not do.  After that problem was solved (no pun intended) I could go on to the last step: a blind embossing of the name STARFISH. (You may have to click on the image and enlarge it to see the embossing.) To my demented mind this signified the disappearance of this oceanic life form, if we humans don't do something to help them out.  Without them how and what will the anemones eat?  

The answer to the theme "Let This Be A Sign" was held in one little news segment on the Nightly News Report.  Who would have guessed?  Well, I'm very glad to have that out of the way and now it is on to the next quandary.  What am I going to do for my Year of the Horse card for the exchange on the Barenforum site?  I'll be watching the news for inspiration.  And, I'm thinking it will be a woodblock print - just for a change of pace and because the fingers are actually feeling pretty good these days!  Just will be keeping those fingers crossed that Arthur Itis doesn't rear his ugly head before I'm finished.

1 comment:

GreatAuntieHkat said...

Wow! I love this print. It's delicate, complex, intricate. I'm pretty sure I hear the sound of five arms clapping on the astral plane.