One of the things I love about printmaking is its playfulness. When you work in multiples, you lose the ‘preciousness’ of the image, and (for me) feel freer to mess about.

Earlier this fall, my friend Sue and I met at the Santa Cruz boardwalk to sketch and take photos. She ended up working on a series of prints about the Ferris wheel, and I gravitated to the swings. Here are a few of the results.

This first one is a straight-up etching.


Then an etching with chine colle and inked with several colors. This one feels like a foggy day to me.


And last, a colorful chine collee.


When I was working on this print, I was trying to capture the feel of the spin and speed of the ride. I was also trying to keep the drawing loose and natural; it’s easy to feel like you have to bear down hard on the etching tool to get a strong line instead of trusting the acid to add depth. I tried to keep the work of some favorite artists in my head, as inspiration: Rembrandt, Piranesi, John Sloan, Isabel Bishop.

Author: Melissa

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