This isn’t for any particular project, it’s just darkroom fun.
I wanted to see how reflections would appear in a chemigram, so I used refracted light through a glass mason jar filled with flowers to expose the paper. After the 1st application of developer was calming down, I solarized a 2nd layer of developer around the border of the piece. It’s a strange result and I’m not sure if I really like the piece, but I can see how refracted light is going to be just as useful as direct light sources. I need to buy prisms.
After trying out some of the softer lino in a print press and realizing that it is absolutely no good for anything more than hand-pulled proofing, I’m using up the leftovers for other ideas. I’ve been quite taken by the work of Wyndham Lewis, the Vorticist movement and Blast magazine, so I took the opportunity to try my first two-colour print and to test out some ‘Vorticist’ arrangements.
In response to Magida`s piece, some of her text and the shape of the tree branches gave me inspiration to work with a process that I hadn`t used in a while. Some of the books I like to read revolve around the incomprehension of the vastness of space and time and the connections between what is natural and unnatural, earth-bound and from the void. I wanted to mirror the branches with my own, over an alien landscape or a cosmic dust cloud, things that fascinate me purely because I can`t comprehend them.
These are preliminary pieces, unfinished and only scratching the surface of potential for manipulating darkroom chemistry. They are essentially the first `layer` of the piece or the background. Depending on how the chemicals react, I might either have to create all of the layers on one piece of paper at the same time in a matter of seconds, or build my background, arrest the development and then work on a second layer. I`m not yet sure how the silver reacts to multiple stops and starts.
Using my hands and paintbrushes has not gone as well as I thought it would because not only did it take developer to find all the cat scratches on my hands but the paintbrush, although very fine, was still too big for delicate lines. I`m going to use a syringe and a sponge next time. It is also surprisingly difficult to paint a negative image, which is why I have posted up both negative and positive pieces.
I was feeling in the mood to create something today. So this is a new piece, not in response to anything.
I layered a couple of Polaroid transfers and attempted to seal it with wax. Which I kind of regret only because it made a HUGE mess, and got over some previous pages.
I used some of the wax i got from this fall’s honey harvest, combined with synthetic candle wax, pure beeswax unbleached is not as transparent as the synthetic bleached version. Its also cracking quite a bit, so I will have to fool around more with wax to find out this process.
Anywho, for those who can’t read the text it says:
“I had this dream last night where I was stuck underwater. But I wasn’t drownin. I was just standing there free of all thoughts.”
More ‘in progress’ pictures. It’s difficult trying to focus my full attention on one sculpt, so I’ve made a few more to cycle through and come back to when the inspiration hits.
From top to bottom -
- Trying out a fleshy ‘doll making’ clay and sculpting ears for the first time. I ended up sacrificing/firing the head before finishing it because I needed to figure out my baking times before trying it out with finished work.
- Stop-motion puppet. Before I moved to Canada I taught myself how to animate with stop-motion and now it’s come back into my life and I’m ready to run with it. This armature belongs to an animation of the introduction to my anthology, based on a real-life event. I’m still torn between sculpting for realism or expression which is holding things up at the moment.
- Third armature/sculpt is a static piece, a character from my graphic novel. The character is based on the Beauchene skull except that it’s less focused on the skull and bones and more the whole body including the flesh, nervous system and viscera
Cthulhu Idol and R'lyeh, August, 2013. 2.5"x2.5", Linocut, Ink on Newsprint
by Dante Penman
These are some little pieces that will sit on the chapter pages of my book, the chapters Bestiary and Miskatonic County respectively. They may not be the final chapter illustrations, but I haven’t done any work with Cthulhu yet so I’ve used these as placeholders while I get the writing organized.