Marja-Leena Rathje
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my Monday


After breakfast, I took my tea with me and sat down at my computer to read emails, some news and a few blogs, as I usually do most mornings if I don't leave the house early for the printmaking studio or an appointment. Today, I wanted to make another collagraph for my ongoing Silent Messengers print series. I wrote about one of them a while ago, in case you missed it.

I had an idea of what I wanted but needed a little inspiration to clarify it. I decided to have a look at The Bradshaw Foundation website, and was excited to find some new additions to the already rich collection of rock art images from around the world. Some of the Baja, California petroglyphs seemed along the line of what I was after, so I started sketching my own idea.

From time to time, I looked out the window next to me and noticed that it was snowing big fat white feathers! This kept on going all morning, though melting on the ground. I could not resist taking a few photos. I think the one above of the wet snow on a skylight is rather interesting, even though I'm not impressed with this weather this late in February!

Later I moved into my little home studio to make the collagraph. First cutting some matboard into the desired shape, I then began slowly cutting and gluing paper shapes including crinkled tissue paper onto it. I used acrylic medium as a fixative as well as coating all the surfaces including the back. Tomorrow, I'll have another look at it, and will add more detail if needed and more layers of medium. I found a way of applying gloss acrylic very smoothly onto areas that I want to wipe clean (ie. white) when I ink it for printing. On Wednesday I hope to print some proofs of it. Wish me luck, and maybe I'll show you how it develops!


Marja-Leena | 26/02/2007 | 15 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Home, Printmaking


It's so lovely to be invited into your creative process M-L. Look forward to seeing more after Wednesday!

That's a very intriguing photo, M-L!

We're still getting snow, too, but that's normal for here.

Tall Girl, glad you liked the glimpse - it seems a lot of people enjoy seeing the artist's process, especially something more "complicated" (not really) like printmaking.

Dave, thanks! Guess what? After a clear frosty night, it's gloriously sunny today! An unexpected pleasure. I just had to go outside to do some garden chores, in between studio work, because it's back to snow flurries and rain tomorrow. Sigh.

I wish you luck and will be really interested to see how it turns out. Nice workroom.

Oh I'm looking forward to see what you did.

Anna and Cathy - thanks for your interest and support. I can hardly wait to see how it will print tomorrow.

I loved seeing your studio! Seeing into the 3D space you work in, well, it added a new dimension!

Lucy, glad you liked the peek. I don't know why I haven't posted any photos of my studio before. I do the printing (and etching etc.) outside my home because it's too small here for a press and I don't want the chemicals in the house. And a print shop is expensive to set up.

That is by far the cleanest studio I have ever seen.

Must be all that white. When I set-up my Santa Fe studio, I painted the floor orange, I'll have to take a pic of it now that it is two years later. After I remove everything this weekend, to move on to the next place.

Hah, Daniel, I had to clean the counter and tabletop before I could get to work! And what you don't see is the mess under the table and the opposite wall. I have paint drips on white wall and off-white floor. I need the light, you see. Of course, I do the messiest work at the printmaking studio. But thanks for your comments - good luck with your move!

Skylight! So that's what that is. I couldn't tell, though I love the way the photo looks. Thank you for bringing us in on a little of your artistic process. How exciting — I can't wait to see more. It's been snowing, melting, snowing, melting here.

Hi MB, the weather is still changeable here. Yesterday was sunny, this morning we woke up to snow on the ground and still coming down. Most of it's melted now...

Those lovely old (maybe not?) flat files are so evocative for me of friends' and teachers' studios. They always seemed like magical treasure chests, not merely chests of drawers.

Hope the work went well...

Hi Lori! Yes, the flat files are quite old. Got them cheap secondhand, but could use more as these are stuffed full. I need wider ones for my larger works, but I don't have the space in here.

As for the collagraph - no, it didn't work - my paper stuck to it in printing - maybe I cross-mixed brands of acrylic medium, I don't know. Anyway, I'll make a new improved one.