Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: not a doodle

not a doodle


inkjet print, frottage and drawing with conte 19.5 x 28.5 cm.

I love how inspiration can come from something seemingly half-mindless like a doodle, as I wrote about previously. Just posting about them and reading your comments set me thinking again about the stack of proofs (test prints) on my studio table that I have not wished to discard even as they take up precious work space. I sometimes cut some up for cards and sometimes think of using parts in collages (but haven't). This morning, still in pj's and a cup of coffee in hand, I felt the urge to do another rubbing and drawing from a deeply etched copperplate onto a section of an inkjet proof. Here it is in all its imperfections but I'm pleased enough to show it off. I hope to do more, maybe it will even become a little series. A good start for the new year!

Marja-Leena | 04/01/2012 | 14 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Drawings


Oh (I have to use the language of the young ones here) that is soooo cool! My eyes were drawn to the middle first, when slowly I noticed figures to the right. Then, a gentle realization that figures were in the bluish-white part in the middle, too! It all entered my awareness like a languid dance. How on earth did you do that, Marja-Leena?

Rouchswalwe! I'm delighted by your response, thank you. Do you mean how did I make this? The deep etched copperplate has strong textures on it with a number of figures. The inkjet print itself has an image of a rock face with a dark split in a diagonal. That print was placed over the etched plate and I rubbed over those textures with a white and a black conte stick to produce this. Does this make sense?

This works really well. I like it. I'm interested that you managed to get the figures from the etched lines without too many extraneous marks, given that the figures were not raised as in the usual frottage. I do like the extra lines, however. Very interesting, and it must be very exciting for you. I can immediately think of all sorts of other things to try!

Olga, actually the figures are raised with the surrounding areas etched deeper. Sorry I did not make that part clear. Only another printmaker would pick up on that. Yes, I'm excited to try more of this - I think I may be pulling out more deep etchings and collagraphs from storage. What I also like is that I can do this work at home instead of at the print studio.

One of the things I like about only having one day per week at the print studio is that it forces me to prepare as much as possible at home. I love doing the homework before in order to maximise platemaking and printing time - and then coming home and thinking about different ways I can then exploit the imperfect but interesting results once I'm back in my own home studio again. I'm always thinking. Bliss!

I look forward to seeing what else you come up with. I'm such a believer in revisiting previous work.

Olga, you sound very happy and inspired with your printmaking - that is great! I too love to revisit older work and even reuse elements of them sometimes. That seems to be what I'm doing now, partly as play as I ease back into another "serious" piece next week.

I'm not a print maker but I like the effect very much. I'm delighted you have so much to provide creative entertainment for yourself and fascinating images for us.

Susan, 'creative entertainment' for myself - heh!

You do know that you don't need to be a printmaker to do rubbings.

how beautiful, such a great process. i do love those sudden attacks of drawing that come over a person, when doing something else entirely. x

Elisa, thanks. Sudden attacks - well said! I wish I would get more of these.

I did a number of brass rubbings when I lived in England. My guess is that very few people are allowed to do so now. One church rector moved a whole section of pews and a carpet to show me an especially beautiful old brass which he allowed me to imprint.

Maybe I'll look for a few items around here while I suffer through this temporary block :-)

Susan, what a coincidence that you should write about the rubbings you did in England! Somehow I ended up spending the afternoon reading my old blog posts about our trip to the UK and Paris in 2009. I think you were a new visitor then and wrote about this very subject! Are our ears burning?

We have good friends who are from the UK -- in their home, framed and on a wall, they have some rubbings they took from some church.

Hope you found something to take some some rubbings of, and that your artist's block clears! I can't believe the holidays are almost over and I still have not prepared my next piece to print at the studio next week! I'm just distracting myself with other pleasures.

I'm really desiring a 3-D screen so I can feel that one!

Marly, the paper with rubbing is flat, but the copperplate certainly has depth and texture worthy of a 3D screen.