Blackrock Editions is now accepting reservations for my next print release Hand with Hummingbird and Lover’s Eye. It is a copperplate soft ground etching with aquatint and spit-bite techniques. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Navajo Water Project. When Blackrock approached me on a collaboration for their Progressive Print Project―prints with an aim towards donating part of the sales to a charity of the artist’s choosing―I felt honored and delighted to be able to help in some small way. The plight of the Navajo Nation and the Native American community in New Mexico during this pandemic has touched me deeply especially because of friends who have suffered losses and illness. I asked a Navajo friend how I could help when I learned of the print collaboration and she very graciously sent me a list of organizations. After many months of work (with the added challenges of socially distanced collaboration) and several iterations of printers and artist proofs we are finally able to offer it to the public.
Etchings are prints made from designs drawn on prepared metal plates such as copper, which are then incised with the use of acid. Rembrandt produced some 300 etchings in his lifetime. Soft-ground etchings or vernis mou became popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, its pencil and chalk like impressions particularly suited to the works of Thomas Gainsborough and Edgar Degas. The technique is begun by the artist drawing a design on a piece of paper laid on top of a copper plate prepared with a soft ground (as opposed to a hard ground which is directly incised upon with a sharp tool). The copper plate is then exposed or etched by soaking it in an acid bath. Successive etching of the plate is further done through the use of aquatint (an even layer of tone) and also spit-bite (directly painting on the plate with acid).
This is my third collaboration with master printer Steve Campbell. Here are the two other prints available.