The SMFA Class Action Suite or “How I learned that art is more therapeutic than letting eggs rot in your car for 5 months”

This year I participated (yet again) in the SMFA Print and Paper Area’s annual Class Action Suite. Anyone affiliated with the SMFA can participate, but it winds up being mostly students and faculty within the area. We decide on a theme, a paper size and then the edition size is based on the number of participants. It usually hovers around 30-something. This year’s theme was “Exes” and to be interpreted anyway you’d like. [If you know me personally, you’re absolutely right to assume how I interpreted that theme!]

I used a photograph from my wedding, a close-up of my ex-wife and I holding hands. But rather than print the image directly, I used a light box to draw/trace the image onto a pronto plate. (I first reversed the image in Photoshop so that the pronto plate would print right-reading). I then used another two pronto plates for the color layers of flesh tones, one for my darker skin and one for her lighter skin. I made my drawings very gestural and circular, using a fine point sharpie to draw onto the pronto plates for consistent and smooth lines. With the skin tones plates, I used a thicker sharpie for more solid tones and shading.

When I mix colors for multiple color prints, the colors are all derivatives of one another. Meaning, I start with the lightest tone and then to get each subsequently darker tone, I use the previous tone as a base. I also use a LOT of tint base. I don’t like heavy colors and I want the overlapping layers of drawings to show through one another.

Following are a few images of me drawing and printing the edition. However, I must give a shout out to Carolyn Muskat of Muskat Studios. Carolyn is a great friend AND a Tamarind Master Printer who helped me finish the edition after my ink had issues with the key plate. Or my key plate had issues with the ink. In any case, there were problems and Carolyn solved them!

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