Back in the 70's photostencil materials were widely available, a very good thing for artists who wanted to incorporate photographic imagery into screenprints. In those days it wasn't easy making tone-separation positives on silver-based graphic film but there was no other option. In the darkroom it was necessary to expose large sheets of film under the enlarger. Developing the positives meant using big 20x24in trays full of chemicals, somewhat hazardous but all risks taken in stride.
The results weren't entirely predictable, but the inherent randomness likely contributed something to a great many very interesting prints produced in that era.
Then in the late 80's, benefits of printing with water-based colors were becoming clear though at the time water-based screenprinting inks weren't readily available. However Golden made a special order silkscreen base for “converting” their acrylic paints into screenprinting inks. The prints in this section represent an extended series of experiments exploring the characteristics of these ink mixes. The above two prints were among those made with Japanese papers. Differing from other prints shown here these images were produced with simple handcut stencils, a perfect complement to the absorbant, rough-surfaced paper.
A variation in style was made possible by the transparent nature of these water-based media. In this case the esthetic of hand-colored photos in screenprinting was explored. The technique involved overlaying parts of a monochrome image with layers of transparent color. This style had obvious limits but worked quite well for some subjects.
Seeing form and depth—stereoscopic images:
Stereoscopic images have always held great appeal. In the 90's the “Magic Eye” phenomenon was very popular. But the artistic potential of single image stereograms hadn't been adequately explored. In the late 90's I created a series of SIS screenprints using 9 screens—3 levels of transparent yellow, magenta and cyan—producing as many as 64 colors. (For n levels of CMY, number of possible colors = n3 + 3n2 + 3n + 1.)
In these images the embedded form expressing a kind of “virtual sculpture” is pretty easy to see. On the “surface” of the shape, the effect of CMY transparency is visibly robust, colors are well-saturated over the considerable range of combination.