Printmaking with Foam and a Ballpoint.

Tulip print and print source.
Tulip print and printing block.

I have always loved printmaking. Maybe I have in my blood. My father was a Linotype operator and my mother was a writer and an artist who painted with oils and pastels.

The inspiration for the prints was this cheerful pot of daffodils.
The inspiration for the prints was this cheerful pot of daffodils.

I am one of the few people who actually likes the smell of oil paints –but I digress. The online course in fibre arts that I recently took used stamps in the projects so I decided to save some money and to make my own.

Pulling a proof.
Pulling a proof.

The problem was I couldn’t find my woodcuts carving tools as they are either still packed away in a box somewhere or they didn’t make the trip here 18 months ago when we moved.

Print of tulips.
Oil print on cotton rag paper.

Something that I am learning in Bear River is how to improvise. When people live on reduced means and are far away from stores that supply everything, they are forced to get inventive. This kind of creativity and innovation is a skill that I didn’t develop very well growing up in the city.

Making a print using foam.
Making a print using foam.

I’d like to think that the innovation is rubbing off on me now because I have figured out a great way to make a stamp for printing using readily available tools. I’m sure this is not original — probably several hundred other people have figured it out already, but it still excites me.

Glue foam pieces to board backing.
Glue foam pieces to board backing.

I’ve made a little video to show you how to do this and if you try it I hope you have as much fun as I am having!

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been printmaking. I enjoy the resulting high contrast and the textures in printmaking, and I want to bring that same feel to my next painting.

I added line and colour to this print.
I added line and colour to this print.

This is a story of how one thing leads to an unexpected other thing. The online personal symbols class led to this printmaking experiment. In a later post, I’ll show you how it has impacted my painting.

Printing and painting.
Adding watercolour to the print which is printed on watercolour paper.

4 thoughts on “Printmaking with Foam and a Ballpoint.

  1. Flora, you have made my day. 🙂 I am an artist on a budget as well as a newbie librarian running a youth summer program. I have been looking for a cheap way to do printmaking in a way that would not seem "kid-like". You have definitely provided the means through your helpful video. Thankyou and have a blessed day!

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  2. Hi Shawna!And you have made My day with you lovely comment!!I'm so glad that you can use this for your group. While you're at it, check out this other printmaking I did using ordinary cut paper:http://greenwillow.ca/monoprinting/Did you know that I worked as a library technician and librarian for 15 years between art school and moving here 2 years ago?Ha ha!Take care,Flora

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  3. i am art teacher and plan to teach my students printmaking. i was professionally trained artist back in china (my undergraduate major was "printmaking") and very tired of realistic technique. watching your video, i totally moved by your working attitude, so relaxed, so inspiring! it is precisely what art should be! i will use your simple techniques in my classes. thank you so much for sharing your art life! my admiration and appreciation is more than words can describe!

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  4. Yun Yi,Hello! I am so happy that you can use these ideas for your students. This method of printmaking is so easy to do with ordinary materials. I am going to look at your many websites now to see the type of work you do.Thanks for your comment!

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