In these photogravures, I have begun with a sketch in the form of photographs taken with a digital camera during visits to particular landscapes. I lay out the resulting photos with one image overlapping another and secure them in a long, narrow length. Black and white transparencies are created from the series of images with edges and irregularities both horizontal and vertical exposed.
The images from the transparencies are etched into polymer-coated steel plates by the use of mercury light; then, the plates are cured under an additional light after a thorough rinsing. At this point, color selection begins. This series, Water and Sky Mysteries, focuses on the color blue. The shade of blue varies depending upon the color of the water or sky at the particular time of day captured in the photograph. In this case, I tested many ink colors by running paper and a partially inked plate through the press for an actual proof of the color.
Once I decide whether the color is a fit for the image, the decision becomes whether to print in one color or to wipe out some areas and bring in a green shade to create a greater sense of light. This allows me to return to the studio with the print once it has been dried and flattened and then, to paint on the images with Chinese brushes, watercolors, and water-based interference pigments.