I crated up the painting that would be shipping via the wonderful folks in brown - UPS, and then schlepped it to the art center to create the shipment and have the crate picked up. (Three very nice people offered to help carry the very large and ungainly box between the parking garage and art center.)
As a part of the current photography exhibit at the art center, the gallery department staff has set up a fantastic and engaging childrens' activity to create sunprints. Of course readers here will know that I would immediately want to participate, and so over the course of three days I set about gathering the objects to make a cyanotype or photogram.
a peacock feather
an antique bottle
3 paint brushes
a brass heart
a clear ruler
and Herman the rubber Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab
It has been very cloudy/rainy/overcast here and I had been waiting for the right day to make my sunprint..... and yesterday afternoon was the day. The shadows were a bit long and that affected the objects, morphing them into surreal abstracts. I did not have the camera along, so I took process photos with my trusty Blackberry.
I laid the photosensitive paper out in a sunny window at the art center yesterday mid-afternoon (note the long shadows.)
I quickly placed my pre-selected items onto the paper and then waited about 8 minutes until the paper lightened considerably (depends on how much sun and cloud cover.)
The objects were removed after 8 minutes and the special paper was bathed in clear water for 1 minute and then set out to dry.
Sir John Herschel, while experimenting with photographic processes, invented the cyanotype technique in 1842. To produce a cyanotype, Herschel first soaked paper in a solution of ammonium iron citrate and potassium ferricyanide, which created a photosensitive paper. Herschel laid an object on the treated paper and then placed both in the sun for ten to twenty minutes. The iron evaporated leaving a negative image of the object on the paper. The brilliant blue color left behind by this chemical reaction is known as Prussian Blue.
Due to its photographic quality, the cyanotype is also know as a photogram or a sunprint. Famous artists such as Anna Atkins, Man Ray, and even Pablo Picasso have used the cyanotype process in their work.
(A part of the photography exhibit experience at VisArts - The Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts at Rockville, where I have my studio.) The website is currently being re-tooled and a brand new version of the site will soon be released, where I will finally be listed as a resident artist.