THE PROCESS: Mixed Media Originals

H.C. Porter’s original works of art are classified as mixed-media, utilizing painting, printmaking and photography.

The creation of a mixed media original involves several steps:

  1. First, a black and white photograph is taken by the artist.
  2. Next, the photographic image is transferred onto paper with black ink using a silkscreen. This is the printmaking step.
  3. The piece is completed using acrylic paint and prisma color pencils to add color and detail.

Although H. C. Porter’s work is classified as mixed media originals, it’s important to understand that these paintings are multiple originals. Each piece is a uniquely hand-painted one-of-a-kind. However, the same image is available more than once. The base silkscreened image (which she creates from her photograph) is initially printed 5-10 times at the artist’s discretion. These high-contrast black ink images are then archived, awaiting their completion.

THE PROCESS: Serigraphs

Serigraph is the term used to define an original, hand made fine art print produced using the screen printing process. While the screen printing process is used only in the first step of the creation of an H.C. Porter mixed media piece, a serigraph is created utilizing this process exclusively. In contrast to the artist’s multiple original mixed media paintings, each serigraph in the edition looks the same. Because there is a limited number created, the prints are referred to as limited edition prints. Each serigraph is signed and numbered by the artist.

The creation of a serigraph involves several steps:

  1. First, a separate stencil is created for each color.
  2. Then, using the stencils, a separate silkscreen is prepared for each color.
  3. The original prints or serigraphs are then printed by forcing ink through the prepared screens, one color at a time.
  4. The colors are layered one on top of the other working from dark to light. This printmaking technique creates the final multi-color serigraph.

Each print is numbered as a fraction – the number of the particular print over the total in the edition. Since each print is produced individually, the first numbers in the edition are no more valuable than the middle or last numbers. The artist’s signature on the print finalizes the acceptance by the artist that it meets her approval. When the edition has been completed, the screens and the stencils are destroyed.

1. As master chromist, H.C. (Chris) Porter hand paints each color separation using black, opaque ink. A separate film positive representing each color in the serigraph must be made by hand.

2. The screen is coated with a light-sensitive emulsion and is then exposed to UV light. This process hardens the emulsion in the areas that are not black, thus transferring the image from the film to the silkscreen for printmaking.

3. The screen is carefully washed to ensure the correct open image areas.

4. All of the inks used are mixed by hand to create the specific color needed

5. Each print is made by printing 1 color at a time. With each new color, the screen is changed on the press.

6. The artist inspects the prints carefully before, during, and after each new color is applied.

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