Contemporary, Digital Printmaking, Engraving, Landscapes, Lithograph, Photogravure, Photolithograph, Prints

Sylvie Covey’s Printmaking Process

Lake George II. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Lake George II. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Last week, we talked with the fantastic contemporary artist Sylvie Covey  (She is one of the OPG artists we will be bringing to this week’s Capital Art Fair). Sylvie  Covey is a favorite here at the Old Print Gallery- we featured her stunning Lake George II in our 2012 Winter Contemporary Show, and gallery visitors and collectors are always moved by her impressive, expansive black and white Wyoming landscapes.

Sylvie was gracious enough to share some words on her technique and creative process used in her print series Wyoming (2011) and Lake George (2010), both available in our Georgetown gallery.  We hope you enjoy this inside look into her unique approach to the world of digital printmaking. Thanks again for sharing Sylvie!


 The process of making art is a continuous learning experience. As a multi media artist I attempt to celebrate, transcend or reverse the conventions of visual languages.

In today’s world we artists want to embrace new technologies while also holding on and comparing them with more traditional methods of making art.

Wyoming VII. By Sylvie Covey.  Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK

Wyoming VII. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK

I take photographs of  fabulous landscapes, and dramatize the images digitally, sometimes in black and white, sometimes in split-toning, sometimes making color separations in CYMK. [Cyan, magenta, yellow and black.] I then print the files on laser transparencies to obtain positive films, to the scale of the anticipated final work.

The transparencies must have a specific microscopic halftone to define the image, for photo-etching I use 85 dpi, for photolithography I can go up between 220 to 300 dpi.

Wyoming IX. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. LINK. Edition of 6.

Wyoming IX. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK. 

I expose these transparencies on light-sensitive plates: for photo etching I must first laminate a copper plate with a polymer UV sensitive film emulsion. For photo lithography I use pre-sensitized aluminum plates [Fuji plates]. Once the plates have been exposed with UV light to the positive transparencies, the plates are developed in their respective developer, washed, and processed for printing.

I hand print all my plates and make very small editions, usually less than 10, because I have so many images to work with.

I print both photo etchings and photolithographs on my Charles Brand etching press.

I am very much involved in the process of making art with newer technology. Currently I work with transfer methods, on a variety of supports.

— New York, 2014. Sylvie Covey.

Lake George I. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Lake George I. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.


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19th Century Prints, Aquatint, Color Woodcut, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Engraving, Etching, Pencil Drawing, Photo engraving, Prints, Sporting, Watercolor, Wood, Woodcut

Print Round-Up: Bicycles

From the earliest depictions of penny farthings and velocipedes on dirt lanes, to modern-day prints of bike commuters navigating busy city streets, our prints celebrate and illustrate the convenience, athleticism, and joy of cycling.  Some of our historic prints show the bicycle in its earliest stages of development- with over-sized front wheels, or still lacking pedals or gears. They also highlight the beginnings of a strong “bike culture” in the 19th century. Many took to this popular form of transportation and amusement, going on long afternoon group rides or joining cycling clubs. We also have several great racing prints, showing fans at the velodrome, watching racers sprint around and around. Contemporary artists like Art Werger, Susan Pyzow, and Su-Li Hung have also depicted cyclists in their prints.

We hope you enjoy our bike print round-up, and we invite you to visit our Washington DC and New York City galleries to view these prints in person!

Tourists. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper's Weekly. Photoengraving, hand colored, 1896. Image size 8 1/2 x 12 1/2" (215 x 317 mm). AT OPG.

Tourists. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Photoengraving, hand colored, 1896. Image size 8 1/2 x 12 1/2″ (215 x 317 mm). AT OPG.

Six-Day Bike Race. BY Joseph W. Golinkin. Watercolor, c.1940. Image size 20 x 24" (508 x 610 mm). AT OPS.

Six-Day Bike Race. By Joseph W. Golinkin. Watercolor, c.1940. Image size 20 x 24″ (508 x 610 mm). AT OPS.

Bicyclist. By Susan Pyzow.  Etching, 2002. Image size 9 x 11 7/8" (225 x 300 mm). Edition 40. AT OPG.

Bicyclist. By Susan Pyzow. Etching, 2002. Image size 9 x 11 7/8″ (225 x 300 mm). Edition 40. AT OPG.

Cyclist Duo. By Richard Sloat. Etching, 2003. Image size 6 x 9 1/2" (152 x 240 mm). Edition 7. AT OPS.

Cyclist Duo. By Richard Sloat. Etching, 2003. Image size 6 x 9 1/2″ (152 x 240 mm). Edition 7. AT OPS.

Bike Lane, Queensborough Bridge. By Steven E. Walker. Woodcut, 2005. Image size 9 9/16 x 7 1/8" (243 x 180 mm). Edition 75. AT OPG.

Bike Lane, Queensborough Bridge. By Steven E. Walker. Woodcut, 2005. Image size 9 9/16 x 7 1/8″ (243 x 180 mm). Edition 75. AT OPG.

A Velocipede of Fifty Years Ago. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, 1869. Image size 4 3/16 x 5 3/4" (105 x 146 mm). AT OPS.

A Velocipede of Fifty Years Ago. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, 1869. Image size 4 3/16 x 5 3/4″ (105 x 146 mm). AT OPS.

Bicycle in America.  The Germantown Bicycle Club starting out for a Race. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, Feb. 7, 1880.  Image size 6 5/8 x 9 1/8" (168 x 231 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycle in America. The Germantown Bicycle Club starting out for a Race. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, Feb. 7, 1880. Image size 6 5/8 x 9 1/8″ (168 x 231 mm). AT OPG.

A Tour Awheel. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper's Weekly. Photogravure, 1899. Image size 6 1/2 x 8 3/8" (164 x 211 mm). AT OPS.

A Tour Awheel. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Photogravure, 1899. Image size 6 1/2 x 8 3/8″ (164 x 211 mm). AT OPS.

Figure Study, Woman on Bicycle. By Martin Lewis. Pencil on paper, c.1935. Image size 7 x 3 1/8" (178 x 80 mm). AT OPS.

Figure Study, Woman on Bicycle. By Martin Lewis. Pencil on paper, c.1935. Image size 7 x 3 1/8″ (178 x 80 mm). AT OPS.

Bicycle. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Image size 11 3/4 x 12 1/4" (298 x 315 mm). Edition 50. AT OPS.

Bicycle. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Image size 11 3/4 x 12 1/4″ (298 x 315 mm). Edition 50. AT OPS.

Wheeling on Riverside Drive. BY T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, July 17, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8" (343 x 556 mm.) AT OPG.

Wheeling on Riverside Drive. By T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, July 17, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8″ (343 x 556 mm.) AT OPG.

The Velodrome de la Seine: The Grand-stand. By Georges Scott. Wood engraving, c.1880. Image size 12 1/4 x 19 5/8" (310 x 499 mm.) AT OPG.

The Velodrome de la Seine: The Grand-stand. By Georges Scott. Wood engraving, c.1880. Image size 12 1/4 x 19 5/8″ (310 x 499 mm.) AT OPG.

The Century Run. By Jay Hambidge. Published by Truth Company. Color photoengraving, 1897. Image size 11 x 17 7/8" (273 x 455 mm.). AT OPG.

The Century Run. By Jay Hambidge. Published by Truth Company. Color photoengraving, 1897. Image size 11 x 17 7/8″ (273 x 455 mm.). AT OPG.

Cycling in England - Down the Ripley Road. By Joseph Pennell. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York, Oct. 22, 1887. Wood engraving, hand colored, 1887. Image size  9 1/4 x 12 5/8" (236 x 325 mm). AT OPG.

Cycling in England – Down the Ripley Road. By Joseph Pennell. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York, Oct. 22, 1887. Wood engraving, hand colored, 1887. Image size 9 1/4 x 12 5/8″ (236 x 325 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycling on Riverside Drive, New York. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Photoengraving, hand colored, c. 1895. Image size 8 1/2 x 13 1/4" (214 x 339 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycling on Riverside Drive, New York. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Photoengraving, hand colored, c. 1895. Image size 8 1/2 x 13 1/4″ (214 x 339 mm). AT OPG.

Delivery. By Art Werger. Etching and aquatint, 2013. Image size 13 1/8 x 9 3/16" (333 x 245 mm). Ed 25. AT OPG.

Delivery. By Art Werger. Etching and aquatint, 2013. Image size 13 1/8 x 9 3/16″ (333 x 245 mm). Ed 25. AT OPG.

AT OPG= Print is located at The Old Print Gallery, 1220 31st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. www.oldprintgallery.com  t: 202-965-1818

AT OPS= Print is located at The Old Print Shop, 150 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10016. www.oldprintshop.com  t:212-683-3950

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