Tortoise Beetles and Solar Etchings

tortoisebeetlesInsects have always been peaked my curiosity. I collected bugs as a kid. I never really had the science brain to become an entomologist. I wanted to know about their lifecycle but most of all I wanted to draw and paint them. I think it is the diversity of color, texture and pattern that really intrigues me. Of all the insects, I love beetles the most! There are between 250,000 and 350,000 different species of beetles on planet earth. I know I will never get to draw all of them but I have started with a group of beetles called Tortoise Beetles and a new process called Solar Etching.

While I was in college I took several printmaking classes and enjoyed them. I recently learned a new technique of solar printing that allows me to do my drawings on paper, create a negative scan of the drawing and then burn the images onto a plate that is exposed to light. The result is similar to traditional intaglio printing but I don’t have to work in reverse or worry about making a mistake on the copper plate. Once the plate is exposed to light, the image is burned into the plate. I then ink the plate, wipe it clean and the ink that remains is left in the “burned” recessed areas of the plate. The plate is hand pulled through a traditional press. I haven’t pulled an edition of the images yet as I am still learning.

A month ago there was a Call for Entries for a show entitled “Meet the Beetles” at the Art Science Gallery in  Austin, Texas and I knew I had to enter! My 2 Tortoise Beetles got into the show and you can see them in person if you are in the Austin Texas area until October 22, 2016.

They are also available for purchase in my online art store. You can click here to see a section of prints for sale.