Drawings in the Sun
'I'd say an artist brings many parts of their life experience to their work. Much of mine is collected quite close to home, from my garden and around the coastal landscape of Lorne on Victoria’s picturesque Great Ocean Road in Southern Victoria, Australia.' — Trudy Rice
I love using color. At art school I was told to ‘tone my colors down,' but now in my practice, the colors have come alive.
My final works on paper are made by printing layers of solar plate etchings. My initial drawings are placed in the sun with a photopolymer plate and etched into the plate, washed out in water, dried in the sun and then inked and printed onto paper. It is quite a time-consuming process, but the results produced capture my drawings perfectly from the natural environment.
People often ask about inspiration and where is comes from. I'd say you bring many parts of your life experience to your work. Much of mine is collected quite close to home, from my garden and around the coastal landscape of Lorne on Victoria’s picturesque Great Ocean Road in Southern Victoria, Australia. Both my husband and mother-in-law are the most talented gardeners.
One of my favorite specimens is the Banksia, a stunning Australian native flower with many different varieties, colors, and textures.
I have many specimens in my collection, but still ask friends if they ever find anything, to let me know. Well, I received a small plastic container in my mailbox which contained a dead dragonfly. I posted a picture of the package on Facebook and said thank you for the gift left in my letterbox. A friend commented, "only you would think a dead bug in your letterbox was a gift." Very funny. But I do find them fascinating....
My studio is filled with specimens collected from the bush and sea. Clear air, gorgeous skies, beach and bush all provide a never-ending palette to draw from.
One of my favourite specimens is the Banksia, a stunning Australian native flower with many different varieties, colours and textures.
When I am in nature, I find great peace and connection. There are many layers to explore. Tranquility and contemplation are what I hope to convey in my work.
THE SOLAR PLATE PROCESS
Using the non-toxic process of solar plate etching, I utilises the same sun my specimens are found and drawn in. It is a quick, simple, non-toxic etching process, using the sun and water instead of acids and solvents to etch the plate.
I process my existing pen and ink drawings with a plate made of polymer film with a steel backing which is then exposed to the sun then developed in the local rain water.
This printmaking process is called 'Intaglio' meaning a design incised or engraved into a material
Solar plates are inked up and printed by hand on BFK Rives paper, a sustainable cotton rag, often running handmade paper through the press up to 20 times to produce a one-off piece of art.
The process of solar plate etching is really a wonderful way to make prints. The fact it is non-toxic, contains no acid and uses the sun and water to etch, really plays on my sensitivity for the environment.
Often one print will be run through my press over 20 times.