Lithography revisited

by Mary Ann Runciman
(Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia)

First state of

First state of

First state of
2nd plus 3rd state of
3rd plus 4th state of
4th plus 5th state of

I fell in love with lithography at art school but not had the opportunity to continue with it since having studied it many years ago until I encountered the print studio Editions Tremblay at Canopy Artspace, Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. I was delighted.

People ask me what is lithography? I always give the example that all Toulouse Lautrec’s posters are lithographs.It is a 19th century printing technique.

A special, very fine grained sandstone is drawn on with a greasy/fatty material such as litho crayon or painted with tuche, a litho ink. The stone is then treated with gum arabic and mostly nitric acid which renders the drawn areas receptive to ink and the blank areas receptive to water.

It is inked with a roller whilst being kept damp with frequent sponging, then rolled through the press with the paper on top of it.

This is the first series I produced. A single stone was used to make 4 versions or states, printed over each other in combinations. So an edition would be printed of the first state, the image on the stone redrawn or altered to create the 2nd state and so on. To rework the image the stone is counter–etched with acetic acid which renders the blank areas receptive to drawing again.

In the 4th state I erased most of the drawing to reduce it to a basic state. A new stone was used for the 5th state.

It is a beautifully direct technique for drawing. Very fine grades of tone and texture can be achieved as well as painterly effects.

The subject of my prints originates in my paintings based on the figure drawings I have done over the years.

This series is evolved from a painting "Circus" oil on canvas 137x137 cm which itself is the 4th in a series of the same subject.


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Lithography

by Mary Ann Runciman
(Cairns, Queensland, Australia)

5th state

5th state

5th state
4th state of the stone

The images of the 4th and last state of the stone and a print of the new stone, 5th state.

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