Rough Tocatta is a 1985 composition which alludes to common cubist motifs such as music and intersecting spatial planes. This print was printed with seven colour combonations: black, blue and white, violet and white, deep yellow, magenta and blue black. This intaglio print passed through the press once. The artist writes that the compositional skeleton was made from a collage of enlarged graphite and gouache drawings on frosted mylar. During its print process, power tools and sand paper were employed to give the image its “scratchy” and energetic feeling. The term “toccata” is a musical term which describes plucking the strings of an instrument or keyboard and generally emphasizes a player’s manual dexterity.
Station Gallery purchased this piece with acquisition fund grants from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation and the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture.
Cynosure is an etching of a different dimension. The term is evoked by Bowmanville-based artist Ron Eccles in his 1981 print. Cynosure is a celestial beacon, and is also referred to as Ursa Minor or Polaris the North Star. Polaris is 430 light years away or 4300 trillion kilometers away from earth. The central image shows the complex intersection of radial patterns and wedge-shapes. The cool blues and icy whites mingle with vitality.
Lorna Livey donated her print Coffee Corner to Station Gallery. This, along with several other pieces from a variety of artists, were gifted in the memory of Nick Novak. The name of Nick Novak is significant to Station Gallery and is embedded in the history of the Gallery’s permanent collection and it’s newly renovated print studio. An active artist with Whitby Arts Inc. before his unexpected death in 1981, Nick was also a regular face seen at Open Studio in Toronto. Lorna Livey’s interior scene shows a homey lunch/coffee corner at Open Studio when it was located at 520 King Street West. Livey shared many moments of ‘rest and refreshment’ with Nick, and Coffee Corner seems exactly what it is meant to portray: a good memory of times with an old friend.
Intaglio is a printmaking method which involves the creation of an image by carving below the surface of the matrix. Etching is a specific intaglio method which uses acid as the means of carving the image onto a zinc or copper plate. First, the printmaker covers the plate in a waxy, acid-resistant ground. The image is made by drawing into the ground with a sharp tool called a stylus, exposing the bare metal. The prepared plate is then bathed in acid which bites into the metal, creating grooves on the plate. Once the plate is etched, the ground is removed, and the plate is ready for printing. The printmaker wipes the ink into the etched grooves, allowing the printed image to be seen. Damp paper is laid on the plate and the two are run through a printing press. The pressure of the press pulls the ink up from the grooves and onto the paper, creating the printed image.
An aquatint begins a flat piece of metal, either copper or zinc plate. An artist can sprinkle powdered resin directly to the surface of the plate. The plate is then heated; if the plate i s covered with powder, the resin melts forming a fine and even coat. Now the plate is dipped in acid (a liquid that chemically changes the surface of the plate), producing an even and fine level of corrosion (the “bite”) sufficient to hold ink. At some point the artist will then etch an outline of any aspects of the drawing he or she wishes to establish with line; this provides the basis and guide for his later tone work. The artist then begins immersing the plate in the acid bath, progressively stopping out (protecting from acid) .any areas that have achieved the designed tone. These tones, combined with the limited line elements, give aquatints a distinctive, watery look.