Oil-Mix-Techniques : Oiltempera | Paintings
Graphic Print : Etching | Photogravure | Serigraphie
O i l-M i x-T e c h n i q u e s

The works are on canvas, sometimes on paper, with egg tempera as an undercoat or an egg emulsion added to the last colour layer, the paint thinned out like watercolour, more rubbed than applied, in between, impasto accents, traces of brush strokes, here and there some canvas shows through. 

In the series "Terra", the first paint and sand mixture appears with black as the ground colour. Over that, egg tempera and oil paint, layer by layer becoming lighter, landscape symbols as designations, stigmata in the raw, broken surface. "Chroma", a series that developed from the Terra paintings, no longer has the sand mixed in; here only the paint in and of itself should work, detached and precise. 

Painting the Aquatints
The starting point of these works is always the same aquatint pages with a black copper print background. The pages are drawn over, first with oil chalks (to create a layer of connection with the ground colour), then with pastels, then painted over, with more pastels layers added on. Pieces, segments of the former aquatint, are left. The coloured, nervous chalk lines connect the new motif with the old, creating a synthesis of light and dark and colour, from flat areas and lines, from "Struktur und Raum (Structure and Space)" (painting title), from "Variations" (painting title) that always balance. The newly reworked "Improvisations" (painting title) is derived from the "Tondos" (round paintings). Its free-floating shapes have overtones of far-eastern calligraphy.

In the newest aquatint paintings, 90x90 or 60x60 cm, the oil paint and egg mixture is the medium that delineates the configurations of the aquatint - from paper-thin to impasto: traces of the regularity that in a majority of the paintings lead to a similar harmony. As with glass windows, the light breaks in from the outside and lends a spiritual element. 
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G r a p h i c   P r i n t
I work preferably in cycles, using the same technique, the same sizes, the same ground preparation. The series of "Tableaux" (1989-92), expanded in the "Tondos", (round paintings, early 1994), were long years in preparation through sketches and test prints. The "Tondos" do not have any relationship to one side or another, above or below, they are not definitely limitable, and in any case, only have a relationship to weight and balance.. 
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Print : Etching

For me, the plate itself is the incentive for a painting. It is unpolished copper. It has fine hairline scratches, spots, blemishes. Starting with these already existing tracks, I let it lead me. I don't take anything away. The theme arises out of itself - a half coincidental, half linked process. 

I lay the plate in front of me and sense it slowly with my hands and eyes. Where I "hang up", I linger, orient myself, seek connections to other places. With various tools, etching needles, moulders, scrapers, hand drills and polishers, I deepen and clarify the traces and expand them into a linear web. In this process, bundles, rays and hollows coalesce into an image network. This process, without any etching, is called dry point. 

Then the plate is covered with vernis satiné (a kind of fine wax layer). In the dry paper-thin layer, I draw with feathers and etching needles, I explore and complete the underlying network of lines, which sometimes glimmers through, with strokes, points, scratches. 

The plate is placed in the acid bath where the lines and marks are bitten into the copper, this is called etching. I work mostly with nitric acid, mixed as the old masters did it, with salt or acetic acid added, depending on how fast I want to work and what effect I want to achieve.

After the acid bath, nothing can be erased or corrected. What is there on the plate, remains there. It can be toned down or weakened using polishers, steel wool and charcoal, but not erased. For the aquatint process, I dust the cleaned plate with asphalt powder or rosin. 

So that the dust layer doesn't fly away before the next etching bath, I apply heat under the plate. The smaller grains of dust melt slightly and stick to the copper. After the next etching, surfaces emerge whose depth is determined by how long they were in the acid bath. In between etchings, I apply another coat of vernis noir to the various areas, thereby achieving light, middle or dark tones in further printings. 

Sugar lift, vernis mou, and acid tints are further processes. Their flexibility offers many opportunities for the artist to expand his visual vocabulary and find his own expression. During all these processes, I can only see the copper plate. Now, just before the printing process, the plate is cleaned. 

Using cheesecloth or tissue paper and last by hand in the process called wiping, the ink is removed from the surface of the inked plate. What lies in the etched areas is what will create the image: etching is an intaglio process. For my colour etchings, each colour has its own plate. 

On the printing press bed, the inked copper plate lies ready. The moistened paper is laid over it and turned slowly through the large wheel of the printing press. The heavy rollers slowly press the paper onto the etched plate. The moist Bütten paper absorbs the color from the depths of the points, lines and areas - an etching comes into being. 
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Print : Photogravure

see gallery / Photogravure
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Print : Serigraphie

see gallery / Serigraphie
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