Bill Ritchie's art in Washington State
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in the

Paul and Pam Lewis Collection

          

Study for Locus 3

Cyanotype. Prussian blue on white. Image 41 X 23 1/2 in. Rives BFK, 42 X 24 in. paper. Shown here is a black-and-white one similar to the color print in the Lewis' collection, Number 11.

About Paul Lewis: Paul Lewis was my mentor when I needed to learn about using computers for graphics. He was in the School of Architecture at the UW at that time, and guided me through all the steps of making a three-dimensional object into a computer file. I was pleased that he liked the results of our work, and gave him one of my big cyanotypes in gratitude.

I created over 50 hand-made cyanotypes (blueprints) in sunlight in the open air outside my studio. I created the layers of imagery from cartography, the movies, Japanese wood block prints, and computer shape tables. While this is a photographic process, it's unique because the transparent masters or plates are not reduced, enlarged, or half-tone-screened. Each layer is hand-cut and drawn on Mylar and tracing paper.

To create the blended gradations of cyanotype blue color, I shaded the sunlight and sometimes I got effects with water and rain.  (Cyanotype is also called ?Blue Process Photography? and was invented around 1840. )

There were three main sources of images for the handmade transparent masters: A map of the Colorado River, leaf-like or heart-shaped diagrams used in computer plotting, and the famous Japanese print by Hokusai, The Great Wave. I replaced the boats in the print with his own ?C? Squares. I used this print as a master to create my six-color offset poster in 1982 and calls it the ?mother of all posters.? (See image of this poster below).

The cyanotypes were studies for another print, a mixed media print using intaglio, woodcut, and stencil mediums. You can see a 30 minute "live" video of the process of printing this print. The printed transcript can now be downloaded free by selecting: Transcript


 

Wave Square School Scroll

Catalog number: pr790911rit. Wave Square School Scroll. 1979, Print. Sienna intaglio ink and Chine Colle printed from etched copper plate. Image 24 1/4" x 11 1/2" on kitikata paper, gold infusion paper with Van Gelder Zonen buff paper for backing. 12" x 9" plate mark. Signed lower right.

Artist's comment : The original composition was commissioned and published by Sam Davidson, Seattle, titled Wave Square School. After the edition for Sam Davidson Galleries, I experimented with different papers and printing methods. The gold infusion paper and my interest in Asian scrolls inspired the scroll version. It was very hard to print, and I made only five. Printed at Triangle Studios, Seattle, WA. Exhibited at Davidson Galleries and Erica Williams/Anne Johnson Galleries, Seattle, WA. Variations of the scroll’s states, trial proofs, and artists' proofs are in private collections in Seattle including Davidson Galleries, Mary Herrmann, Linda Farris, Lynda Ritchie (gifted to Matilda Bryan), Billie Jane Bryan and Nellie Sunderland. 1979 valuation $320.00 unframed. Insurance value $600.

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Email: ritchie@seanet.com