First prints of Pat Hanly paintings for 20 years!

Print of Pat Hanly's 1988 Painting "Doing It"
480 x 480mm image size $NZ69.95
Just published and available to buy today from NZ Fine Prints are the first fine art reproduction prints of paintings by NZ artist Pat Hanly to be available since the late 1980s!  In the words of the publisher "Over a career spanning four decades, Pat Hanly proposed a new manner of looking at New Zealand - the land and its people. His art heralded new ways of thinking about this country - as a nation that belonged to the young and the adventurous, to the dreamers and to those who could see the vital place the island nation could have within Polynesia and the broader Pacific."

The two paintings that have been chosen for reproduction feature on the covers of the standard and limited edition versions of "Pat Hanly", a book recently published by Ron Sang Publications. The chosen paintings are Hanly's 1988 work "Doing It" (illustrated at left) and a 1973 still life painting "Telephone Table".

The large-scale reproductions showcase two paintings from an output which "must stand as the most vivid, animated body of paintings by a single artist to have yet hailed from New Zealand."

The Printing Process - Etching

This article is the first in an occasional series of posts about printmaking techniques, this time we look at answering the common question "What is an etching?".

An etching is a print taken from a metal plate, usually copper. The design consists of lines "bitten" in to the plate by acid. When copper is placed in nitric acid it corrodes, but the acid will not harm wax or resinous substances. A ground of various mixtures is laid on the plate, and the etcher makes his design through this ground with a fine-pointed needle to expose the copper to the acid. Depending on the depth of line needed, the plate is left in the acid bath for a longer or shorter period. When a particular area of the plate is "bitten" enough, this area is coated with varnish and the acid thus prevented from further action. The plate is returned to the acid bath for deeper biting of the exposed copper, these "biting" and "stopping out" processes being repeated until the plate is judged ready for printing.

Printing is done under sufficient pressure to force the paper into the grooves cut by the needle to take up the ink: lines on an etching may often be felt with the fingers. Designs must be drawn on the plate in reverse to print correctly, and some masters of the art, such as Charles Meryon, used mirrors to copy accurately from their original sketches.