A classically trained artist in European art, Abigail Merickel combines art history and her appreciation for Folk Art to create one-of-kind pieces using the following techniques: monotype, collagraph, relief (woodcut, linocut, reduction block), intaglio, lithograph and screen printing. Vivid in color and rich in narrative, her work conveys wonder at our magical world. Look around, enjoy, and contact for any inquiries about a specific piece or commissions.
In traditional etching, a metal plate is covered with a waxy ground which is resistant to acid. The image is drawn into the ground with a pointed etching needle exposing the bare metal. The plate is then dipped in a bath of acid, known as the mordant (French for "biting"). The acid "bites" into the metal to a depth depending on time and acid strength, leaving behind the drawing carved into the wax on the plate. The remaining ground is then cleaned off the plate. The plate is hand-inked with etching ink all over and the surface ink is wiped clean, leaving ink in the etched lines. Dampened paper is placed over the inked plate and passed through the printing press to transfer the image from the etched plate onto the paper.
In a relief print, the image is carved with gouges from a single block of wood or linoleum. The surface left standing “in relief” is inked and printed. In a reduction block, one block is carved and then printed in a series of stages, one for each color used in the print. After each color is printed, the block is carved away or “reduced” and the image area is altered and inked again. The final result is a complex multi-colored image.
Lithography is a printing process based on the fact that grease and water don’t mix. The image is applied to the grained surface of a stone using a greasy medium like tusche (an ink), lithographic pencils, or crayons. A solution of gum Arabic and nitric acid is then applied over the surface, producing water-receptive non-printing areas and grease-receptive image areas. The printing surface is kept wet so that a roller charged with oil-based ink can be rolled over the surface, and ink will only stick to the grease-receptive image area. Paper is then placed against the surface of the stone and the plate is run through a press. Each color is applied in a separate process in successive layers.
The most painterly of the printmaking techniques, monotypes are painted with printing inks on plexiglass plates. “Mono” comes from Greek, meaning one print only. “Additive” or “subtractive” techniques allow the ink to be manipulated and textured with various tools. One sheet of paper is placed over the painting on the plexiglass plate and run through a hand-turned printing press to transfer the image onto the paper. Multiple passes through the press are possible adding layers of color and textures. Monoprints are created in the same way as a monotype, but a repeatable matrix like an etching plate, or linocut block is included in the image.
Collagraph comes from the French “coller” meaning “to glue and “graph” for graphic arts. A collagraph plate (made from Masonite, plexiglass, or MDF board) may be carved, then built up with stencils and found objects glued into place, then inked and printed onto paper.
Some pieces aren't available for purchase, but a greeting card version is! Portable, affordable, giftable art. Everything on this page is available in this format and available for sale.