My Process

My studio is filled with specimens collected from the bush and sea. Clear air, gorgeous skies, beach and bush all provide a never-ending palette to draw from. 

One of my favourite specimens is the Banksia, a stunning Australian native flower with many different varieties, colours and textures.

Banksia Pod

Banksia Pod

When I am in nature, I find great peace and connection. There are many layers to explore.  Tranquility and contemplation are what I hope to convey in my work.

Drawing in the garden at Lorne

Drawing in the garden at Lorne

The Solar Plate Process

Using the non-toxic process of solar plate etching, I utilises the same sun my specimens are found and drawn in.  It is a quick, simple, non-toxic etching process, using the sun and water instead of acids and solvents to etch the plate.

I process my existing pen and ink drawings with a plate made of polymer film with a steel backing which is then exposed to the sun then developed in the local rain water. 

This printmaking process is called 'Intaglio' meaning a design incised or engraved into a material

Solar plates are inked up and printed by hand on BFK Rives paper, a sustainable cotton rag, often running handmade paper through the press up to 20 times to produce a one-off piece of art.

Trudy Rice presents her talk and solar plate demonstration at the opening of her Exhibition OCEANUS held at Port Jackson Press Print Gallery in July/Aug 2015.

A few years back I was strolling on the beach with my father-in-law and we found a perfectly preserved weedy sea dragon.  I took it home, photographed it, but didn't have time to draw it that day.  The following day I went to make a sketch and found the sea dragon was missing.  Searching around the house, I sadly found its head in my dog's bed.  He had eaten it like a chew bar.  Needless to say, I cried!  A find like this is so incredibly rare.  As It turned out, our neighbours had found a similar specimen at the same time.  We believe a storm had washed them up onto the shore. They were kind enough to allow me a few hours at their home to draw and capture a fair likeness...a better ending to my sad story!

 

Weedy Sea Dragon

Weedy Sea Dragon

Trudy Rice, a short video at the printmakers press.