Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Atmosphere II by Michael Southern

  • Title: Atmosphere II
  • Artist: Michael Southern
  • Medium: Intaglio
  • Size: 4"h x 2"w
  • Creation date: 2001
  • Added to collection: 2016
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B5/2 Hallway gallery

This etching by Michael Southern is a good example of the spit bite technique, in which an image is generated not via the traditional acid bath, but rather by drawing directly with acid on a plate prepared with rosin. The acid is diluted by water mixed with spit (or with gum arabic). The acid bites wherever it touches the plate, showing brushstrokes, drips, and dots, making the equivalent of a brush drawing.  The effect here beautifully translates the diminishing atmospheric tones of arial perspective.