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Playing with color

By JUDITY LINDER-ASHAKIH • Nov 30, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Just three years ago Jim Weit retired from his engineering company MAC Instruments. "Even though I'm officially retired, I come every day to the office. I can't get away — I come to play," he said with a big smile.

He decided to take some of the free classes offered by Firelands College and has now fallen in love with art and even more, with the processes of making it. First he took classes such as intro to theater, geology, and intro to art.

"That one (art) interested me," he said.

Thus he began taking art lessons which involved drawing with charcoal and pencil. Having done engineering drawing for years it was easy to understand perspective. Early on he joined the Port Clinton Art League and then the Firelands Area Art League (FAAL).

"I flit from thing to thing. I'm more interested in the process than in the art — in seeing a new way of doing things. I got interested in print making at Firelands and built my own press in case there weren't enough students for a class."

Since then Weit has been experimenting in how to make more than one print, which is a monotype process, using watercolor or acrylic water-based printing ink.

"My multi-type print process can make more than two, sometimes three, with each plate,” he said.

He paints what he calls "non-objective scenes in watercolor or acrylic on plastic sheet. Each print is hand-pulled from a single plate and then dried."

He still is perfecting this process.

Meanwhile, he has a video on YouTube showing the process he uses for intaglio prints. (Type in moosie and his name (as Jim White), for complete explanation.) Weit said he enjoys making black and white prints but the public seems to care more for color reproductions. That doesn't deter him one bit. He has done some very complicated and precise prints in black and white that have been exhibited in art shows. Specifically, his “Non Objective Zero”  won third place in abstract and experimental category at the Spring 2018 FAAL Art Show.

In another category of art, fractal wood burning, he experiments with a high-voltage transformer of 2,100 volts to carve art works on thick wooden pieces of flat board. His pieces give an impression of trees, deserts and river landscapes after he adds color and polish. They become thought provoking, creating an almost Daliesque flashback.

In three years Weit has created works with acrylics, oils, pastels and charcoal. He has intaglios done in relief on vinyl, with tools similar to those used by woodcarvers. He has used plastic for a black and white print called The Wall, with no acid involved in printing this intaglio.

Just for fun Weit "dabbled in copper plating" since his engineering business provided many tools for his imagination. Some of his pieces used the ancient “lost wax” process to form clay figures, which he then covered with copper.

"I also built an aluminum forge so I could cast small pieces using scrap."

Weit plans to forge into the future with more innovation, more decorative and colorful pieces — all the while to find deeper meaning in his work.

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