Printmaking Residency at London Print Studio
As a painter, I value the individual offerings of one-of-a-kind images. Each painting has its own unique life, never to be repeated. I also love spontaneity and the immediacy of being present in the moment when I paint, without any premeditated ideas.
But then along came printmaking. I loved creating etching plates that I could use as a repeatable structure, like a base-jump to infinite variations on a theme. The inking, collaging (aka chine collé), playfulness in the printmaking studio hooked me in. It keeps me focused, engaged and productive. But without a press at home, I rarely do printmaking outside of a residency.
So at my recent, and third, printmaking residency at the London Print Studio in June, my challenge was to go further - to combine my expressive mark making on etching plates that could be used again and again in unique ways.
I had also previously been traveling through the Scottish Highlands and Islands and was inspired to reflect that landscape in a new way. So with my visual senses saturated with the imagery of that magical place, I dove into the studio with excitement.
At first it was slow going. I tried a few “ideas” that fell flat. I was aware of my short 3 weeks in the studio, and felt pressure to produce a body of work I could bring home to Colorado and exhibit during my Open Studios Tour in October, and in galleries.
I am a relative newbie to printmaking, having in the past been intimidated or disinterested by anything that is too fastidious or technical. A few years ago, I learned the process of photopolymer etching and found a way to translate my loose brushwork onto an etching plate that could be the basis for various other techniques to create one-off prints.
So with this body of work, I created about 10 different etching plates, then rolled different colored inks on the surface, adding and layering to create different effects for each print. It’s always hard to know how the inks will interact once they go through the press so it calls for some letting go of control, much like when a potter puts glazes on the clay and waits to see the result after firing.
But I wanted to go further by adding even more of a painterly feeling to the print with color and texture. So my dear friend and London printmaker, Lucy Farley, (see her website here: www.lucyfarley.com) turned me on to the idea of hand painting on Japanese rice paper to use as collage (aka chine collé) while it goes through the press.
The 2 images below show how the same etching plate can result in 2 very different images when adding the hand painted paper as chine collé.
This additional way of creating a painterly look to my etchings set my process on fire, and after 3 weeks I walked away with more than 60 etchings! My plan is to find the right print studio in Boulder so as to grow this part of my art making when I’m anchored at home. OR, I’ll just have to find other residencies abroad to create new work!
To purchase any of these monotype etchings, click on the images or go to my BUY page, and click on Etchings to see what prints are available:
Artist residencies offer a focused and concentrated period of time to create a body of work, often reflective of the new environment of that residency. To learn more, click below: