We’ve been inundated with emails and more about all the spring printmaking classes now being offered. Has this weather got your creativity blooming? We’ve got organizations offering print and paper classes in your area:
Pyramid Atlantic–of course we’ll start off with our favorite art center right down stairs! Check out classes in letterpress, silkscreen, papermaking and more!
Lower East Side Print Shop-Are you in the New York area? Check out the printmaking courses being offered this spring/summer by the Lower East Side Print Shop!
Santa Cruz Art League–if you’re looking for a painting or drawing course on the west coast, check out their course catalog for anything from figure drawing to landscape pastels.
Chicago Printmaking Collaborative–Congratulations to this group for expanding their course offerings-including a new course on lithography that’s been reinstated after years of absence. We hope they continue to grow!
Cat Tail Run Bookbinding-This Winchester, VA group has two marbling classes coming up in June that look pretty fun!
Check out the work by Pyramid Atlantic Member artists as well as WPG member artists! Opening Reception today 2-4 pm. We suggest parking in the (free!) municipal parking garage one block south of us on Silver Spring Avenue–it’s going to be a busy day! Enjoy the pictures and see you this afternoon!
Check out Chinese artist/printmaker Qin Feng working on a huge matrix at Pace Prints in this video. You can see more of his work at Pace Prints. Enjoy!
It’s time to sign up for Pyramid Atlantic’s “Paper, Print, and Book,” an international arts adventure and study art making in the tradition of the Italians. This two-week course (June 18-July 3) lead by artist Lynn Sures focuses on:
- Studying Papermaking, including line and chiaroscuro watermarks, with master papermaker Luigi Mecella in the Museum of Paper and Watermark papermill;
- Learning traditional Italian Bookbinding in the museum’s bindery with master bookbinder Giuseppe Baldinelli;
- Mastering printmaking techniques offered by Roberto Stelluti, celebrated local etcher represented in the collection of the Uffizi in Florence, in his own exceptional studio.
There is limited space on this trip, and the deadline for signing up is April 1. Cost is $3,000, which includes tuition and most materials, hotel with full breakfast in the historic center, transportation on most field trips. (It does not include roundtrip transportation from the US to Fabriano or Rome, or travel insurance.) Interested in going or need more information? Contact Jose at jdominguez (at) pyramid-atlantic (dot) org.
A few thoughts from the artist about several of his prints, currently up in this month’s exhibition, Max & Ed:
“Nest” by Max-Karl Winkler
Landscape, Figure, Portrait, Still Life: this is the classic quartet of artists’ concerns, and I seem to be one of those who are gratified by the visual occurrences of every day. (I want to say “inspired” instead of “gratified,” but “inspired” has become a terribly baggagey word.) This show includes prints from each of those categories, some of them supported by the sketches, drawings, or watercolors that preceded them. As an artist, teacher, and art enthusiast, I enjoy a show that provides a background or a trace of the artist’s mind at work, and I hope that these antecedents will serve as a means of comparison and contrast for visitors to the show.
Nest (pictured above) came from a drawing of a bird’s nest that rests on a table in our living room, a thing I’ve intended to draw for a year or more. To some degree, this print was an exercise in using gouges and veiners of different calibers. I was interested in the way that the strokes of the tools can be seen as both patterns and as descriptions.
“Before Sunrise, Gull Lake” by Max-Karl Winkler
Before Sunrise, Gull Lake is a print that came from a visit to my wife’s aunt, who lives on Gull Lake in southwestern Michigan. Sitting early in the morning at her dining table, I have spent hours looking out at the always changing light on the lake. On the last morning of our visit, I was struck by the bright white of the sky and the lake, while the near shore and the farther shore were no more than silhouettes; so I made a drawing of what I saw, with the intention of translating that image into a print at some future time, and perhaps a color print, and perhaps even a painting.
Woman Washing Her Hair, oddly enough, had its origin in my figure drawing classes. At some point in the last few years, I’ve been interested in what happens in those classes when the model completes
“Woman Washing Her Hair” by Max-Karl Winkler
the half-hour pose: there’s an immediate relaxation, accompanied by an un-self-consciousness, that are never present in the pose itself, which always requires some level of concentration, discipline, and self-awareness. I have made a number of sketches and studies–and eventually woodcuts–that I’ve titled The Model Takes a Break. In some way I don’t completely understand, Woman Washing Her Hair shoehorned herself into (or alongside) this series. In some way the print is related to a number of pictures of a woman with arms raised–binding her hair, washing her hair, running her hands through her hair–that is both graceful and profoundly feminine. This gesture was a recurring theme of Picasso’s work, and of Degas’; I’m in good company. The original drawing for this print did not include the mirror and the reflection of the hands. When I added that upper part to the drawing, I deliberately made the hands not a mirror image of the woman’s hands–don’t ask me why–and I feel that the print is compositionally improved by that decision.
“Arabesque” by Matina Marki Tillman
Matina Marki Tillman shares why she loves printmaking:
Surely, there are plenty of printmaking elements that I have grown to realize and value in my seven years of dealing with hand-pulled prints. I’ll mention the two main ones. First, their undoubtable “democratic” nature (since they are available to more than one art collector / lover). Secondly, the varied editions that allow me to discover a new original every time that I pull a print from the press.
Through variation in printmaking, I have the joy to explore my subject; to comprehend it better as I progress the edition. Variation can include subtle changes of ink and paper, or others like hand coloring, mixing multiple techniques, or doing anything else imaginative. Coming from the world of drawing, I’m finding this experimentation liberating, since it gives me the chance, when I need or want, to go further than the definite and lonely uniqueness of a sole drawing.
From WPG member artist Heather McMordie:
“Inner Landscape” by Heather McMordie
The back of my studio door is covered with a large sheet of brown craft paper dotted with “To Do” lists on post-it-notes, scribbled ideas, and print-outs of work I find inspiring. Pasted into the very center of this brain-storming board is a list of the things I enjoy about printmaking. During a period of frustrating printmaking endeavors three years ago, I wrote down a handful of simple aspects of the process that I enjoy—the quite rhythm in intaglio wiping a plate, the painterly challenge of mixing a colors with a limited palette, and the satisfaction of holding the actual printed object itself—to serve as a reminder of why I bother making prints. Over time, my list has grown to include, among other things, the moment of surprise when the print is pulled off the press, the physical exhaustion after a day of graining litho stones, the sound of a well-rolled slab of ink, the leathery texture of worn collograph plates, and the infinite visual possibilities within two or three plates and a couple cans of ink. When I see a print, or hold it and feel the texture of ink on top of paper, I am reminded of all these small, yet satisfying moments in the process of printmaking.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ll have a few members share why they love printmaking!
“Seascape II” by Clare Winslow
As a painter turned printmaker, I enjoy the idea of multiplicity, and the emphasis on process. Instead of being limiting, the repetition and procedural nature of printmaking are liberating to me. When working with variations of an image, wonderful surprises happen–it’s often hard to predict the end result. – Clare Winslow
The following was written by Emily Diehl, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and friend of WPG Emerging Printmaker Heather McMordie. This article is about her time at Tamarind Institute’s printer-in-training program, which you can find out more about here. See the accompanying pictures in the current issue of our newsletter.
The first semester we have a series of set projects, the ‘P Projects’ (named after ‘Printer Training Program’), incorporating a variety of lessons,techniques, and skills that build on one another leading to the second semester when we collaborate with masters students from the University of New Mexico to produce prints of their vision. All our training leads us towards collaboration with artists who have no formal training in printmaking, showing them what is possible through the medium of lithography, then processing and printing a consistent edition.
The ‘P projects’ have existed relatively unchanged since my teacher, Rodney Hamond, was in the Printer Training Program himself. Aspects of these projects are partly designed for you to fail, to get yourself into trouble and require you to problem solve, so that you learn how to fix issues when things suddenly go wrong. They also provide us with experience in as many different materials and situations as possible, simulating the idea that you want to know how to handle anything your artist might decide to use to produce a print. In addition to working on technique and processing, we also take turns working on the professional side of the Tamarind shop, ‘sponging’ for Bill Lagattuta, the master printer, or Kellie Hames, the senior printer. Sponging for the professionals is very important, for you learn so much from watching them work in a shop where things must not only be done correctly, but quickly.
The program is intense and demanding. I’m one of eight students who have all committed their time to be consumed by lithography for the next year. But we couldn’t have a better guide through this litho madness than Rodney, who is incredibly funny, warm, and knowledgeable, and who loves to challenge us, reminding us to ‘see what you can get away with’ while still pulling off the desired result. Everyone comes to Tamarind with a lot of experience and with something new to teach the others, but we all start fresh at the beginning of the program, temporarily forgetting everything we have previously learned, for we have all come here to learn the Tamarind method. For as much work as this program is, it is just as rewarding, for I am only in the first semester of the program and already know that I am a far better printer for being here.