Below is an excerpt from our Winter 2010 newsletter, which also includes an article on our upcoming January Invitational exhibition, photos from recent exhibitions, and images of new editions, among other information. The artists below all have an exhibition in 2011.
Some artists create prints as a primary focus. Others make prints alongside work in drawing, painting, sculpture or other media. What is it that attracts artists to explore image-making through prints? Below, four WPG artists answer the question: ‘Why printmaking?’
Martha Oatway – I came to printmaking as a painter and photographer. Having spent years making monotypes, I morphed into monoprints after taking a paper lithography workshop. I find printmaking addictive, I print because I have to, I love to. I enjoy layering; making decisions one day, printing, then making new decisions about adding the next layer to the print. Rarely is any print fully thought out before I start, it informs me of what I need to do as I move through time.
Carolyn Pomponio – As a painter turned printmaker, I think it was the element of surprise that married me to printmaking. No matter which technique used, lifting the paper off the plate, or realizing the magic of the final color in a screen print, the ‘aha’ moment is the pot of gold. Painting is zoning out – in a cocoon of pure pleasure. But printmaking has the mechanics, the hands-on manipulation and, when it works, the delightful, surprising, happy-ever-after ending.
Max-Karl Winkler – In graduate school my major was drawing and printmaking, but I was away from printmaking for a long time. During the years that I was teaching, I found that painting and printmaking were simply too much work: I could carry a sketchbook and a pen wherever I went, so my focus came to be on drawing. Later, when I was a free-lance illustrator, the tight deadlines did not often permit printmaking as a part of the workday.
I confess, too, that I’m not attracted to all aspects of printmaking. Most printmaking techniques are, for me, like eating steamed crabs: too much work for too little meat. But woodcuts and wood engraving—those most primitive forms of printmaking—have appealed to me fromthe beginning, and the difference resides, quite simply, in the medium: I love wood: I love its grain, its look, its aroma, its texture, its frustrating inconsistency, and most of all the exciting (or, at times, disappointing) difference between the finished sketch and the resulting print.
And then there’s the aspect of printmaking that infects all of us who make prints: that each medium leads us into undreamed of labyrinths. Like the wandering Aengus, I’m drawn into the hollow lands of pattern and the hilly lands of color, and I know that there’s more to this medium than I’ll ever discover in my brief life.
Andis Applewhite -Printmaking found me. It seems that I attract in life what is in me. If I think about it, it can help me understand who I am. Process, dualities, aesthetics. These three words define what I love about life and printmaking.