Postcards from the UK: Actually a Postcard from DC

Martha Oatway’s report of her time spent with Tracy Hill during Tracy’s residency at Pyramid Atlantic earlier this year:

Tracy Hill printing at Pyramid Atlantic

WPG Artist Member Martha Oatway printing at Pyramid Atlantic

Batter Kemble Park courtesy of Martha Oatway

Tracy Hill, senior printmaking technician at the University of Central Lancashire came to do a 9 day residency at Pyramid Atlantic in early April of this year.  While here, she and I worked on our collaborative show, ‘Field of Vision’ which will be at Washington Printmakers Gallery in December.  We’ve done four out of five walks in Lancashire, UK, our final one will be in September.

During Tracy’s short nine day stay in DC we took our five US walks and recorded our impressions with our cameras.  Back in the PA studios we made quick monotypes of some of the walks to get colors and ideas on paper.  During our first walk at Great Falls the Potomac was so high we couldn’t go out on the island.  A few days later we were able to return and do some rock rubbings of the wonderful textures.

UK artist Tracy Hill taking a rock rubbing during her stay in DC

One of our walks was in Rock Creek Park behind the Social Safeway and Dumbarton Oaks.  A few days after Tracy returned to the UK I went back to take some rubbings from those rocks and was startled when a jogger came out of nowhere in the forest and stopped dead in front of what I was doing.  She must have been shocked to see me with paper taped onto stone with blue painters tape and rubbing a litho crayon over the paper.  ‘Nuts’ must have gone through her mind.

The leaves were just coming out on the trees during Tracy’s visit and she just loved the green of the newly forming leaves.  It’s not a green she’s familiar with in the UK.  The green pollen on the stagnant C & O canal was spectacular.  She kept exclaiming over the greens she saw.  England is green and Lancashire gets so much rain that it’s green all year around so it was interesting to note the difference in greens between the two areas of DC and Lancashire.


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