Category Archives: Artists and Art

Deron DeCesare

Observations

Artist Statement

The color monotypes on display for Observations are the results of my experimenting with a working method that is new to me. They are executed by working up an image in oil-based ink on a sheet of glass that is 59 x 35 x 5/16 and transferring the iIMG_6387CanonCropColAdjmage to full sheets (22 x 30) of printmaking paper by hand rubbing the back of the paper.  I rely on a studio assistant to help with much of the cumbersome handling of full sheets of dampened paper, heavy glass and large improvised rollers.  The result, as the name monotype suggests, is a one-of-a-kind work. The rest of the pieces in the show, roughly half, are watercolors.

What I find interesting is that despite the two very different media, displayed side-by-side, it is surprisingly hard to tell which is which.  The work was done during roughly the same time period and I think the show hangs together as a unified body of work.  Not unexpectedly, the subject matter throughout remains consistent, mostly landscape featuring rural scenes from the time I have spent living in Virginia and Colorado.  A little surprisingly though, given the fact that the monotype medium doesn’t lend itself readily to time-consuming detail, the range of realism is also fairly consistent. Some watercolor passages do display a capacity to be more focused than the monotypes, which by contrast lean towards an energetic spontaneity at times.  One unintentional, but welcome quality of this set of monotypes, is the diffused airiness of their light, a trait they may have acquired as a result, at least in part, to their having been hand rubbed onto slightly textured western papers rather than the thinner smooth-surfaced oriental papers more commonly used with hand rubbed prints.

Deron DeCesare

Artist Update: Matina Marki Tillman Fall Exhibitions

Depicta by Matina Marki Tillman

Depicta by Matina Marki Tillman

From October 26th to November 8th 2014, Melbourne meets New York in the Joint Exhibition of Intaglio Prints under the title 40° 42’ N / 37° 48’ S at the National Arts Club in New York City. Matina Marki Tillman will participate with “Depicta,”one of her solarplate etchings of real or imagined graffiti preserving messages nearly lost in the human landscape. In this particular print the messenger (Greek “angelos”) appears with his comment on a New York City street. The exhibition was sponsored by the New York Society of Etchers, with juror Dr. Sean Corcoran, Curator of Prints and Photographs, Museum of the City of New York. “Depicta” will also be shown at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in the upcoming November member’s exhibition.

Earlier this fall, Matina participated in another New York City show, the Hudson Valley Art Association’s 82nd Annual Juried Exhibition, where her print “Arabesque” was selected for the Perry Alley Memorial Award. The show took place from September 20th to the 26th at the Salmagundi Club Gallery on 5th Avenue in New York. This annual juried exhibition strives to preserve the character, craftsmanship, and respect for the natural form, color and design which distinguish fine arts, and encourages artists’ participation with a wide variety of media.

Remembering Nuong – A Retrospective

If writers often write about what they know, does the same hold true for printmakers? Perhaps for Nuong Tran it does. Nuong Van-Dinh Tran was a founding member of Washington Printmakers Gallery. She remained a member of the gallery until her death in 2013. In this retrospective of Nuong’s work, we’re invited to enjoy a peacefulness that scenes of domestic familiarity bring. Here we see a view of the backyard from what is most likely a bedroom window. In another print, we’re in the yard looking up to the sky, through the leafless oak tree towering beside the house. In another, we get a close-up of deep-red peonies that line the yard’s fence. We also get a snapshot of Ling-Ling, Nuong’s black cat as he prowls the yard on an autumn afternoon. All these scenes are ever so familiar. Perhaps that’s why the prints make such an impact, the simplicity of Nuong’s images allow us an intimacy we might otherwise overlook in the familiar. Even her abstracts convey a simplicity in form and boldness of color that is both intimate and familiar. Who was Nuong? Her prints tell us much about what inspired her – nature – specifically water lilies, trees and butterflies. In this memorial retrospective we’re also invited to be inspired by the simple beauty of the familiar. What a wonderful celebration of life!

Artist Update: Matina Marki Tillman Late Summer / Early Fall Exhibitions

Carmen

They don’t let Carmen dance

Arabesque

Arabesque

Artist member Matina Marki Tillman will have prints on display in two national exhibitions during August and September.

“They don’t let Carmen dance,” a solarplate etching that carries on the artist’s series of charcoal drawings on vellum directly etched onto solarplates, is currently on display in the Northwest Area Arts Council’s Real People 2014, a show dedicated to the human figure and portraiture (Aug. 7 through Sept. 28). This recent work is the artist’s homage to the uncompromised female, as portrayed in two of her lifelong inspirations, Bizet’s opera, Carmen, and Kakoyiannis’ film Stella. Also this fall, “Arabesque,” the first of this series of etchings, will be hosted in the Salmagundi Club gallery in New York City for the Hudson Valley Art Association’s 82nd National Juried Exhibition running from Sept. 20-26.

“They don’t let Carmen dance” was also featured in the inaugural Washington Printmakers Gallery member’s exhibition at the new Georgetown gallery space in July. With the upcoming Hudson Valley show, prints from the “Arabesque” edition will be appearing in their sixth national exhibition in two years, including venues at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tennessee; the Museum of Printing History in Houston, Texas; and the New York Society of Etchers national intaglio exhibition in New York’s National Arts Club gallery. This September, “Arabesque” will travel home to be included in the member’s show in WPG’s new gallery.

Intern Perspectives: Jambo, Tanzania

Emma Quander, our intern from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), wrote the following reaction to our current exhibition Jambo, Tanzania by Marian Osher. This show will continue through Sunday, May 25.

From April 30 – May 25, Washington Printmakers Gallery (WPG) member Marian Osher presents her exhibition Jambo, Tanzania at WPG. Osher and her husband Chuck went on a safari last summer to Tanzania, Africa. She was inspired by the wildlife and the conversation her art can bring to preserving wildlife.

The exhibition is a collection of 50 colorful monotypes of the Tanzanian wildlife. Eighteen of the prints shown in the gallery are mounted on painted canvas. By presenting the prints on the warm color canvas it gives the show a gentle tone. Osher paints and draws her images on plates by using different water soluble media. She then embossed areas of the prints to create more depth. Her work is very painterly, giving off the feel of a watercolor and colored pencil. By giving a soft delicate look, Osher is able to show the beauty of the outdoors.

"Herd of Wildebeests" | Copyright © 2014 by Marian Osher

“Herd of Wildebeests” | Copyright © 2014 by Marian Osher

As I view the show, my being is instantly transported into the print, imaging the sun beaming down my face, the cool air blowing. Osher illustrates a variety of animals in the their natural habitat. I am able to feel the freedom, strength and wisdom of these animals unlike the ones you find in the zoo. I was mainly drawn to the print Herd of Wildebeest (v.e. 1/5). It embodies the importance of family and community. Herd of Wildebeest illustrates the strength these animals have by traveling in numbers. Osher’s monotype is drawn very expressively and softly, giving it a feel of calmness. The show highlights the importance of preserving this beautiful world and its wildlife.

Reception Photos: Jambo, Tanzania

On Saturday, May 3, WPG member artist Marian Osher hosted the opening reception for her current exhibition, Jambo, Tanzania. Below, you will find several photos from the event.

During this reception, Osher gave a talk and demonstration – then presented a framed print to our special guest, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania. The print was a lioness and was titled Guardian Protector in English and in Swahili. Tanzanian Tourism Officer Mrs. Immaculata Diyamett accompanied Ambassador Mulamula. Marie Frei, Membership Service Associate for the African Wildlife Foundation, also attended the event.

During her presentation, Osher talked about her visit to Tanzania – the safari, the wildlife, and Tanzania’s role in protecting the wildlife. Ambassador Mulamula also addressed the crowd of more than 70 people who attended the event. It was a day that truly blended art, goodwill, wildlife protection and people from different cultures and walks of life.

Read more about our current exhibition, Jambo, Tanzania, in articles posted by Examiner.com and wavuti.com.

Marian Osher provides an artist's demonstration during the reception. Photo by Steve Raphael.

Marian Osher provides an artist’s demonstration during the reception. Photo by Steve Raphael.

Marian Osher (left) talks with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula during her Jambo, Tanzania artist's demonstration. Photo by Anne McLaughlin.

Marian Osher (left) talks with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula during her Jambo, Tanzania artist’s demonstration. Photo by Anne McLaughlin.

WPG Gallery Director Alysia Thaxton (left) with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania. Photo by Steve Raphael.

WPG Gallery Director Alysia Thaxton (left) with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania. Photo by Steve Raphael.

Marian Osher (right) with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania (middle) and Tanzanian Tourism Officer Mrs. Immaculata Diyamett (left). Photo by Carolyn Pomponio.

Marian Osher (right) with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania (middle) and Tanzanian Tourism Officer Mrs. Immaculata Diyamett (left). Photo by Carolyn Pomponio.

Marian Osher (left) talks with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania. Photo by Steve Raphael.

Marian Osher (left) talks with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania. Photo by Steve Raphael.

The colorful Jambo, Tanzania reception table. Photo by Carolyn Pomponio.

The colorful Jambo, Tanzania reception table. Photo by Carolyn Pomponio.

Marian Osher (center) greets guests during the Jambo, Tanzania reception. Photo by Anne McLaughlin.

Marian Osher (center) greets guests during the Jambo, Tanzania reception. Photo by Anne McLaughlin.

Marian Osher presents Jambo, Tanzania

From April 30-May 25, Washington Printmakers Gallery will present the work of member artist Marian Osher in her solo exhibit Jambo, Tanzania. The opening exhibition for this show will take place 1-4pm on Saturday, May 3. Below, you will find more information on Osher’s work and exhibit.

“The thrill of sighting a rhinoceros transformed into shock when our guide told us there were only 13 left in the Serengeti.” – Marian Osher

“Simba”, mixed-media monotype on painted canvas, Marian Osher ©2014, 12 x 24

“Simba”, mixed-media monotype on painted canvas, Marian Osher ©2014, 12 x 24

Realizing a Dream
Marian Osher and her husband Chuck realized a dream, when they went on a safari last summer to Tanzania, Africa. They learned that African wildlife has been threatened by poachers, cyberhunters and trophy hunters. Elephants and rhinoceros have been killed for their tusks. Fear of diseases carried by the tsetse fly has historically provided “justification” for reduction of the African wildlife population.

Moments in the Lives of Tanzanian Wildlife
Fifty colorful monotypes present an “alphabet” of Tanzanian wildlife – birds, baboons, cape buffalo, a cheetah, dikdiks, elephants, giraffes, grants gazelles, hartebeests, hippopotamuses, impalas, lions, leopards, a lizard, monkeys, ostriches, a rhinoceros, Thomson’s gazelles, wildebeests, warthogs, and zebras.

Two Avenues of Presentation Expand the Viewers Experience

Marian Osher with the etching press. Photo by: Julie Hipkins.

Marian Osher with the etching press. Photo by: Julie Hipkins.

Mixed-Media Embossed Monotypes on Painted Canvas
Eighteen of the prints on the wall are mixed-media monotypes on canvas.

Creating the Monotype: Osher draws and paints her image on a mylar plate, using a combination of water-soluble media. Next, she transfers the image to dampened paper with her etching press. After the monotype is dried under weights over night, Osher tears off the white border around the print with a deckled edge ruler.

Deckle edge tool, burnisher and stylus point

Deckle edge tool, burnisher and stylus point

Hand embossing: Osher decides which areas of the print she wants to emboss. First she uses a stylus to score the edges of shapes on the front side of the print. Then she turns the print over and uses a burnisher to hand emboss the shape that she want to raise.

“I like to experiment with techniques and presentation. The deckled edge of the paper casts a shadow on the painted canvas and adds dimension to the artwork.” – Marian Osher

The Canvas and Assembly: Osher paints the canvas using a subtle combination of colors that complement the print and relate to the colors of the Tanzanian dirt roads. She cuts an acid free foam board to a size that will allow the deckled edge of the print to extend slightly over the foam board. The foam board is lightly filed, sealed with Golden GAC 100 medium and painted on the edge to match the color of the canvas. The print is sealed with an isolation coat of diluted Golden Soft Gel medium and is mounted with the same medium, undiluted, onto the foam board. The foam board is mounted on the canvas. The canvas and the print are then treated with three final varnishes to protect and preserve the artwork without glass.

“Scratch Right There”, mixed-media monotype Marian Osher ©2014, framed, 15 3/4 x 13

“Scratch Right There”, mixed-media monotype
Marian Osher ©2014, framed, 15 3/4 x 13

Mixed-Media Embossed Monotypes in Wood Frames
Viewers can also enjoy twenty monotypes, matted and framed in wood frames that complement the artwork. The framed monotypes are also selectively hand embossed, as are several matted prints in the bin.

Gratitude and
Sharing the Gifts

Osher expresses gratitude for the opportunity to witness glimpses of the daily life of wildlife in Tanzania. She feels that it was inspiring, and a special gift to see animals in their family and tribal groups in a natural setting. Creating the artwork for Jambo, Tanzania allows her to share the gift and insights that this experience brought to her.