Category Archives: Gallery news

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

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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.

Nina Muys show featured in Washington Post

Our current exhibition, “New Life” by Nina Muys, was recently featured in the Washington Post. Here’s a summary that Nina recently posted to her blog.

"New Life" by Nina Muys

“New Life” by Nina Muys

I’m very excited to share with you a wonderful review of my current show by Mark Jenkins of the Washington Post. My review is towards the bottom.

Read the story here.

This is the last week of the show at the Washington Printmakers Gallery. I will be there personally this weekend March 29th & 30th so please come by and visit.

Details of the gallery can be seen here: http://washingtonprintmakers.com/

Call for Entries: National Small Works 2014

Washington Printmakers Gallery is now accepting entries for the 2014 National Small Works exhibition, which will take place in August. This exciting show features small prints by 50 artists who live and work in studios located across the United States. This year’s juror – Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator, American University Museum at the Katzen – will review all work that is submitted on or before our deadline, which is Saturday, May 31.

2013 NSW First Place Winner | "Waiting for Godot" by Diane Alire | Photogravure Print

2013 NSW First Place Winner | “Waiting for Godot” by Diane Alire | Photogravure Print

About NSW – The National Small Works is an annual juried exhbition that has been hosted by Washington Printmakers Gallery every August since 1997. Featuring contemporary prints, NSW exhibits an impressive array of technique as well as subject matter by limiting the size of print entries (maximum size of 170 square inches). Each year a curator from an area institution acts as juror. Past jurors have included Robert K. Newman (owner and director of the Old Print Shop in New York, NY); Eric Denker (Senior Lecturer National Gallery of Art); Linda C. Simmons (Curator Emeritus, The Corcoran Gallery of Art); Katherine L. Blood (Curator of Fine Prints, Library of Congress); Helen Frederick (Founder and longtime director of Pyramic Atlantic); and Philippa Hughes (Founder and Chief Creative Contrarian of the Pinkline Project, as well as DC Commissioner for the Arts and Humanities); to name a few.

This exhibition is open to any artist 18 years of age or older residing in the United States of America. Submitted works must be: Original hand-pulled or digital inkjet prints; completed within the past two years; no larger than 170 square inches (image); and, no wider than 18″ (frame). Photographs will not be considered. Please note: All prints exhibited at WPG are original works of art created by the artist. Archival, signed, limited-edition inkjet prints are acceptable, as long as the image was initially created by the artist directly on the computer. Reproductions of existing artwork in any media are not acceptable.

For more information, to view the full NSW prospectus (PDF), or to submit your entries, please visit our overview page for this competition.

Nina Muys on her March 16 artist demonstration

Whenever I have an art show, the attendees always ask me about my work. “Is it a watercolor? Is it a pastel?” To which I have to give a long explanation how I exactly produce a print. It is a complicated process that involves carborundum, acrylic paint and gesso. Since I am by profession an arts educator, I find it best to walk people through my process by showing them step-by-step on how the plate is done and how I apply the ink.

"New Life" by Nina Muys

“New Life” by Nina Muys

On Sunday, March 16, from 3-5pm, at Washington Printmakers Gallery, I will demonstrate two methods: carborundum intaglio and monoprints. Both methods use one plate and three colors.

If children are in attendance, I will have them create a Styrofoam print. Children love printmaking because it gives them an element of surprise that they don’t get in a painting. The exhibit in the adjacent gallery of my students’ prints exemplifies their love of this medium.

Seats are limited so please contact the Washington Printmakers Gallery to reserve a spot: info@washingtonprintmakers.com or 301-273-3660.

Artist Reception: New Prints by Jenny Freestone

On Saturday, Sept. 14, WPG hosted an artist reception for the current solo exhibit by Jenny Freestone. Below are some photos taken during the event. This show will run in the gallery through Sunday, September 29. As well, we recently shared news on the blog that Freestone took first place at the Allegany Arts Council’s 2013 Will’s Creek Survey exhibition.

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