Ooooh, remember the Art Babble pressure + ink video we linked to last week on lithography? They have one for intaglio and for relief printing, too! They’re shorter than the litho video, but you can still see the materials and differences. Enjoy!
Category Archives: Printmaking 101
We have written an earlier printmaking 101 post about lithography, which you may have read. However, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this video, put together by MoMA in conjunction with the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop is worth 10,000! If you’re still having trouble visualizing how a lithograph is made, check it out!
Wow! We are so impressed with the quality of the work that is coming in for Excellence in Printmaking–it just gets better every year! When expanding the original award into a full-blown exhibition, professionalism was one of our biggest concerns. Would these students know how to frame a work properly? Would they be able to ship it well, if need be? Turns out, they do! But it has gotten us to thinking, what are some main points we at WPG would share to emerging artists trying to look professional? Read on to find out!
1. Follow instructions-If we could only give you one piece of advice, it would be this. When applying to a gallery, a show, a residency, or anything else, make sure you read the prospectus thoroughly and completely before starting anything. Yes, sometimes it’s annoying to have to resize all your images, but we promise, nitty gritty details like that aren’t arbitrary (or else they wouldn’t be there). Expanding on the above example, images won’t show up well in our jurying system if they are too small or too big, and might be arbitrarily re-sized. If you don’t follow directions, you (at best) annoy the person who is in charge of giving you that show/grant/residency or (at worst) have your entry thrown out entirely.
2. Paperwork is your best friend-A very boring friend, maybe, but definitely reliable. If nothing else, keep an inventory and a calendar. The inventory can be a simple spreadsheet by title where you can check whether a piece of work is in, out, or promised to be somewhere. The calendar also helps in your planning. If you know you’re applying for a show when your work is due May 1, you know not to submit anything that’s going to be in another show April 15-May 15. You can also see when you’re free for artist talks, gallery visits, and more.
3. Multiple résumés are good-If you take a day to make a few résumés you’ll thank yourself later. Every artist should have at least three: A long artist résumé, a short artist résumé, and a professional résumé. The long artist résumé is where you list everything you’ve ever done. It can be as many pages long as you want it to be. The short artist résumé is a one-page document that highlights some of your biggest accomplishments in the art world. The professional resume may or may not have some of the same information on it, depending upon what field you work in. If you’re in the arts field, the short artist résumé and the professional one may be identical. However, if you aren’t, perhaps your prospective employer doesn’t need to know about every art show you’ve been in the past two years, and conversely the gallery you’re applying to may not need to know every place you’ve worked since high school.
4. Keep going! It’s always tough to get a rejection letter, but you’re going to get a lot of them. Do NOT take it personally and do NOT give up. You’ll find that fit that’s right for you, but only if you keep looking. The more you put yourself out there, the more good things that are going to come your way!
The deadline for applications to Excellence in Printmaking is this coming Monday, December 31 at 11:59 pm! Details and application website are at the link above. If you are a MFA or BFA Student with a focus (not necessarily major-we realize many painting/printmaking or general fine arts programs are all lumped together) on Printmaking between the ages of 18 and 24 you are eligible! Grand prize is $500. That’s a $500 check for you to use towards your art as you please. A big thank you to our friends at the Washington Print Club for continuing to sponsor this prize!
Have questions? Check out our FAQ. Want some inspiration? Check out the slide show of some of the accepted prints from last year’s competition, below. Good luck!
As you look at Yolanda Frederikse’s current show (either online or in person), you may be struck by her use of watercolor. Yes, these are watercolors, but they are also prints, specifically, Watercolor Monotypes. Here is how the process works:
1. First, the artist (Yolanda is shown here and below) paints onto an aluminum lithograph plate. To the left, you can see Yolanda preparing a plate, to the right is a fully prepared plate. The plate is then left to dry.
2. The dry plate is positioned on the press bed.
3. Dampened paper is laid over the print (on the left) and the entire thing is run through the press (on the left). The damp paper re-activates (re-wets) the watercolors on the aluminum plate, allowing for the transfer to happen.
4. We have a print! As the name implies, this usually only yields one print per plate. Occasionally, however, there may be enough pigment left on the plate for a strong second image or a weaker ghost image.
Your first question may be “why the extra step? Why not just make a watercolor?” Yolanda answers, saying “effects are achieved with monotype are not possible in other forms of art [such as watercolor].” In Yolanda’s watercolor monotypes in particular, one can see a certain uniformity of mark-making and color: this is in part from the artist herself but also from a flattening, if you will, of how the paper uniformly picks up color off the plate. Also, we like the tell-tale print edge, where the plate indented the paper, that is present on these monotypes.