Category Archives: Printmaking

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

Visit with Dan Welden, Developer of Solarplate Etching

Dan Welden visiting Washington Printmakers Gallery

Dan Welden at WPG

On Dec. 3,  eleven WPG members and two guests gathered at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Georgetown to hear a talk by Dan Welden, the inventor of Solarplate Etching, an innovative and safer alternative to traditional etching and relief printing. Dan was in town to teach a weekend workshop at Pyramid Atlantic–luckily he had time in his schedule to provide us with a private “mini lecture” in Georgetown. Dan gave a fine, generous and informative talk about the new and improved Solarplate product, and showed two portfolios: one a collection of about 20 artists working with Solarplate, and another portfolio of his own work. The works were vibrant and varied. Some prints were extremely photographic and monochrome and others loose, abstract and colorful.

Pauline Jakobsberg's plate

Pauline Jakobsberg’s plate

Two members of WPG, Pauline Jakobsberg and Marion Osher, attended the workshop on Friday and Saturday, which allowed them to become familiar with the new plates and methods. On Friday, Dan demonstrated some techniques such as using a grease pencil on glass, which transfers to a solar plate, and results in an image resembling a lithograph. Saturday the class participated in a “loosening up” exercise on the plate which turned into a beautiful print by the end of the day. Pauline and Marion observed that there are many approaches to using the plates and much more to learn.

Pauline Jakobsberg's print from solarplate

Pauline’s print from solarplate

Dan will be teaching at Provincetown, MA and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY this summer. For more information about solarplate intaglio, please visit: www.solarplate.com

Dan has also offered WPG members a show in Long Island along with preparation for a portfolio for which he could give assistance in plate developing and printing in his nearby studio. We look forward to this exciting opportunity!

 

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.

Reception Photos: WPG & Pyramid Atlantic April Member Exhibitions

On Sunday, April 6, WPG and Pyramid Atlantic hosted the opening reception for our current April member exhibitions. Below, you will find several photos from the event.

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PA_5

Intern Perspectives: WPG April Member Exhibition

Jennifer Block, our intern from the University of Maryland, wrote the following reaction to our current April Member Exhibition. This show will continue through Sunday, April 27 in The Press Room.

In The Press Room, an array of prints done by the gallery’s members are featured. Each print has a very distinct style, ranging from Nina Muys’ pastel-like flower print, to Max-Karl Winkler’s black-and-white woodcut. Each print stands out in its own way, due to size, subject, or technique. The small gallery space allows for the visitor to circle the room slowly and carefully and give each piece the attention that it deserves. I was particularly drawn to Ron Mieck’s piece, Citreon, due to its unusual dimensions. Its long, vertical shape made me look closely at the detail involved in creating such an interestingly shaped print. The small intricate piece done by Margaret Adams Parker titled Bagatelle, 5, is a quaint, square piece with a large border. The small print draws the viewer in and makes you look up close to see the details and hard work put into it.

"Blossoms II" by Michael Hagan

“Blossoms II” by Michael Hagan

I also enjoyed Michael Hagan’s screenprint, Blossoms II, which reminds me of the Japanese block print style with a modern twist. The range of subject and style is what kept me moving throughout the room to see what the next piece had to offer. Yolanda Frederikse executed the landscape in a more traditional way, using the monotype process and a classic style landscape composition. It is interesting to compare and contrast the styles and techniques. Overall, the small room packs so much talent and beauty in each print, you could spend just as much time in The Press Room as you could in the rest of the gallery.