Category Archives: silkscreen

Spotlight on Open Studio DC

Last week we shared some Pyramid Atlantic workshops, which we love, but realize it may not be convenient for everyone to make it up to Silver Spring for classes.  Well, city-dwellers, today is your day!  Open Studio DC is offering several courses in screenprinting!

Open Studio DC is located at 1348 Florida Ave, NE (H St Corridor).  Founded by Corcoran Professor Carolyn Hartmann, OSDC provides the space and supplies – from high quality inks to a huge exposure unit-that artists need to complete their screenprinting projects.  Artists can rent the space in hourly up to yearly chunks.

Now, they are also offering classes.  There are several workshops set up in August and September.  We suggest starting with an Introduction to Screenprinting workshop in August and then trying their brand new Intermediate Workshop -4 color separation.  4 color separation, or CMYK printing, is used to re-create color photographs, very similarly to how pictures in the newspaper are printed.  Check out their website for this and more workshop opportunities.

Summer workshops at Pyramid Atlantic

If you missed today’s Intro to Tabletop Letterpress, don’t worry!  Pyramid has another one on August 11.  In addition to these two classes, they also have a “Meet The Press” workshop:  Vandercook on July 26 and Tabletop on August 23.

In addition to their letterpress classes, Pyramid is also offering some other interesting workshops.  We’re fans of their Introduction to Screenprinting on Fabric, since everyone wants to know how to make their own T-shirts (or curtains or throw pillows or hand-towels!).   This workshop is Saturday, August 25.  The Introduction to Japanese Papermaking workshop on July 28 also looks interesting–so many of our printmakers use Japanese paper for its thin flexibility coupled with its strength.

This is just a sampling of the summer courses you can still sign up for.  Pyramid’s workshop website has courses through December up now if you’re the plan-ahead type (handmade holiday cards? Yes, please!)  Check it out and find a class for your creativity!

Show Pics: Doodle Digit Dot and Without Reservations

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Check out our exhibitions this month in the slideshow! Doodle Digit Dot is the solo exhibition by Michael Hagan in our main space, and Without Reservations is the mini-solo in the Press Room by Anne McLaughlin.  Also on view is the member exhibition.

The opening reception for all these shows is next Saturday, October 8, 1-4 pm during Michael’s informal Conversations with the Printmaker.  We hope to see you there!

Printmaking 101: Reductive Serigraph

We’re thinking a lot about serigraphs (aka screenprints or silkscreens) right now as Michael Hagan’s exhibition “Doodle Digit Dot” goes up next week.  We’ll have images and more information about his printing process next month (for now, you can check out his blog entry on halftone screenprints to get an idea of his work and process).  In this entry we wanted to talk about another WPG artist, Andis Applewhite, and her interesting process of reductive serigraphs, which got a lot of questions during her July solo exhibition.

"Freedom 5" by Andis Applewhite, reductive serigraph

You can best understand the process by watching her videoof the process (click the link to see it).  But here’s the basic idea:  Andis uses a water-based resist on the screen.  A resist blocks the screen, so when the squeegee is pulled over it, the ink will not go through to the paper in area’s that have been painted.  Using a water-based resist means Andis can easily manipulate any marks she’s made–picking up areas with a wet sponge or moving the resist around to create a textured background.  However, using a water-based resist also means she must use an oil-based ink.  Oil based ink can be cleaned off the screen with mineral oi or turpentine (or other similar paint thinners) without affecting the water-based resist.  If she used a water-based ink and tried to rinse it off with water, the resist on the screen would come off, too!

Andis starts with a large area of color and prints that first.  In the video, it looks like she started with a black.  Then, she paints the resist on the screen.  The black will remain visible in these areas.  You can see in the video that her second printing of yellow was another large area, with only a few brush-strokes of resist leaving the black from the first layer visible.  Finally, in the video, you can see her painting another layer of resist.  Anywhere this resist doesn’t cover is then printed white.

You can see examples of Andis’ reductive serigraphs in the gallery.  You can also see Michael Hagan’s very different screenprinting process starting next week. Come in and compare the two for yourself!

Welcome Clare Winslow!

"Pearls and String" by Clare Winslow

WPG is pleased to welcome our newest artist member, Clare Winslow.  You may remember the print to the left from last year’s National Small Works Exhibition. Clare’s print “Hands Up” below, was also in Pyramid Atlantic’s annual exhibition at WPG this past April.

Clare is local to the DC area and actually started her intaglio printmaking in the studio of Terry Svat and Pauline Jakobsberg, two other WPG printmakers.  After taking several classes at the Corcoran, screenprinting became her technique of choice, saying:

"Handsup" by Clare Winslow

“Screenprinting enables me to synthesize a variety of creative selves: printmaker, photographer, draftsman, digital artist, and painter. It allows me to easily collage layers of imagery originating from drawings, photographs or scanned objects. And although screenprinting has been known to generate flat, hard-edged images, by way of new techniques, it can also produce prints with depth, texture, and painterly surfaces.”

You can see some of Clare’s prints on our website (click on her name, above), or, better yet, come in and see what we have in the gallery!

“Freedom” review in the Gazette

"Freedom 1" serigraph by Andis Applewhite

In this week’s Gazette (or in the link below) you can read the review by Claudia Rousseau of Andis Applewhite’s current solo exhibition, Freedom, on view at WPG through July 31.  Claudia calls Andis’ work “visually compelling, provocative and intelligent” on both “formal and conceptual levels.” Thanks, Claudia!

Show Pics: Freedom

Andis Applewhite’s new solo exhibition, Freedom, is up at the gallery!  The official opening is Saturday, July 2 (THIS Saturday!) 1-4 pm and the artist talk is Saturday, July 9, 1-4 pm.  If you’re looking for something artsy to do this holiday weekend we suggest this show (we’re open on the 3rd, closed on the 4th)  These prints look great in the photos and even better in person, stop by and check it out!

PrintMatters Houston

"Freedom 4" by Andis Applewhite, Serigraph, 30x44 in

Andis Applewhite (solo artist for our upcoming July exhibition, Freedom) has been working hard to prepare for PrintMatters Houston, which kicks off this week.  PrintMatters Houston is a month-long celebration of traditional and non-traditional printmaking, and 18 Houston-based organizations will be participating.  If you’re in the area, you can see some of Andis’ prints at Hooks-Epstein gallery tomorrow night during their opening, 6-8 pm.  If you’re going to be in the area any time this month, be sure to go to the PrintMatters website (above) to see what’s going on.  For everyone in the DC metro region, stop by in July to meet Andis, see her work, and talk about her experience with PrintMatters!

Printmaking 101: Half-tone Screenprints

The following is from WPG artist Mike Hagan, who will have a solo exhibition in October of this year.

Half tones? Ewww!

When I mention my interest in half tones to other printmakers, their responses are sometimes similar to those heard from people who have stepped into something left by a pet on the sidewalk.  When responses are more conversational, they often reflect assumptions that, while understandable, are not quite true.  Typical responses are below.  I’ve coupled them with comments relating to my use of half tones in hand pulled printing.  I have also presented an image to illustrate various half tone methods.

Examples of half-tones, courtesy of Mike Hagan

1. “Half tones are used only in printing processes, especially in commercial printing processes.” Not really.  When drawing with a pen and black ink on white paper, how do you get tones between black and white?  After all, you can only work with black ink and white paper. Dots, stippling, scumbling, crosshatching, etc. That’s how you simulate values or tones between black and white. These same half tone strategies may also be used in explicit, regular, and precise ways in printmaking.  The underlying ideas, motivation, and approach for half tones are exactly the same for both drawing and printmaking. These common contexts have made me rethink the use of half tones in printmaking. If dots, stippling, scumbling, and cross hatching are not to be obscured in drawing, why should such techniques be obscured in printmaking? In fact, half tone printmaking techniques may be openly exploited for interesting textures, patterns, and tessellating elements in hand printed images.

2. “Half tones are primarily used in commercial offset lithography today.” No. The ubiquitous home or office inkjet printer also uses half tone technology, but with a twist. In commercial offset lithography half tones are evenly spaced ‑‑ but vary in size. In inkjet printing the dots are all the same size ‑‑ but vary in spacing.  Two different half tone solutions; two widely used printing processes.  The main point here: Either or both of these can be usefully simulated in a hand printed image.

3. “Half tones are useful only in machine printing.” Not really.  Nothing prohibits the hand printer from fully exploiting the use of half tones.  In fact, relative to commercial printing, where economic and technological constraints are important considerations, the hand printer can use half tones in much more flexible, efficient, robust, and strategic ways.  Various techniques can be mixed. The color space can be also be strategically reduced, i.e., simplified, to the minimum set of colors necessary to present desired hues and values.  And, because there are more choices for inks for hand printing, the color space is not as restrictive as in commercial printing.

4. “Half tones are dots.” Not always.  A dot is a useful half tone shape, but not all half tones are dots.  Half tones can be any shape ‑‑ lines, crosses, squares, or custom shapes.  The shape must be able to vary to accommodate the amount of ink desired over the space where a half tone pattern is employed.  Lines, e.g., can vary in thickness to indicate various values from light to dark.  Simple half tone patterns are best ‑‑ most of the time.  However, patterns can be quite complex and still serve as halftones. Such complexity provides creative opportunity in hand printing.

"Sheep (Going Abstract)" Screenprint by Mike Hagan

5. “Half tones are necessarily connected to the CMYK color space.” No. The commercial CMYK color space is by design very useful for printing many, many different images. The hand printer is instead looking for exactly the right colors for rendering a specific image.  As in painting, images and ideas suggest the colors to be used, not the other way around.  For example, when painting a lime, what painter would start with a CMYK pallet?  A more natural selection might be 3 pigments:  green, light green‑yellow, and dark green‑blue.  Likewise, a hand printer might be able to effectively print a half toned lime with two or three inks B none of which would be CMYK process colors.  The combination of custom inks and half tones allows for smooth gradations from light into shadow, e.g., from light green‑yellow into green, or from green into a dark green‑blue shadow.

Finally, I simply note that the ‘theory’ of half tones has parallels in information theory, statistics, and entropy.  Entropy?  Ewww!  Now, what have I stepped into?

A word on the Artist Pairings for Director’s Cut

Below is a quick introduction to each of the artist pairs in Director’s Cut.  A version of this write-up will be in our first-ever quarterly client newsletter, coming soon!

September’s Director’s Cut Exhibition features 44 prints by 10 different artists.  Techniques include intaglio, chine colle, collagraph, screenprint, mezzotint, and monotype.  These artists were grouped into pairs based upon complementary aspects of their work. 

From "Memory of Fortotten Things" by Kristen Necessary

Little Frock by Pauline Jakobsberg

Kristen Necessary and Pauline Jakobsberg both use memory and remnants of past lives for inspiration in their prints.  Kristen draws upon the abandoned houses in rural southwest Virginia, where she grew up, while Pauline uses clothing.  While Pauline has explored memory through her collagraph clothing prints for some time now, she recently began cutting these prints out, making them into unique art objects.  Both artists create work that is intimate, beautiful, and sometimes eerie.  Kristen lives in Iowa City, IA, and Pauline lives in the DC area. 

Busted by Andrew Kozlowski

Sea Free from Below by Fleming Jeffries

Andrew Kozlowski and Fleming Jeffries both create strange and fantastical scenes in their prints.  In this exhibition Andy’s two silkscreens (he does use a variety of media not included in this show) look like they could be the aftermath of one of Fleming’s landscapes.  Fleming’s landscapes use common elements, such as rock formations and rivers, but in a way that makes the space alien and uninhabitable, and almost self-destructive.  The debris floating in Andy’s alien space speaks to the world already destroyed. Andy lives in Richmond, VA and Fleming lives in The Plains, VA. 

Baseball by Jake Muirhead

Dispersion by Julie Niskanen

Jake Muirhead and Julie Niskanen were both included in this exhibition for their exceptional draftsmanship in their still life.  Still life is a genre centuries old, but Julie and Jake both breathe new life into it. Jake starts with a quick sketch on the copper plate and builds his image up with subsequent aquatints and etching, creating an image that is both free and precise at the same time.  After the time-consuming process of rocking a mezzotint completely black, Julie carefully scrapes the image back in.   Jake lives in the DC area and Julie lives in Raleigh, NC. 

Myopia 5 by Lindsay McCulloch

View from Key II by Yolanda Frederikse

Lindsay McCulloch and Yolanda Frederikse are both landscape artists, and both have worked with DC imagery (though not all of Lindsay’s prints in this show are of DC).  Their similarities stop there, but both their landscapes are still enjoyable.  Yolanda uses a unique water-color based monotype to depict everyday scenes at recognizable landmarks, while Lindsay uses silkscreen to draw the viewers’ attention to the design in everyday infrastructure.  Lindsay and Yolanda both live in the DC area.

Ain't by Mike Hagan

Say Something by Glenn Fry

Mike Hagan and Glenn Fry are both silkscreen artists.  Silkscreen is strongly tied to graphic design, which Glenn has a background in.  This influence can be seen in his poster size prints with bold but limited use of color and heavy reliance on text.  Mike’s prints have many references to pop culture, including Marilyn Monroe and comic books.  Both artists’ prints have an immediate aesthetic appeal, but deeper levels of meaning can be obtained from both of them upon a second look.  Both Mike and Glenn live in the DC area.