Tag Archives: etching

Sneak Peek: Signs and Seasons

Next week is the opening of Margaret Adams Parker’s solo exhibition, Signs and Seasons (and also the Press Room Mini Solo In My Nature by Robin Gibson).  Saturday is the opening reception as well as the artist talk by Margaret Adams Parker.  In case you missed it in the Spring Newsletter, here’s a reprint of part of the article on this upcoming show:

ParkerImage2As I write this in early February I am lamenting – through two complex images – the frailty of advanced age.  Sunt lacrimae rerum is printed from an assemblage of 14 etched plates: five of them are based on drawings of my mother’s decline; the other nine “spacers” are darkened with dots and jagged lines – like the tangle of her mind.  Et mentem mortalia tangent pairs an etching of my mother with one of a man who is elderly but still alert.  I am experimenting with different arrangements and may possibly include counterproofs in the final composition.  The counterproof impression – a pale (and reversed) version of the etching- seems an apt metaphor for the losses that come with aging.  (The titles for these works are taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book 1:462, where Aeneas weeps as he stares at murals picturing his comrades lost in the Trojan War:  “Here are tears for things, and thoughts of mortality touch the mind.”)

ParkerImage3But all is not lament.  I am eager to work on more joyous images:  a fiddler playing jigs with his band; three young women sharing photos on the subway; my granddaughters.

In the etchings of the natural world, I depict the skeletal remains of once flourishing life:   ancient trees, fading leaves, bones, and seed pods.  But I couple these with images of new birth.  Signs and Seasons, the work that gives the show its title, celebrates the improbable return of life to a tree wrenched apart by a storm.  To accompany this work I have written a poem (an entirely new endeavor for me), reflecting on new life out of death…[this poem makes] explicit the commonality that I see between seasons in our lives and in the natural world, the words forming a bridge between these two parts of the show.

You can read Peggy’s poem, as well as see her etchings, sculpture, and drawings, May 1-26.  The opening reception is Saturday, May 4, 1-4 pm.

Margaret Adams Parker at Crossroads Gallery

Sculpture by Margaret Adams Parker

In an earlier post, we mentioned WPG member Margaret Adams Parker has an exhibition of 30 woodcuts, etchings, and sculpture on exhibition at the Crossroads Gallery, The Goodwin House, Bailey’s Crossroads.  The show, “So teach us to number our days…” includes 40 of the artist’s works and will run through August 5.  A reception is scheduled for this Sunday, July 15, from 4 to 6.  Beginning at 4pm Parker will give a short talk about her work.  Next Wednesday, July 18, she will offer a woodcut print exhibition at 10 am in the art studio adjoining the Crossroads Gallery.  Mark your calendars!

Background on “Three Figurative Printmakers.”

“Cafe” by Jack Boul

The show is up!  We’ll have pictures tomorrow (we’re still working on getting some labels up) but we thought you might want to know a little more about the three printmakers, which we introduced in a previous post, and their relationship.

Both Jack Boul and Robert D’Arista were teachers of Lee Newman’s.  The American University Style that characterizes them grew out of the Studio School at the Phillips Collection.  The Phillips Collection was one of the first modern-focused museums in the area.  At the time, most fine art programs were based at museums, like the Corcoran School of Art is today.  American University, at the time of Boul, D’Arista, and student Lee, was one of the first schools in the area to have a fine arts program outside of a direct museum affiliation.  Today, many schools have their own independent fine arts programs, but it was unusual back then.

“Seated Figure” by Robert D’Arista

While all three of these artists have worked in different media, this show focuses on the three for which they are each best known: Jack Boul’s monotypes, Robert D’Arista’s drypoints, and Lee Newman’s (soft-ground) etchings.  Robert D’Arista would make his own drypoint and engraving tools, smashing semi-precious stones and then supergluing the fragments into a mechanical pencil.  These uniquely shaped tools give his drypoints a distinct quality.

“Kitchen Worker” by Lee Newman

After D’Arista passed, Lee Newman received many of his plates from which to print editions.  Lee said he had to study D’Arista’s mark-making all over again, as well as the prints he printed himself, to recreate D’Arista’s special way of wiping.  Lee said his style of wiping a plate simply did not work with D’Arista’s images.

We hope you’ll join us for the Artist Reception with Jack and Lee on Sunday, July 8, 2-5 pm.  Check back tomorrow for installation shots!

Intern Perspectives: A Thing or Two

Summer Internships are underway at WPG.  We will have three lovely young ladies joining us this year, the first of whom, Laura Devinsky currently studying at Guilford College, started yesterday.  Laura jumped right into her internship duties and provided us with today’s blog entry on Ellen Verdon Winkler’s current solo show.  Haven’t seen it yet?  You have until Sunday (yes, we’re open this holiday weekend). 

“Two Things” by Ellen Verdon Winkler

At the Washington Printmakers Gallery this month, Ellen V. Winkler’s recent collection – “A Thing or Two” – has many intaglio with chine collé works, as well as a splash of pencil, charcoal, and monotype works in the mix. When Winkler says “A Thing or Two,” she is literally talking about several of her pieces. While some are more clear cut – a person or a house – there are several pieces where you are unsure of what the artwork is depicting. Is it an apple? A seed? A flower? The uncertainty lies in the viewer’s imagination to decipher what Winkler is depicting.

“Three Things” by Ellen Verdon Winkler

My favorite works are in a five-some series: “Two Things” (in charcoal), “Three Things,” “Two Things State I,” “Two Things State II,” and “Two Things” (intaglio with chine collé). This series shows Winkler’s attention to detail and shadowing with different materials. But throughout the series, at first glance I was unsure what these “things” were – were they cherries? Or were they balls on string? But after a few moments of deeper looking at the attention to detail – the lines depicting the ridges – it came to my attention that more likely than anything – they were the spikey seeds from trees that often appear in the spring or fall; and are quite prickly if one steps on one in bare feet.

“Cocoa” by Ellen Verdon Winkler

But not the whole collection is of these prickly seeds; Winkler shows her range of technique and interest of subject. There is the “Alley” where one could walk into the picture and feel right as if that’s where they were standing. With dark shadows and detailed stair railings, it gives off the emotion of somewhere where one may not want to be late at night. And then there is “Cocoa” a dog laying down, looking absolutely fluffy. With pen and ink Winkler has been able to capture this tired dog with the upmost precision. Finally, Winkler shows off a more abstract side with two monotypes and a charcoal piece entitled “Boulders, Rock Creek, I,” “Boulders, Rock Creek, V,” and “Boulders” (respectively). Winkler shows in her collection her range and love of detail; and she most definitely captures the idea that everything in the collection is “A Thing or Two.”

May Show Pics

Bebop the gallery dog welcomes you to our May shows!

Our May Exhibitions are up!  Ellen Verdon Winkler has her prolific new solo exhibition of recent works, called A Thing or Two, up in the main space.  In addition to her etchings, there are also some wonderful preliminary drawings and a few early states of finished prints.  You can see some of them here, but come in to truly experience them.  Ellen has left out magnifying glasses so you can get up close and personal with the work.  Also, starting tomorrow, we will have a slideshow going of macro-photographs Ellen took of her prints and plates.  You can really get a sense of how marks are made on a plate and how the ink and paper are pushed into these marks.  It’s too big for our wordpress blog, so you’ll have to come in to see it!  Also in the slideshow are some pics from our members show.  We have so much work in the gallery–this is by no means an exhaustive installation slideshow!

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From our Newsletter: NY Society of Etchers Invitational

The following is an excerpt from an article in our Winter Newsletter, which you can see in its entirety at the link above.

"Flying Fish in Blue" by Stephen Fredericks

The 2012 Invitational follows ‘Bewick’s Legacy: Six Contemporary British Wood Engravers’ as a second group invitational, which this time will show approximately forty prints by ten artists, all directors of the NY Society of Etchers. The prints of the NYSE will include a wide variety of stylistic approaches, from straight line etching to heavily scraped and re-worked plates, from improvisational and free handwork to more carefully planned images. Viewers visiting the exhibition will see both figurative and abstract images as well as prints that celebrate process, explore narrative subjects, or pursue conceptual approaches.

Richie Lasansky, whose work will be included in the exhibition, comments, “There is no particular theme or restriction for our show, and although we are the NY Etching Society, that isn’t an indication of our technical preferences and is actually more of a nod to a previous organization: the NY Etching Club (active from 1877-1894). As far as technique, there will be all kinds of etching: lift ground, soft ground, spit bite, aquatint, straw hat, white ground. Direct techniques (such as) dry point, scraping, burnishing and engraving, (as well as) monotype, solar plate etching and some paper litho. And even the odd woodcut or two.”

"Unrestrained" by Susan Sears

As a group of exhibiting artists, the NYSE began its formal exhibition program in 2000, creating and collaborating in 20 exhibitions of artist prints. Eight of these efforts have focused exclusively on the graphic arts of local emerging artists and not-for-profit workshops; thirteen of the shows have had international influences with collaborating artists from Hungary, China, France, Ireland, Peru, the Ukraine and Australia. The remaining seven exhibitions have been organized on behalf of cultural institutions in Bridgeport, CT, the Ukrainian Institute of America and the Paramount Center of the Arts in Peekskill, NY. So far, ten exhibitions have been documented with professionally published catalogues.

The NY Society of Etchers Invitational will be on view January 4-28, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 7 and a talk by Stephen Fredericks followed by a closing reception on Saturday, January 28, at 1:30 pm.

Margaret Adams Parker at the Arts Club of Washington

"Conversation, Crosstown Bus," by Margaret Adams Parker

WPG member artist Margaret Adams Parker is one of the featured artists this month at the Arts Club of Washington with her exhibition “Artist & Mentors – Woodcuts, Etchings, and Sculpture.”  This exhibition focuses on work Ms. Parker has created under the influence of her artistic “mentors,” Käthe Kollwitz and Rembrandt.

"Self Portrait at Work" by Margaret Adams Parker, Woodcut, 2003

Ms. Parker’s work is most often figurative in nature and has religious and social justice themes, though she approaches landscapes and still lifes with the same technical skill and thoughtfulness of her figurative work.  From figures in the Bible to people on the metro, from sweeping landscapes of Wales to quiet studies of shells, her prints and sculpture reflect her careful attention to both the physical and ideological the world around her.

This exhibition runs May 4-28, with an opening reception Friday, May 6, 6:30-9 pm.  Bonus–if you visit you can see two other exhibiting artists, Joan Root and Cynthia Bickley-Green, in the other Arts Club of Washington Galleries.