Tag Archives: Joan Krash

Cherry Blossom Time!

"Cherry Time," Monotype by Yolanda Frederikse

For all our DC area readers, I’m sure you now know that it’s the opening day of the 2011 National Cherry Blossom Festival.  WPG isn’t doing anything official to celebrate, but we do have some great Cherry Blossom/DC themed prints (such as Yolanda Frederikse‘s, to the left).  If you are thinking of braving the throngs of tourists, here are some of the events we would like to recommend:

Ikebana International Annual Spring Flower Show
–Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement.  We were introduced to this art form through Joan Krash, a printmaker/Ikebana florist who joined the gallery last year.  Joan says many of her prints are inspired by this form of floral arrangment, you can see some of the results by clicking on her name.  The Ikebana show runs April 1-17 at the National Arboretum.

"Sea Anemones" solarplate monoprint by Joan Krash

Cherry Blast Art + Music Dance Party – Started three years ago by the Pink Line Project and ever-influential Philippa Hughes, this party is the edgy side of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Saturday, April 2, 9 pm.  Be sure to buy your tickets early and show up before the start time if you don’t want to wait forever in line, this one always sells out.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade–who doesn’t love a good parade?  This one is Saturday, April 9, 10 am – noon.  Grandstand seating tickets are available for purchase, but standing room along the parade route (Constitution Ave between 7th and 17th St.) is free.  Bonus:  it is over early enough for people to grab lunch while waiting for the mass exodus to clear, and then come up to the WPG for the Opening Reception of  Impressions from the Press Room that afternoon 2-5 pm.  This opening runs in conjunction with Pyramid Atlantic’s 30th Anniversary Open House, so it’s sure to be a good time!

Artist Q&A: Joan Krash

WPG is pleased to welcome our newest member–Joan Krash, who joined just in time to be part of our New Faces, New Prints exhibition.  Read on to learn about Joan’s art and stop by the gallery to see it in person!

"Sea Anemones" by Joan Krash-Solarplate monoprint

WPG: You cite Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement, as a source of inspiration for your prints.  Your artist statement was the first I had heard that term.  Can you tell us a little more about Ikebana and how you found out about it? 

KRASH: Although I was aware of Ikebana a very long time ago, the first opportunity I had to try my hand at it was in 2002.  My daughter wanted Ikebana arrangements at her wedding and discovered the gifted Ikebana artist and teacher, Sheila Advani, who lives in this area. When I saw what Sheila had created, I asked to study with her and have attended her classes and other workshops ever since. Essentially, Ikebana is sculpture that is made from living materials, including flowers, branches, leaves, grasses, etc. It is a traditional Japanese art with roots in Buddhism. It was brought from China to Japan, where it has been nurtured for five to six hundred years.  Today, there are hundreds of different schools in Japan, each with its own set of esthetic principles. The formal elements of line, space, mass and color and their relationships to one another govern the arrangements. Underlying the formal aspects is a response to the natural world – its elements, its seasons and the transient nature of all living things. 

Sogetsu, the style I study, is a young, modern, school. Established in 1927, it is one of a handful of schools known internationally. In Sogetsu, one begins by learning and practicing its set of rules and their variants. Having internalized the esthetics, one is then allowed much freedom to develop a direction of one’s own. In my work as a painter and printmaker, the Ikebana influence is more unconscious than deliberate in determining how I compose any given work. The esthetic principles have become intrinsic to my way of seeing.

"Pond" by Joan Krash - Solarplate monoprint, see a similar print in October's exhibition!

WPG: Your background is mainly in painting, particularly oils and acrylics.  What made you try printmaking?  How is the process similar or different to painting for you?

 KRASH: When I’m in Cape Cod in the summer, I take various workshops at the excellent art schools in Provincetown and Truro. It’s an opportunity to try new things. I started printmaking with an etching class and then went on to collography and monotype. As I became more intrigued with printmaking, I also tried some classes in silk screen at the Corcoran and Montgomery College and participated in woodblock and monotype workshops at Pyramid Atlantic. More recently, I found an artist and teacher in Baltimore whose work I very much admire and who teaches, among other things, the solarplate technique. Her name is Soledad Salame. I have gravitated toward solarplate because it is a relatively nontoxic process and something that I can handle in my home studio.

 As to the similarities with painting, of course the issues of composition are essentially the same. How I get from the initial inspiration to the final piece, however, is a whole different story. In my painting, I usually start with an idea or a set of gestures. Then I have a continuing dialogue with what’s on the canvas. The work develops in a lot of layers, sometimes ending with quite a different composition from the one I started. I like the feeling of depth and the notion that there are significant layers beneath what is first seen on the surface. I try to make prints with a similar painterly quality, which works out most easily in monotypes and a little less easily in monoprints.

 Printmaking, however, requires a totally different process. Playing with photographs or sketching is a way I can develop images in my usual mode, but after that the process differs completely. Having a home studio, I had been used to coming, going, working on several paintings at the same time and taking breaks at will. With printmaking, as you know, you have to be much more organized and to plan every step of the way, to say nothing of the need to develop habits of cleanliness. I like to do new things, so the challenge is welcome, even though I struggle against my own tendencies toward casual work habits. But the rewards can be great and there’s no match in painting for the thrill of lifting a print off a plate and discovering the results of all that precision, care and preparation.

WPG: Many artists are trying to move away from oil-based inks because using them often involves harmful solvents.  You mention using soy-based ink when printing.  How does it compare to the oil-based inks?  Would you recommend it to specific printmakers over others?

KRASH:  So far, in my experience, oil-based inks seem to produce richer blacks and perhaps other colors. But since this summer, in a workshop with Dan Welden (who developed solarplate), I’ve begun using Akua Intaglio inks with exciting results. The inks are soy-based but soluble in soap and water. The interesting thing is that they don’t dissolve in water alone, so you can use dampened paper and you can re-dampen it for further layers. It takes soap or liquid detergent to dissolve the inks. For monotypes, I already had been using the regular Akua colors, which are thinner and not suitable for intaglio. Now that I’ve found these nice, thick soy-based inks, I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with them. I haven’t tried them with other kinds of plates yet, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t work with anything you can wash. I’m still experimenting and looking forward to discovering the limits of these and other safe media.

Opening Reception today: New Faces, New Prints

Press release and pictures for New Faces, New Prints!  Check out our facebook album for additional views of the members exhibition as well.

Silver Spring, MD – The Washington Printmakers Gallery is pleased to announce New Faces-New Prints II (after our first show by that title in 2008),introducing the six artists that have joined WPG in the past year.  These printmakers come from all over the country and are presenting a variety of new work and techniques. 

 About the Artists              

  Shahla Abdi is a recent BFA graduate from the University of

Prints by Shahla Abdi

 Maryland, where she won the Washington Print Club’s Excellence in Printmaking Award.  As the daughter of an Azeri-Iranian and an Irish-American, Shahla’s work is heavily influenced by shifting notions of cultural identity and of one’s sense of place.

Prints by Trisha Gupta

               Trisha Gupta is a recent BFA graduate from Washington University in St Louis, MO.  Trisha commemorates natural disasters through personal relations. Trisha says her work “brings me in dialogue with events that have affected me personally, and allows me to give personal experiences the commemoration I know they deserve.”

                Joan Krash is WPG’s newest artist member.  Joan’s solarplate monoprints are inspired by Ikebana, the

Prints by Joan Krash

art of Japanese flower arrangement, as well as her background as a psychologist, evident in the complexity and layering of her imagery. 

                Tony Lazorko is a woodcut artist who has exhibited extensively across the nation, including shows with the Los Angeles Printmakers Society and the International Print Center in New York.  Tony’s work depicts the American experience in a way that turns the mundane into an aesthetically pleasing and instantly recognizable experience.

Prints by Matina Marki Tillman (Left) and Tony Lazorko (right)

Matina Marki Tillman was born and raised in Western Greece.  Her culture, combined with her university background in Greek Medieval and Modern Literature and Poetry have been the source of much of her inspiration in creating her magic-realism prints.

Prints by Brad Widness

Brad Widness’  prints have been included in over 40 group, solo, and juried exhibitions, including the esteemed 2010 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition.  Using a variety of media, including intaglio, screenprinting, and chine colle, he combines both the “interior landscape of imagination” and the “physical world in which we live.”