Artist member Matina Marki Tillman will exhibit several prints in three upcoming national exhibitions that will showcase some of her most recent work.
“They don’t let Carmen dance” by Matina Marki Tillman
Figuratively Speaking, an exhibition devoted exclusively to the human figure and portraiture, will open at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tennessee on May 7th and will run through July 13th (opening reception May 9th). This show will present a collection of artwork across all media representing the human figure. The Woodstock School of Art in New York will host The Print Show, an exhibition of hand-pulled prints created using black ink only. This show will open April 26th and run through May 31st (opening reception April 26th, 3-5 pm). Finally, Bite, Scratch, and Expose: New Printmaking is an exhibition that will celebrate the art of printmaking in all forms, with an emphasis on work that embodies experimental or innovative methods. This show will be held at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, a complex of multiple galleries housed in four buildings in downtown St. Petersburg. This exhibition will run from May 10th to June 29th (opening reception May 10th, 5-8pm).
“End of conversation” by Matina Marki Tillman
Two of Matina’s newest prints that will be included in these exhibitions are shown here: “They don’t let Carmen dance,” and “End of conversation.” Both of these are solarplate etchings created by direct etching of charcoal drawings on vellum onto solarplates. Several prints from this series, including these most recent works, will also be on display in WPG’s main gallery in the coming months.
“Depicta” by Matina Marki Tillman
Two examples of solarplate etchings from WPG member artist Matina Marki Tillman are presented and briefly described below. “Depicta” from a charcoal drawing on vellum, and “Scripta” from a pencil drawing.
“Depicta” (Latin for “portrayed”), and “Scripta” (“written”), are Matina Marki Tillman’s etchings that focus on both of these aspects of real or imagined graffiti. Tillman uses the form of “angels” (translating from the ancient Greek word “messengers”) to recount lost messages in anonymous urban environments, everyday silent figures ignored by indifferent surroundings, and the witnessing of sensitive viewers.
“Scripta” by Matina Marki Tillman
“Depicta” is one of Matina Marki Tillman’s new prints in the gallery, and a hand-colored version of “Scripta” may be viewed on her artist page on the gallery website.
View more of Matina Marki Tillman’s artwork via her artist portfolio page >
Artist members Max-Karl Winkler and Matina Marki Tillman recently participated in the 2013 “Real People” exhibition sponsored by the Northwest Area Arts Council near Chicago, Illinois. This exhibition, dedicated to the human figure and portraiture, was on display through the months of August and September in the historic Old Courthouse Gallery in Woodstock, Illinois.
Old Courthouse Gallery in Woodstock, Illinois
“The Model Takes a Break” by Max-Karl Winkler
Woodstock is host to many musical events and art exhibitions. It also is known as the setting for the 1993 classic comedy “Groundhog Day,” that was largely shot in the town center, and was the home and inspiration for Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy comic strips of the 1940s and 50s. The gallery resides in a late 1800s building originally used as a courthouse, and contains much of its original fixtures and furnishings.
The “Real People” exhibition featured a woodcut from Max’s recent series “The Model Takes a Break,” prints that target the mood and form of models just after they have finished posing. These prints capture intimate moments as the models begin to relax and collect themselves after the modeling sessions.
“Arabesque” by Matina Marki Tillman
Also included was an etching titled “Arabesque,” from Matina’s new series of charcoal drawings etched onto solarplates. These prints are created from charcoal drawings on vellum directly etched onto solarplates and printed in a manner that captures the rich textures and moods of the charcoal.
Both of these artists exhibit their work nationally in multiple venues, with a strong human figure focus in much of their work. Most recently, both exhibited along with other WPG members at the Museum of Printing History in Houston.
“Rehearsal” by Matina Marki Tillman
The main body of my work included in the Distant Voices show comes from my new series, “objects and subjects.” This is an ongoing study of people (subjects) that with no holding back, empower objects to define them. The objects are ordinary, but in order to transform the spirit and even the physical appearance of the subjects, they acquire perhaps other qualities (as in Rehearsal, the mirror that channels effort and concentration to an actual performance).
The objects and subjects co-exist and interact like either intense, or subdued, performers on a stage-like space solely created by them. The technique used in most of these pieces was charcoal drawing on vellum directly etched onto solarplates. It felt to me that the theatrical lighting of everyday scenes that I was after was best achieved this way. Self-portraits have been employed, but as a tool and not for self-examination. The intention is not to portray specific people, rather, to bring some light to the often unremarkable relationships between people and things.
Included in the show is my first effort to etch a charcoal drawing onto a solarplate, Arabesque, as well as the forerunner of “objects and subjects,” Posing with Property (solarplate etching from drawing with wet and dry aquarelle pencil on vellum).
“Arabesque” by Matina Marki Tillman
Artist member Matina Marki Tillman will be participating in the New York Society of Etchers 3rd National Exhibition of Intaglio Prints at the National Arts Club in New York. Matina will be exhibiting a representative work from her new series of direct etchings of charcoal drawings onto solarplates as part of this show. The exhibition will run from May 20th to June 7th, 2013.
For whoever hasn’t already visited, the National Arts Club is a beautiful, historic gallery in one of New York City’s most elegant neighborhoods. For artists and visitors alike, National Arts Club exhibitions are experiences well worth attending. The opening and artists’ reception will be Wednesday, May 23rd from 6:30-8:30 pm at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York City.
“Arabesque” by Matina Marki Tillman
Matina Marki Tillman shares why she loves printmaking:
Surely, there are plenty of printmaking elements that I have grown to realize and value in my seven years of dealing with hand-pulled prints. I’ll mention the two main ones. First, their undoubtable “democratic” nature (since they are available to more than one art collector / lover). Secondly, the varied editions that allow me to discover a new original every time that I pull a print from the press.
Through variation in printmaking, I have the joy to explore my subject; to comprehend it better as I progress the edition. Variation can include subtle changes of ink and paper, or others like hand coloring, mixing multiple techniques, or doing anything else imaginative. Coming from the world of drawing, I’m finding this experimentation liberating, since it gives me the chance, when I need or want, to go further than the definite and lonely uniqueness of a sole drawing.
Remember Matina’s lovely little book from the Book Arts Fair a few weeks ago (we still have it, if you can’t stop thinking about it). Read on to hear the artists thoughts behind it!
The interactive artist book (one opened, one encased) by Matina Marki Tillman described here.
Waiting to be Completed: A Project on an Interactive Artist Book of Etchings. Along with several other WPG members participating in the Pyramid Atlantic 2012 Book Arts Fair, artist member Matina Marki Tillman showed her first artist book, a 6-etching, small varied edition.
The idea of this little accordion book was a simple project experimenting with interaction, in this case, the interaction of three. These are the printmaker / writer; the dedicator / intermediate possessor; and the receiver / final possessor. With small portions of the book left open to be completed by others, the printmaker attempts to involve the dedicator, which with his / her own brief but essential handwritten messages on the two outer panels (“and few words…”), personalizes and completes the book. The final participant is the one chosen to receive the book, indicated in the title / cover, “for you.”
The invitation of two other parties to interact with the printmaker’s original, hand-pulled book of prints resonates with the theme of three apparent in the “three thoughts of you” (the three individual etchings printed together as the central element of the book). This exploratory project also stresses the meaning of the term “varied edition,” since it allows each book to be individualized by various interactors.
“Arabesque” by Matina Marki Tillman
While constantly experimenting with different drawing techniques on transparent media for solarplate etchings, Matina Marki Tillman recently re-visited one of her favorites — charcoal. During the ongoing process, she made some observations that she would like to share with others who might be interested in trying this. It looks like the smooth gradation of a charcoal drawing, the richness of values, or even the intensity of a chiaroscuro are possible to be etched directly onto solarplates. An early attempt, “Arabesque,” shows an example of this process.
The first step is to create the original drawing directly onto transparent media, like any other drawing intended for a solarplate. Matina has so far mainly been using vellum, which has some tooth that can hold the charcoal and also tolerates the necessary erasing when this is used as one of the tools together with charcoal sticks and pencils. Keep in mind, though, that vellum is not a heavy weight drawing paper; it can be scratched or folded, so care has to be taken. The drawing needs to be checked at various stages during the process on a light box. As Matina likes to often quote, “what you see is not necessarily what you get,” and that’s a good application. Etching times will have to balance both views of the drawing: what is seen by eye with the drawing placed on an opaque white background, and what is shown through the drawing when it is placed on top of a light box or held up to ambient light.
Now for etching under the sun (or any UV light source), the plate has to be prepared to hold the rich black tones in the drawing, so the usual aquatint screen exposure is done first. After this, a friend, colleague, or assistant may be useful in helping to carefully handle the finished drawing, and to position it on the solarplate to avoid smudging. Unlike other drawings, some of the charcoal powder can be lost each time the drawing contacts the plate. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the number of test exposures typically done in order to find the proper etching time. One (admittedly somewhat time-consuming) solution to this is to do small studies of portions of the drawing on another piece of vellum, which allows for experimentation without using the original. Talc powder (applied to the plate with a soft brush) has also been tried to reduce sticking, so that the artwork releases from the solarplate without losing as much charcoal.
“Unlocker” by Matina Marki Tillman
When proofing or printing, vine black ink is a logical choice to capture the essence of the charcoal drawing. Matina has observed so far that this particular technique creates strong prints. The velvety richness and depth of the darker parts of the print, together with all of the in-between tonality and the often ethereal lighter areas, could ask for other blacks or gray-based mixtures if you’re after the traditional charcoal feeling. Of course, different moods can always be achieved using other colors, for example, seen in one of the variations of “Unlocker,” which was actually printed with an indigo mixture. In any case, this technique so far has been fun and encouraging enough for Matina to share her experiences, and suggest it to others interested in combining elements of both charcoal drawing and printmaking.
Opening Reception of the 101 Annual National Juried Competition, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts
Artist member Matina Marki Tillman has recently participated in two national juried exhibitions outside of the Washington D.C. area. The first was held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lynchburg, Virginia from April 6th to the 30th. The second was the 101st Annual National Juried Exhibition of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, which was held in Mystic, Connecticut from May 25th to July 14th. Both included a wide range of media from sculpture, to paintings, to prints.
“Arabesque” by Matina Marki Tillman, far right.
Matina was present at the opening at the Mystic Arts Center, which was well attended in the beautiful, sky-lit space of the gallery. The photograph above shows a view of the opening, and the second shows one of Matina’s two prints that were included in the show (far right in the photograph). This print, “Arabesque”, introduces one of Matina’s newer experimentations, direct etching of charcoal drawings on solarplates. “Arabesque”, along with other prints using this same technique, will be on display in WPG’s gallery this fall.
"Shadow Theatre Makers" by Matina Marki Tillman
Did you see the new prints Matina Marki Tillman put on our website? She’s been working hard–there’s a new suite of prints, Formations, that reminds us of her earlier print (also on the website) Storytelling to Children Unborn. If you liked that print, check out the Formations prints as well.
Shadow Theatre Makers (pictured, Left) will be on view in next month’s member exhibition. Come over to check it out in person and see more of Matina’s prints in the perusal bins.