The Work

 
 

I’ve been working as a monoprint artist since 2005, and have enjoyed hand-pulled printmaking*, using elements of collage, and creating highly abstract images.  In October 2009 I began exploring painting on canvas and board with inks and acrylics.   This allows for working in larger dimensions since the maximum size of monoprints that I can reasonably pull by hand is about 12” x 12”.  I am also intrigued to be using more collage elements, including photos, symbols, and words.  I’ve always collected ideas, words, images.  Now they are starting to show up in my art. 


As usual, the art that wants to be made begins to talk to me and takes me to my edges in terms of technique and ability.  Stretching in this way is both exhilarating and terrifying. I’m always experimenting, and learning from accidents, some of which could be termed “happy”. 


Two ideas or themes are appearing in my new works. The first is falling/not falling. I know where it is coming from, and how it connects, but still this theme is a mystery to me.  Falling buildings (how DID three World Trade towers “fall down” on 9/11/01), falling or not falling bodies, birds that fall but don’t fall, falling from grace, falling in love – falling as symbol and metaphor.  So many visual images arise for me and beg for representation.  I have a feeling this series will go on for a while…


The second is the idea of palimpsests.  Using words in art is tricky, I think, and so I’ve become entirely absorbed with the idea of a “manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain”, or “something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.” 


I want to use words in my art as a way to inspire, intrigue, and illuminate. Layering words allows for them to live in the art form in a more abstract way, without being too concrete and overbearing.  This feels important to me.



* A note about how I practice monotype printmaking:


The materials and process are very simple:  ink, plate, paper.  Inks are applied to the plate first, by either brushing or rolling, then I use subtractive or additive methods, apply chine collé, etc… before transferring the image to a piece of paper.  Since I don’t alter the plate in any way (no etching or carving), every time I start a print I’m working with a new ‘blank slate’.


I also ‘pull’ my prints by hand, and find this part of the process to be particularly compelling because it is so direct and sensual – I can see and feel the results immediately and make midcourse adjustments while watching the ink transfer to the paper.  I enjoy the different effects I can achieve with fingers, palms, or by using a rolling pin or brayer. 


 

Artist’s Statement