I feel like I’ve been reexamining what I want lately (with my art) and so I’ve had some priority shifts. I have been focusing my energy more on personal projects–my books and stories, my gallery, illustration work I feel passionate about, and last but not least, personal growth. After four weeks of this printmaking class, I know that it’s the right decision to go to grad school (more on that later), and I am so, so looking forward to it. One of the best things about this class is simply the time I’m giving myself to play and explore and discover. It’s great, too, because I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty for the two days a week I spend in the print shop instead of ‘working’. And, I have, yet another, really good instructor who has been inspiring me as an artist and a teacher.
Another wonderful part about this class is the students. Many of them have been printing for ten to thirty years, and we are all feeding off each other. Their wisdom mixed with us younger, naive printers who try “everything” is really making for some wonderful, collaborative accidents. I say “accidents” because it seems that with printing, you never really can know how something will turn out. It’s always a surprise. It’s that mystery and the anticipation of turning the press and rolling up the blankets and peeling up your print and seeing it for the first time (every time) that is SO fun. I get so excited.
I’m in love with the process of building a monoprint image. It feels new every time. My teacher talked this week about “campaigns”…i know, it’s a funny term…meaning to explore a subject/idea in many prints (10-20) and playing with the image / approach / composition in a slightly different way each time. Printing is fast, and it’s a medium where you can actually do this before the energy is exhausted. I mean, I can’t imagine doing 10 paintings of similar compositions/idea, but I can imagine making 10 prints of that idea in a day. I, however, am a beginner, am SLOW and haven’t found that ‘drive’ yet for a campaign. This one student from our class had about 30 prints in crit on Thursday, and I asked “when did you make these?” Friday and Saturday, she replied. I asked how that was possible. She told me she’s been printing for 30 years and that she’s built up momentum. Hehe, everyone laughed. I guess, for now, I’m just enjoying the spontaneity of creating new images every time…
These are a few from this week. I started playing in color and with multiple plates/passes. I don’t think each one on their own is as strong as it could be, but I am excited about each one for what they are–a new discovery…in mark-making, atmosphere, line work, texture, composition, layering, space, etc. I feel like I’m learning so much with every piece. It makes me want to make a load of money so I can buy a press and print all the time. In fact, that sounds great! If anyone out there has a big job for me, OR a press they’d like to trade for a big painting, please, give me a call.
Hope you are feeling inspired in your world.