Tag Archives: Upstate NY Printmaking Invitational

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Heather Swenson: The Link Between Silkscreen and Collage

A little over four years ago I moved back to Rochester after graduating from Purchase College of Art and Design with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and a concentration in Painting and Printmaking. Since then I have continued to work across several mediums, moving between silkscreen, collage, painting, sculpture and installation. Currently I have been focusing on silkscreen and collage, noticing their similarities and working to integrate principles of collage into my prints.

My screenprints always start from a drawing, often one that I cut up and rearrange. This drawing often goes through many stages before I settle on a composition for the final print. Through the images below I will walk through the process of making one of my recent screenprints, Temporary Stability.

One of the first compositions for Temporary Stability.

One of the first compositions for Temporary Stability.

Final drawing for Temporary Stability.

Final drawing for Temporary Stability.

I sort through an ever-growing collection of old books and paper for inspiration, often adding new elements into the drawing.

Paper scraps from my collection.

Paper scraps from my collection

Once I arrive at the finished drawing I start making layers for the print. I lay a sheet of acetate over the drawing and trace a section with a lightfast marker.  With silkscreen, each color is laid down separately, so for every color in the print there will be a corresponding sheet of acetate. This process of separating colors and focusing on how parts make up the whole link up to the way I think about collage.

Making the layers for the print, this film will be used when exposing the screen.

Making the layers for the print, this film will be used when exposing the screen.

In my studio in the Hungerford Building, I have a small exposure unit that I built to expose the screens and a table with hinge clamps to make my prints.

My silkscreen table  with a screen in the hinge clamps.

My silkscreen table in my studio with a screen in the hinge clamps.

Aside from the loose palette I select for the silkscreen, printing is a spontaneous process for me.  I mix my colors as I work, often making changes along the way.  As shown below the final print, Temporary Stability, is slightly different from the final drawing I made. Instead of the grey shape at the bottom, I printed a scanned security envelope pattern.

The final preparatory drawing and the final print.

The final preparatory drawing and the final print.

Among other prints and a set of small sculptures, I have two pieces in the Upstate NY Printmaking Invitational that bridge the gap between collage and silkscreen. They are collages that I made from cutting up my screenprints. Repurposing of my work in silkscreen brings it full circle to the beginning stages of the process when I am arranging parts for the drawing.

Collage made entirely from cut up screenprints.

Collage made entirely from cut up screenprints.


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Heather Swenson’s prints in our current exhibition the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational (runs through October 7). You can see more of Heather’s work online at www.heatherswenson.com or follow her on Instagram @heatherswensonart.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by printmaker Gregory Page.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Gregory Page: Motifs From My Back Yard

The following images show my printmaking process.  The photos are from a project completed while I was on sabbatical leave in 2013. Three print were produced and several unique impressions at Normal Editions Workshop at Illinois State University in the College of Fine Arts School of Art, Normal, Illinois.

I worked with Professor Richard Finch (Director of Normal Editions), Veda Rives (Associate Director), and Christopher Hagen and Alyssa Tauber (both graduate students in the Department of Art).  I also worked with Jessica Chambers (Director of the Horticulture Center at Illinois State University) and Professor Don Schmidt (Dean of the School of Biological Sciences and Director of the Biological Sciences Greenhouse Collection at the Felmley Annex). I also visited the Rapp Agricultural Building Greenhouse.

Collecting the plants:

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Drying the plants:

Drying the plants

Soaking the leaves:

Soaking the leaves

Leaves in the tray coated with tusche:

Leaves in the tray coated with tusche

Leaves are placed on Artex film:

Leaves placed on Artex Film

Leaves dry and are removed from the film:

Leaves dry and removed from film

The exposed plate:

Exposed Plate

Printing:

Printing

The plate is printed:

The Plate is printed

The prints are signed:

The Prints are signed.

The finished prints:

Motif From ISU Greenhouse Selections I

Motif From ISU Greenhouse Selections I

Motifs From Greenhouse Selections II

Motifs From Greenhouse Selections II

Motifs From Greenhouse Selections I & II

Motifs From Greenhouse Selections I & II

Prints in the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational at Main Street Arts:

Gregory Page

Gregory Page


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Gregory Page’s prints in our current exhibition the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational (runs through October 7).

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by printmaker Minna Resnick.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Minna Resnick: Idea to Finished Drawing

My work deals with visual and written language over time, exploring generational differences in the understanding of communication. I use illustrated early and mid-twentieth century manuals on home management, décor, repair, health, education and etiquette for source material and inspiration. This drawing starts with photo illustrations from the 1967 book (pictured below) whose opening sentence reads, “My dear young friend: This, I think, is the book you have been waiting for.” Ha! This text only makes me laugh and initiates the process of reinventing the original source material into something with totally new associations.

book-Seventeen

I use two images from different book chapters and print them on separate sheets of paper in two colors. Both sheets are then covered with a watercolor wash of the same color and the sheets are joined together.

drawing progression

Using a photograph I took of my model, I start drawing over the background with a colored pencil, integrating another layer of information. Here’s more progress:

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I continue adding layers (and obstructing previous ones) as I develop the image…

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…until my idea for the new drawing is complete.

The title of this image is “Learns Much About the World”.

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Stop by Main Street Arts to see Minna Resnick’s prints in our current exhibition the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational (runs through October 7). View her work online at www.minnaresnick.com

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by printmaker Kathleen Sherin.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Kathleen Sherin: Printmaker

U D, Carborundum Monoprint, 19.5 x 9.5 inches

U D, Carborundum Monoprint, 19.5 x 9.5 inches

The prints I have on display at Main Street Arts are part of a new series called “Imeasurable Blues”.

Assembled Carborundum and Collagraphic Monoprint, 25 x 15 inches

Assembled Carborundum and Collagraphic Monoprint, 25 x 15 inches

I create my prints in my studio in the TriMain Building as a resident artist in Buffalo Arts Studio  and larger prints in the printshop at the University of Buffalo through a community access program called ePIC ( Experimental Print Imaging Center).

My studio and press at Buffalo Arts Studio

My studio and press at Buffalo Arts Studio

I always work in series.  Each series is a conversation. These conversations all seem to have a common thread, to explore and express conflicts and contrasts of the physical and mental aspects of being human – or  of the rational and intuitive self. In this current series I have ventured past the border of self to the resonant forces found in nature.

My 10 second statement: “Ideas derived from Biology clash with ideas about Psychology, are mediated by Observation and Experience then completed on an Etching Press”.

The press is an essential tool and partner in creation and  involvement in the process of printing is essential to my creative thinking.

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The prints in this exhibition are Carborundum and Collagraphic Monprints.

A Carborundum  print is made from a calligraphic process in which the image is painted on the plate with carborundum (a gritty abrasive powder) mixed with acrylic medium. Once dried the plate is inked wiped and printed.

The Process of Making a Carborundum Print

A drawing with a liquid acrylic mixed with carborundum in made on  a polystyrene (plastic) plate.

Making the plate -

This plate has combination of lines made with Carborundum and lines made only with acrylic medium.

Close up of plate:

Close up of plate

Once the additions are  dry,  ink (oil-based etching ink) is rubbed onto the plate and into the textured surface of the carborundum lines until the entire plate is covered with ink.

Inking the plate

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Excess ink is wiped off with tarlatan (material like starched cheesecloth).

tarlatan

I leave much  of the ink on the plate –  and the marks in the ink by manually wiping.   It is now ready to print.

readytoprint

Dampened paper is placed over inked plate on the press bed.

wetpaperon

A rubber blanket is placed over paper to cushion and to allow the paper to mold over the raised lines on the plate.

blanket

The print is rolled through the press user pressure.

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A print is born!

printborn

A print and plate.

printandplate

Some of my prints like the following are layered pieces  - This print has ben made with 2 plates, one printed over the  other in a separate run through the press.

W T S O, Carborundum and Collagraphic Monoprint, 24 x 15 inches

W T S O, Carborundum and Collagraphic Monoprint, 24 x 15 inches

This is my thinking and working wall at the studio – I am usually working on several overlapping series at once.

workingwall

This is the other part of my studio filled with prints.  BAS is an open studio space; please feel free to visit.

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Though I have lived and worked in Buffalo NY for many years, I am originally from Greenwich NY.  I moved to Buffalo to attend college first to study nursing (BS in 1972) then continued on to study and make art (BA Empire Sate College 1981, MFA in painting at UB 1985).

I studied intaglio as a post-graduate and  learned traditional printmaking methods. I abandoned these soon to discover through trial and error - simpler materials and more direct, less chemical-mediated ways of working.

My prints are unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-pulled pieces that blend traditions from painting, printmaking and collage. They contain a combination of direct non-chemically-mediated printmaking methods that include my personal spin on collagraphic, carborundum printing and monoprint techniques.


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Kathleen Sherin’s prints in our current exhibition the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational (runs through October 7). View her work online at www.ksherin.com

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by printmaker Barbara McPhail.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Barbara McPhail: Printmaker

I have a small printmaking studio in my home in Canandaigua, which has excellent light and looks out onto the street. My main medium is monotype, although I also use collagraph, linocut, woodblock and etching.

View of my etching press and the street

View of my etching press and the street

My monotypes are mostly created from shapes made from tagboard, and textures like wallpaper, fabric and netting. I start with drawing, but quickly go to designing with shapes as soon as the idea evolves. The shapes are inked up with brayers and placed onto inked plexiglass.

Shapes for "Fire and Ice" on the inking island

Shapes for “Fire and Ice” on the inking island

The print “Fire and Ice” was made of 6 inch square sections that were glued down to form a large print. Below are the sections before I glued them together and added the fire, which was painted paper collaged on at the end.

"Fire and Ice" sections before gluing together

“Fire and Ice” sections before gluing together

Sometimes I overlay images onto an existing print. First I draw out the idea and play with shapes on paper before deciding how I want it to look.

Working out the idea for adding a layer of shapes

Working out the idea for adding a layer of shapes

The beauty of monotype is the fascinating and endless possibilities, which keeps my creative energy flowing and my mind going…going…going.


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Barbara McPhail’s prints in our current exhibition the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational (runs through October 7). View her work online at http://barbaramcphail.com

Sign up for our workshop: Linocut Printmaking with Barb McPhail.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by sculptor Jerry Alonzo.