Skip to main content

Printing like a painter at Interlochen

Today was my third day of teaching in the adult summer classes at Interlochen, and the first day of my monoprinting class. It's the second or third time I've taught this class here, and as usual it doesn't take long for the beauty and simplicity of monoprinting to take hold of the participants and lead to some very fine results.


We started the day with a talk about the history of monoprint, illustrated by projecting images from my laptop. Then we got into contact monoprints, which this class liked so much that it took us up to 2 pm until we changed techniques.

For the rest of the session, I helped the students make prints by painting with the inks using brushes on the monoprint plates, with thick and thin ink, then taking prints from the plate with dry paper and damp paper, using hand pressure and using the printing press. Everyone got at least one fine looking print out of the day:





It's hard work, printmaking. Not like working in a factory, of course, but still, you spend a lot of time on your feet, you're using your arms and shoulders to roll a printing press, so that everyone is pretty tired by about 4.30 pm. Come to think of it, yes, it's EXACTLY like working in a quarry or a coal mine, and damn anyone who says otherwise.

And when you clock off at the end of a shift, you get a lovely frame-able print out of it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.


A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

A List of Every Drink in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"

I first read Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" when I was a teenager, and immediately fell in love with it. For the last couple of years, I have had the incredible privilege of teaching a class based around Hemingway in Paris -- while living and teaching in Paris itself, close to the Boulevard du Montparnasse, where most of the action of the novel's first half takes place.

Of the many things that one notices about the book, the colossal amount of drinking is something that stands out. These people didn't just drink like fish: they drank like whales, as if the ocean they swam in was alcohol and they had set themselves the task of drinking the seas of the world dry of it. During my read-through of the book before class started last year, I tried to underline every mention of drink in the book. And now, purely in the interests of science, I am listing the entire menu of booze mentioned directly by name. Some preliminary observations:
Most of this is…