Drawing is a tactile experience that immerses me in my natural surroundings. Through this practice I connect physically to a subject with the touch of pencil or pen on paper. I begin to “see” not simply look. My Plein Aire work begins by drawing on site with folded paper in small format. I then apply watercolor, and later when in the studio, I construct the folded drawings into accordion books. Drawing is a way for me to quiet my busy mind, and I use quiet meditative contour drawing as my entry into creative sessions in my studio.
My primary printmaking methods are monotype and monoprint. Monotype, a one-of-a-kind-print, is the most painterly of printmaking techniques and encourages a great deal of experimentation that aids my intuitive process of working. An image is created on a “plate” or surface that will not absorb the color and then printed on paper by running the plate through a printing press or by transferring the image by hand. Inks are applied to the plate with hands, brush, or brayer. Texture can be added with threads, stencils, torn paper, etc. all of which mask out the ink in selected places. One layer is printed and observed to decide where ink or stencils should be placed for subsequent layers. There are no rules with monotype and almost anything that accomplishes an end product is possible. A dried print may be painted on or collaged over, etc. As with drawing it is the joy of the process that pulls me to work.
My work has been exhibited in numerous juried and one-person shows and has won awards in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area as well as locally. I have work in private collections in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan and have done commissions for individuals, churches and corporations. I have taught classes and workshops in monotype and drawing throughout my career.
Education: Wittenberg University, BFA
Galleries: The Gallery, Garrett County Arts Council, Oakland, MD
Lost River Artisans Cooperative, Lost River, WV
Gifts Inn, Boonsboro, MD
Residencies: Guest Artist, Spruce Forest Artisan Village, Maryland, October 2007
Artist-in-Residence, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, September, 2012
Gelatin Plate description:
For nearly 10 years I have been using a plate of unflavored gelatin from which to print my monotypes. Since I do not have a printing press in my home, this unique way of printing monotypes by hand allows for building images with many layers of translucent/transparent ink. Transfer of the image from the plate requires only the simple pressure of my hand. The pliable surface of the gelatin allows the use of natural objects like leaves, bark and grasses and “found” objects like cheese cloth, thread, paper and plastic as stencils to make clean edged images. This method also allows me to use dry paper in the printing process eliminating the need to soak the paper before transfer as in traditional methods. All of my prints are done on archival papers using lightfast inks. I use non-toxic methods of printing using water soluble oil paints and Akua Kolor water soluble inks.
The words monotype and monoprint are often used interchangeably, but they are indeed two different prints. A monotype becomes a monoprint when a second printing process is introduced to the print. This second process is a technique that produces a repeatable design or matrix and can be made by any traditional printing process, i.e. etching, intaglio, silk screen, etc. In my work I have used linoleum cuts for this purpose. The matrix produced by the linoleum cut is capable of being inked and printed several times creating an edition of identical prints, but when it is printed on top of or under the monotype, it alters the original and becomes a one-of-a-kind print, thus a “mono” print. Both the monotype and the monoprint are one-of-a-kind fine art prints. With the addition of the monotype it is impossible to make an identical reproduction.
Artist in Residence at Mesa Verde National Park:
Beginning September 2, 2012 for two weeks I will be living and working as the Artist in Residence at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Please return to this space in the coming months to hear and see more of my experience of this exciting opportunity.