slightly wonky


What is it?
January 21, 2011, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today is a snow day here.  Schools closed…cars buried…cabin fever…

This is the first moment that I’ve had to think…my three-year old son is not one for just lazing around.  He’s a man of action, and he expects a partner in crime at all times, namely, me.  I’ve been Big Bird, Elmo, someone named Harry, Richard Rabbit from Peppa Pig, and countless other characters during our playing today.  In other words, I’m fried.

My snow day today also meant that my printmaking class today was cancelled.  Oh well!  But I DID have my other printmaking class last night.  It’s at a fairly new arts center called Maud Morgan Arts in Cambridge.  I’m taking a class called Print Sampler…with FOUR different, highly respected printmakers.  Each teacher will teach two, non-consecutive classes.  Last night, we have a fabulous teacher named Jan.  Her last name escapes me right now.  [edit 1/26: Jan Arabas]  Truly, in one class I already feel that I learned SO much.  Who knew what kind of fun stuff you could do with a brayer?  I do wish that she had brought some images of her work, just for inspiration.  The group seems varied and nice, so I think that it will be great…assuming that I can attend all of the classes.

Last night, I also had a drink with my dear friend KP.  She’s the one who finally pushed me to get this blog going, and who is a constant font of thoughtful and kind guidance.  Anyway, she pressed me to have my posts share more information…not just the images.  One question she asked was, “why printmaking?”  Good question…I don’t have an eloquent answer.  So, what is printmaking?  In essence, it is transferring ink from a matrix (copper plate, wood block, etc.), to another surface (typically paper).  This impression from the matrix is a print, and it is this process that sets it apart from painting, drawing, etc. etc.  So, why printmaking?  There is something amazing/unexpected/mysterious that happens when you make a print.  Until you actually press the paper to the matrix…you don’t actually KNOW how the print will look.  Obviously, skilled printmakers probably have a highly refined sense, and know exactly what they will get.  But even then, I still think that there is something (and I hate to use this word) “magical” about peeling back the paper for the first time to look at a print.  You control so much of the process, but there is a final toss of the dice that adds a fascinating twist.  This twist can be VERY frustrating.  NUMEROUS times I have imagined how I believe the print will turn out, only to be surprised by the actual result.  Again, with years of experience this surprise lessens/disappears, but undoubtedly the excitement of pulling the print remains.

Here are pictures of the snow, the toys we played with endlessly today, and the print from last night…each a moment in my past 24 hours…stay warm!

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2 Comments so far
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I feel your pain. Snow is always such a welcome guest when it first arrives but like unwrapped leftovers, after a few days it stinks! It may be beautiful out there and if you were gazing at the white expanse out your studio window, uninterrupted by the Sesame Street Tree House, you’d probably be pretty inspired; in the same way a white sheet of paper inspires a transfer of ink. But such are the trials of motherhood. Look at it this way, all day long you’ve been involved with one of your masterpieces, draining but also rewarding, no?

Comment by growingmuses

YES! I have to keep in mind that endless hours of being Big Bird are positive play for my little guy…and that HE is always my most important project…Thanks for the reminder!!! Well put…

Is it really supposed to be colder tomorrow??? BRRRRR!

Comment by slightlywonky




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