Thursday, March 31, 2011

Printmaking :: Behind the Orange Curtain

For those of you who feel like venturing down south a bit…..Printmaking Classes and Open Studios are
available at the Irvine Fine Arts Center

AND an added bonus, CSULB BFA candidate
Lindsay Buchman
is teaching the following classes:

Monoprints & Monotypes

Create unique prints using both the painterly and stacking monotype techniques while exploring monoprint embellishing. Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm Apr 2-May 21

Paper Lithograph

Learn the Xerox transfer method of printing. Combine monotype or relief processes and study color printing and chine colle to enhance the quality of a print. Saturdays 1:30pm-4:30pm Apr 2-May 21

Silk Aquatint

Experience the organza method to create tonal values similar to an aquatint in etching. Learn techniques for coating an organza silk surface with polymer gloss medium to create tonal range for print. All levels welcome.
Mondays 6:30pm-9:30pm Apr 11-May 16

Visit the Irvine Fine Arts Center website for a

complete course listing

Relief Techniques
Intaglio Techniques
Experimentations in Letterpress Printmaking
Letterpress for Designers
Book Arts I

Printmaking Open Studio

The new Patrick Merrill Printmaking Studio is a fully equipped and ventilated studio suited for both traditional print and letterpress techniques. Two Vandercook proof presses, a Pilot press, and various etching presses including a 36’ x 72’ manual Ettan press, outfit our 800 square foot studio space allowing for various print techniques and processes such as intaglio, relief, collograph, monoprint, traditional letterpress and more. Open
Studio users must make a reservation with the Studio Technician and demonstrate previous printmaking experience in either a classroom or equivalent studio environment. Closed-toe shoes required. More info:

For Open Studio hours call IFAC at 949-724-6880.

Posted by: Nancy Young

Monday, March 21, 2011

Printmaking in NYC: K. Caraccio Studio

Nestled between 39th St. and 8th Ave. in the borough of Manhattan, lies the atelier of Kathy Caraccio, Master Printer, artist, educator and hands down the best kept secret in the city. For over thirty years she has been an established printer in the belly of the beast. New York has its’ fair share of printmaking studios however, K. Caraccio Studio is of an exceptional quality that truly embodies the character of the city. Comprised of an extraordinary 2,000 plus print collection, a wealth of educational information, and the spontaneity of a constant flow of visiting artists, the studio is a rich environment for any creative individual to delve into.

This past January, I had the pleasure of interning for Kathy and became accustomed to the bustling lifestyle that epitomizes the art scene. While working at K.Caraccio studio, I met the wonderful Gayle Flanery and Roxanne Faber Savage, who like many New Yorkers, are absolutely unforgettable entities. It is artists of this caliber that grace young artists’ lives and inspire them to want more for their careers. Although, without Stephen Fredericks, president of the New York Etching Society, I would have never had such an opportune experience. For those of you who do not know Stephen or his work, you should invest a moment of your time to see what soft ground etching should be. He is a master at his craft with a personality of gold, to whom I owe much gratitude for introducing me to Kathy in the first place. With that said, community and printmaking are a constant unity. Part of thriving in the print world is giving back; whether it be through the passing of information or the donation of your own time, printmakers (at least the ones I’ve known) have an affinity for sharing.

No matter what your practice in art may be, there is something awaiting for you in this cultural mecca. Half printshop, half gallery, the studio offers an abundance of insight into the practices of both traditional and experimental printmaking. After all, Kathy Caraccio apprenticed for Bob Blackburn, has taught at Columbia University, Pratt Institute, NYU, the Art Students League, Parsons School of Design, and the list goes on. She is a remarkable individual that any artist would be fortunate enough to come across in their creative lifetime. Kathy allows for a welcoming studio environment while challenging artists to push to boundaries of their work. K. Caraccio Studio is a brilliant representation of printmaking and an ideal embodiment of the substance that works on paper truly provide.

Posted by: Lindsay Buchman

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Printers" in my shop - old school at its best!

A short while back, James (1st name only) wrote to ask about the virtues of various printers I fancied, with the implied assumption that my work was printed out in a digital format. Sometimes a picture really is worth 1,000 words, so here are the "printers" in use at CSULB.
This old gal is our Fuchs & Lang lithographic press, one of 5 litho presses in the shop. If you look closely, you can see the tiny altar Brent Bond made to honor Alois Senefelder, located to the left of the sign-up sheets. Students traditionally leave offerings on it before printing editions...Nissin instant noodle bowls or chocolate Pocky biscuit sticks seem the most efficacious among them, although I'd have thought bratwurst, braunschweiger & St. Pauli Girl more to the taste of the gent in question. Mind you, I'm not advocating drinking alcohol or eating greasy animal by-products in the shop.

Moving along, you can see our Charles Brand litho press, & note that each press station pretty much has its own small sink, making the changing of water for keeping the stones wet an easy chore.

In an orderly phalanx are our letterpress options, which we use mainly for printing type-high relief blocks. While we do have some lead & wooden type faces, they are mainly display fonts - not terribly suited to setting prose or poetry. There are 2 identical Vandercook proofing presses, one much adored "Showcard" press and an ancient beast of questionable parentage.

The big Takach press, stands shining-fairly-new in front of a vintage Charles Brand etching press. We also have 2 hotplates on this side of the shop, handy when wiping etching plates or cutting linoleum.

Back in the early Pleistocene, when I was a student at the University of Iowa, we used to (horrors) re-heat food on these things. Unlike the hotplates in the CSULB studios, those Iowa versions had a thick murky layer of ink covering them. I like to think that all those tasty carcinogens added a little special flavor to a slice of pizza. (We did use tin foil...)

The wee motorized Charles Brand etching press was one I hauled up the hill from a since defunct program called something like "Technology Education," & another old soul we call "the big wheel press," which was formerly known as the "star wheel press," is located in front of it. The newer of the 2 hotplates (a Takach) is in this photo. More pixs to follow after I get my "Keynote" presentation on screenprinting made for class on Friday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Exhibition at Golden West College

I was surprised to be ID'ed as a Golden West College student in the 3/9 edition of "The Western Sun," by writer Jamie Corpuz, but delighted to see a repro of my work. Apparently a new printmaking medium has also been invented...the linograph, where Bavarian limestone meets cork, burlap & linseed oil? It just goes to illustrate the continuing confusion about what defines printmaking - not exactly aided by the prevalence of what amounts to posters marketed as "limited edition prints." Aargh & dadburn that just makes my blood roil & makes me want to cuss like both a pirate & a 49er. Glicée? Just another highbrow marketing word for poster. No respect. As lithographer Cynthia Osborne always says: "We are the Rodney Dangerfields of the art world."

OK, now I'll step off my soapbox & grudgingly admit that the wide spectrum of so many various techniques & methodologies in my beloved field of endeavor can also establish a certain amount of head scratching. I'll also cop to the fact that (gasp) we printmakers also either include digitally printed images in our work (something John Greco has called the "tradigital") or jettison the "traditional" part of that newly-minted trope & opt for the purely digital. However, generally speaking, not in "editions" of 700 or greater.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Sight Readings"

Here are 2 photos of my latest woodcut right before it went under the Plexiglas & into the frame for the Fresno exhibition. The lurid green Croc on my foot & tape measure provide however inadvertently, some sense of scale.

Printed on banana paper, there's a somewhat transparent white layer (linoleum-cut) printed under the woodcut matrix. The latter is printed in grey. Working with the banana paper was a bit dodgy, as the small embedded fiber orts caused it either not to successfully print via the press, or (worse still) caused the paper to tear. This meant rubbing by hand via a wooden spoon to reinforce the light areas, & making many small repairs from the back.

The "Art Space Gallery" shot shows the print in situ, with Matt Hopson-Walker (teaches printmaking at CSU Fresno), Nick Spohrer (teaches printmaking at Fresno City College) & Nick's student, Ryan Collins fore & aft.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finally - My Name in Lights...sort of

Soooo, my exhibition was part of the Fresno "Art Hop" last evening, & I was duly impressed to see that my image "Core" had been considerably blown-up & turned into campus signage. My immediate thought was how much more impressive it was at a larger scale, & why didn't I have enough tenacity to create it that way to begin with? Ah well - pointless rumination, I know.

Anyway, back to last night. I'm trying to be sly, not at all obvious in my attempts to take a few shots of this billboard, when an excited young man runs up to tell me that he's doing the lighting for the play "The Ballad of Chet" (as seen immediately to the right of my image). Not wishing to burst his bubble, I asked him if it was about the life of legendary jazz trumpeter & heroin addict Chet Baker. The blank look on his unlined face told all, including the fact that he no doubt found me to be a daft woman of a "certain" age. Clearly he had no notion of who Chet Baker was. At that point, I didn't want to linger, forlornly looking for my name in lights on the big electronic messaging board. Notice gentle reader, how these blighted things have now become ubiquitous on every university, college & high school campus. To counter, might I propose a listen to David Wilcox' gentle paean titled: "Chet Baker's Unsung Swan Song," & yes, I am going to look for that certain hotel while in Amsterdam this summer (but it would be entirely too ghoulish to book a room there).

Oh yes, my show runs until 3/17...or even a bit beyond that, should the fates allow. As it's hard to read on the repro'ed invite, the show is located in the "Art Space Gallery," Fresno City College, 1101 East University Avenue, Fresno, CA

As much as I'd like to seem really technologically savvy, I can't actually take credit for the QR scanner code for smart phones on the back of the exhibition announcements. Vexingly, it's been the only thing folks have been giving me props for. Perhaps it will provide the impetus for me to finally finish (and actually post) my web-site. Another New Year's resolution dumped by the side of the road.