EBSQ Spotlight on Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking: Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa

This month’s featured gallery is Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking. No two prints are ever the same, even if pulled from the same plate. Each print, regardless of technique, is an entirely individual piece of art. It is this aspect combined with the variety of print-making techniques that have made printmaking a versatile and popular art process for thousands of years. Whether dry point, block print, collagraph or lithograph, creating hand pulled prints is often a labor intensive but unique and interesting way of creating art. Throughout August, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of our artists that work to create hand-pulled prints.

Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa

Popsicle in the Park - Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa
Popsicle in the Park - Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa

The first time I started doing printmaking was in 2004 at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I tried different types of printmaking such as Relief Printing, Intaglio Printing, Lithography, Engraving, Silkscreen and other types. What I found interesting about the printmaking method is that you could combine some of these techniques and end up with a wonderful work of art that could be reproduced several times on paper or other types of surfaces that can be printed on. My favorite printmaking method is the silkscreen (serigraph) technique because several layers of color can be layered over each other that produce a painterly quality. A couple of examples are the prints I posted on EBSQ titled “Flowers for the Sweet” and “Popsicle in the Park”. Each of these prints is layered with 9 to 10 colors of combined inks on watercolor paper and I produced 5 hand-pulled prints of each image. It was truly a challenge but I was happy with the end results. – Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa

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EBSQ Spotlight on Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking: Larry Joe Miller

This month’s featured gallery is Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking. No two prints are ever the same, even if pulled from the same plate. Each print, regardless of technique, is an entirely individual piece of art. It is this aspect combined with the variety of print-making techniques that have made printmaking a versatile and popular art process for thousands of years. Whether dry point, block print, collagraph or lithograph, creating hand pulled prints is often a labor intensive but unique and interesting way of creating art. Throughout August, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of our artists that work to create hand-pulled prints.

Larry Joe Miller

Chinese Garden Portland Oregon - Larry Joe Miller
Chinese Garden Portland Oregon - Larry Joe Miller

I am currently blending Chinese Ink painting, Japanese woodblock cutting into my style and new prints.  I love impressionistic art and hope to take the subtle shading of Chinese ink to multi-block printing.  I have started doing lino along with woodblock on the same print and have accomplished blending the two very successfully.  Mainly I want to grow with my techniques and develop new styles that will be cutting edge (no pun intended) in the print world. – Larry Joe Miller

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EBSQ Spotlight on Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking: Aimee Dingman

This month’s featured gallery is Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking. No two prints are ever the same, even if pulled from the same plate. Each print, regardless of technique, is an entirely individual piece of art. It is this aspect combined with the variety of print-making techniques that have made printmaking a versatile and popular art process for thousands of years. Whether dry point, block print, collagraph or lithograph, creating hand pulled prints is often a labor intensive but unique and interesting way of creating art. Throughout August, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of our artists that work to create hand-pulled prints.

Aimee Dingman

Socially Acceptable Portrait of Karl Marx - Aimee Dingman
Socially Acceptable Portrait of Karl Marx - Aimee Dingman

Printmaking has always been a fascinatingly tedious process–one of careful drawing, carving, pulling, carving again, pulling again, examining proofs and deciding when enough is really enough–and yet the end result, the finished print, is a gloriously spontaneous, one-of-a-kind moment in time. I am personally attracted to printmaking for its process; carving is an almost completely irreversible process, making it a dangerous investment of time. One slip of the gouge and your entire day’s work may be lost. That is the dramatic nature of printmaking–and why I love it.
In my prints, I love exploring contrast. This is especially well-suited for printmaking. Whether it’s Marx’s beard or fruit on a sunny counter-top, printmaking allows me to break shapes into light and dark; to explore pattern and color without worrying about the gray areas– and that is a wonderful feeling. – Aimee Dingman

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EBSQ Spotlight on Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking: Paul Helm

This month’s featured gallery is Hand-pulled Traditional Printmaking. No two prints are ever the same, even if pulled from the same plate. Each print, regardless of technique, is an entirely individual piece of art. It is this aspect combined with the variety of print-making techniques that have made printmaking a versatile and popular art process for thousands of years. Whether dry point, block print, collagraph or lithograph, creating hand pulled prints is often a labor intensive but unique and interesting way of creating art. Throughout August, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of our artists that work to create hand-pulled prints.

Paul Helm

Purcell - Paul Helm
Purcell - Paul Helm

Traditional printmaking is a dying art.
Here in the UK art schools are gradually replacing their big old presses with computers –  no thanks to the paranoia of health and safety. I have nothing against computer graphics – I am a big fan, but my real love is hand-pulled printmaking whether it be etching, woodcuts, lino, silkscreen, collagraph or monoprints.

Computers are clinical, clean, controllable and correctable, admirable qualities. My hand-pulled printmaking is smelly, dirty, unpredictable and unforgiving – I love it. I like getting my hands dirty, I like the smells of the inks and solvents, I like the physical force required to produce a print, I like the time and patience it takes. I get a real kick from peeling the paper off the printing plate and seeing the result. So often the result is a surprise, sometimes pleasant and exciting, sometimes disappointing. I often get unexpected effects that I would never have got with a computer.

So if you are a control freak and don’t like dirt and smells – traditional printmaking is not for you. I like to mix the high-tech with the low-tech so a balance between computer graphics and traditional printmaking is a great combination for me – Paul Helm

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EBSQ Printmaking Challenge

We often have member created challenges on the EBSQ Forum. One of the challenges running at the moment is the Printmaking Challenge. Why print making? Host Aimee Dingman had this to say… “the reason I’m in the forum and hosting the challenge there is that printmaking is cathartic, surprisingly easy to start, and incredibly addictive. Because images must be first made in reverse, it is an excellent method for testing and refining techniques, as you must think about the image in two aspects.” There is also the small matter that the process can be quite enjoyable.

The theme of the challenge is Mythology. It started in October and runs through December 7th and artists may enter up to three prints so you don’t have to pick just one mythological subject. This challenge is open to everyone.

Interested yet? Did I mention there are prizes?

Here are the Printmaking Challenge particulars:

The printmaking challenge rules will be simple and the subject will be very loose, so we can get lots of people participating. There will be a prize for the winner and the runner-up.

First Place Prize: $25 Gift Certificate for either Daniel Smith or Dick Blick – Winner’s Choice!
Runner Up Prize: $10 Gift Certificate for Dick Blick or ASWExpress – Winner’s Choice!

1. The challenge is open to entries from October 7 – December 7. I realize that this is a busy time for most people, so hopefully this gives everyone a weekend or block of time somewhere to work.

2. The challenge is open to all methods of printmaking, but I think a special emphasis will be made of linocuts as it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to participate in printmaking without having experience or lots of equipment.

3. The challenge entries will be limited to 3 per artist, and should be made in an “Entries” thread which I will open tomorrow. I ask that that thread be used only for actual entries, and that comments be reserved for either this thread or for any individual thread devoted to the making of a particular entry made by the artist. Please scan or photograph your entry. Post it in the “Entries” thread, or send it to me directly and I will post it for you. You should include an explanation of your piece in accordance with the theme, and any notes about the process you wish to include.

4. There will be a popular vote after the close of the entry period. I’m willing to extend the voting past the holiday season if required, but I hope to have it close before the end of December.

With the particulars out of the way, here’s the theme:

Mythology. Greek, Roman, Norse, Judeo-Christian, Mesoamerican, or anything in between. You should embrace some aspect of mythology, whether it is a symbol, a pattern, a story, a deity, or all of the above, and create a print which embodies that idea.

I will be posting a piece inspired by the theme, but I will naturally not compete. I encourage you all to ask questions and discuss here. I think it would also be great to get some discussion going on process and inspiration. I hope we can all inspire each other!

Aimee Dingman

Click Printmaking to get to the Printmaking section of the EBSQ Forum.
This is where you enter you prints, ask questions, chat about printmaking and get information and tips on all things printmaking.

Now that I’ve got you are all fired up, get it in gear and go forth and print!