Over the weekend while I was researching the woodcuts of Antonio Frasconi, I stumbled across this film (54mins) by Reelife Productions discussing contemporary approaches to printmaking at University Museum of Contemporary Art, MA. I love what each of these artists are doing independently and wanted to share their thoughts on the practice of contemporary printmaking.
Many artists use a variety of techniques to make their mark - from the hand printed woodblock to the mechanical mark of the digital printer. As part of my own process I use a digital printer to scan and transfer my sketches to the woodblock. I then carve and print the woodblock by hand. It's the physicality of the hand-made process that I really love but I also really appreciate the wonders of digital technology for it too has its purpose in the process.
Liz Chalfin is director and resident artist at Zea Mays Printmaking Studio. Liz explores non-toxic, greener alternatives to the traditional toxic printing processes encouraging a healthier safer working environment for printmakers. From soya sauce as a de-greaser, powdered sugar into aqua tint option and instant coffee as a painterly etching technique.
Liz worked with Scott Prior, a Realist painter who wanted to find a way to make prints that kept the light and colour and realism that are in his paintings. They explored multiple etchings and photo polymer plates. Nothing worked until they combined the digital layer with a handprinted layer which really captured that light in his paintings.
Mikael Petraccia teaches digital intaglio, digital print processes and media, silkscreen and master printer as part of a multi-disciplinary print class at the art department UMass Amherst.
Falling in Love with Printing
I appreciate the digital world has a wonderful part to play in contemporary art and it is through this digital space that I stumble upon amazing artists such as Lyell Castonguay. With his wild winged larger than life prints, I know I am absolutely in love with the physicality of the hand carved woodblock print.