Thursday, May 29, 2008

Monothon PDX

Outside of high school, I’ve never really done much printmaking. Back then I made my own attempt at Warhol wallpaper by doing the Rolling Stones Hot Licks a zillion times. I still have one print and it might be the oldest piece of my own work I've kept.

But entering that print studio was like nothing I’ve ever encountered. Print Arts Northwest arranged for a diverse group of artists, some well versed in prints and some novices, to make a print for an event curated Pamela Morris, Monothon PDX. Immediately I saw large tables with full palettes of ink already laid out – the sight of the oozing color was reassuring. But the process was clearly not something to be mastered in an afternoon.

I suspected it might be something like that! It took me years to learn how to paint (still learning actually…) and printmaking is no different. Yes, you can come up with something interesting in an afternoon, but that afternoon laid out an intrigue rather than sealed a deal. It showed possibilities, glimmers only.

It was fun to see how others worked, all who had made monoprints before. Above you see Bryan Schellinger, who had a show at Quality Pictures last year. He skillfully whipped out beautiful color combos in no time. Brian Benjamin Taylor (below) used what looked like a cut-out, collage technique to make his images.

And then Marlana Stoddard-Hayes (below) made these elaborate images on the plate which transferred to the paper beautifully. Everyone made several prints except me. I just kept slathering on the ink and could have easily put 4 more hours into the single image... but I guess you’ve got to let go at some point. Tomorrow tonight is the preview party.

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