*Click right bottom corner of print for a larger/clear image
Shelley Thorstensen "Je ne sais quoi" mixed media 9 x 12
(Shelley Thorstensen's multi-faceted print virtually dances before my eyes. The artist has mastered and uses every technical means at her disposal, exploiting these various techniques to achieve her final result. Her prints are highly labor intensive and time consuming, but printed in modest editions of 10. This approach and her dedication to the purity of printmaking itself, personifies the "New Direction" printmakers are taking going forward.)
Sheila M. Newmark "Untitled" monoprint 24 x 18
(The unique monoprint has become increasingly more commonly used by printmakers, many times in combination with other print media. The combinations are never ending and the results fascinating.)
A printmaking collection that defines historical paths would not be complete without a section that looks forward to the future of the medium. While it is impossible to predict tomorrow, we can keep pace with the innovations and technical aspects that are being integrated into the works of artist/printmakers today. A study of these works will give us a better insight into the present "avant-garde" of the medium.
There are many changes being made in the field of printmaking on a daily basis. First and foremost has been the rapid evolving developments in the commercial print industry. A prime example has been the introduction of digital imagery which has revolutionized the method by which multiple copies can be reproduced. New advancements such as this are providing artists with a whole new palette of techniques to apply to their repertoire, furnishing the tools necessary for innovation. The resulting work is incredible unique imagery. We are expriencing new visual events not dreamed of a few short years ago.
In addition, the combination of drawing, painting, collage and three dimentional elements are being integrated with past printmaking techniques to give us one of a kind prints. The multiple is no longer a defining element. "One-of-one" or "Unique" is becoming widespread in edition publishing. Editions numbering less than ten are becoming common. The thinking towards large editions is definitely no longer trendy, and there is a new respect for the print as such.
I am personally excited at the prospect of searching out, and adding some of these innovative artists and their fascinating work to my collection. It is truly gratifying to watch the development of the art of printmaking as it continues on its journey in unusual ways.
I find that the tell-tale heart of printmaking is alive and thriving, pounding loudly, stirring to the beat of tomorrow, and with that thought, I welcome you to New Directions!
Robert A. Nelson "Sheep" lithograph 36 1/2 x 25 1/2
Nelson's "Sheep" is a tour de force in the use of multiple media. Direct drawing on the stone followed by silk screen, collage, the use of stampings, color overlays, direct hand work and letterpress printing are all noted. Nelson is an innovator with great abilities. Even the collage elements have multiple techniques.
Frank Roth "Untitled" silkscreen 17 1/2 x 19
Roth's "Untitled" image is an excellent example of the personal vision of the new subject matter. "Where are we? What is it?" we ask. It reminds me of the scene in the movie "The Graduate", where the businessman offers the graduate advice for his future, "Plastics my boy, plastics".
Dennis Rowan "Big Sur-Real" intaglio 23 1/2 x 35 1/2
Rowan's print is a masterful handling of the intaglio medium. Elements of straight line etching, aquatint, asphaltom work, embossment and photo transfer are noted. At least four plates were combined to complete the artist's statement.
Misch Kohn "Convocation of Strangers" chine colle' 19 3/4 x 14 1/4
Kohn experimented and mastered a combination of several techniques; collage, chine colle', photo etching and aquatint. But perhaps his greatest contribution was the use of the sugar lift method. His distinctive line was drawn by filling squeeze bottles, ie., ketsup dispensers, with sugar lift solution and drawing directly onto the copper plate. These unique line drawings combined with chine colle', enabled him to create some of the finest prints of our era. This print, "Convocation of Strangers", demonstrates this technique.
Ed Binkley - "Changeling" 21 x 15
What we used to term "illustration" has truly entered the realm of the fine arts. The above computer generated drawing, has as its foundation, the beautiful craftmanship of the drawn line, combined with narrative mystery and delightfully unnerving fantasy. Ed Binkley is a true artist in every sense of the word.
Ronald L. Ruble - "The Birth of Icarus" Print/Drawing 24 3/4 x 14 3/4
The image above is a composite of pen and ink drawings on acetate. The original drawings were scanned, fed into a computer data base, and digitally altered, (resized, stretched and flipped), to fit the overall composition, and the artists intent. The image was then printed on and with archival ink and paper. The final image was then enhanced by additional drawing with Prismacolor pencils. This is a basic example of the flexibility of the artist controlling the use of the computer as a tool.
The Digitally Enhanced Photograph below is also an excellent example of what computer graphics offer the fine artist. They now have access to a whole new visual world with the introduction of digitally enhanced imagery. It is truly quite awesome for photo additions, drawing enhancements and color introduction. In the hands of creative artists, this technical advance will virtually explode onto the fine arts scene, from the recognizable drawing above to the fantastic portrait below.