April 2017 – Print of the Month

April 2017 – Print of the Month

Arrival

Arrival, monotype, 15 x 12 inches

Butterflies have always seemed to personify Nature’s gift of fleeting beauty. I’ve been at work on a series of monotypes which try to capture that evanescent moment at its peak.
I’ve been experimenting with combinations of oil paint and water and oil-based printer’s ink with various combinations still underway.

March 2017 – Print of the Month

March 2017 – Print of the Month

Steel Thistle Rising, 2002

Collagraph on rag paper, 20 x 13 inches

I’ve always felt a kinship to the bravery of growing things as they return to us each spring, against all odds. One day I thought emerging with protective armor might help it all along.  

January 2017 – Print of the Month

January 2017 – Print of the Month

Fire & Ice on the Hudson II

2002

Monotype, oil on rag paper, 8 x 10 inches

Of recent years, the monotype has offered opportunity to make the kind of oil paintings on paper that I’d always wanted to. That is, to work swiftly or slowly, boldly or delicately, densely or thinly–and still to maintain the freshness and directness that comes only with a first vision.

I suppose it is because the “battle” (or dialogue) between artist and subject takes place on the surface of the plate (zinc, copper or plexiglass), running its inevitable course of conflict and change–second, third-and-after-thoughts. Paint it in. Paint it out. Scrape it, punch it. Kick it into that elusive shape/form/color. And then, by the simple, rational process of running it through an etching press (sometimes two, three, four times) take that image to the surface–receptive and responsive–of good rag paper and come away with the entire encounter and image fresh and whole and intact.

February 2017 – Print of the Month

February 2017 – Print of the Month

fierce-flower-v

Fierce Flower V

1980

Monotype, oil on rag paper, 6 ½ x 6 ½ inches

In Nature, the swift-sudden quality of a familiar image transformed by an unexpected encounter, in an unlikely moment or context–illuminated by a fleeting sense that winter may be past.

December 2016 – Print of the Month

December 2016 – Print of the Month

Dancing Thistles IV

1998

Collagraph on rag paper, 11 x 18 ½ inches

It is implicit in the human condition to be aware of the passage of time–the shimmering instant, the sense of loss–of moments which will never return.

And December arrives with its radiant promise, signals the moments which will return.

November 2016, Print of the Month

November 2016, Print of the Month

summers-end

“Summer’s End”

15-1/4 x 14”, Photogravure with aquatint and drypoint

Though the medium is intaglio, the beginnings come from the series of brush and ink ‘dune’ drawings I rejoice in doing each summer on Martha’s Vineyard. One finds there that confluence of sea and shore and sky, wildflowers, the change of tide and season – that speaks to us all of moments lost, though perhaps of better yet to come.
The sketch was photo-transferred to a copper plate providing a basic configuration and arena for several months of work, first with etching followed by aquatint and finally drypoint. The plate was then steel-faced for completion of the edition of 30 with 5 artist’s proofs.

October 2016 Print of the Month

October 2016 Print of the Month

“Seapath, Chilmark II”

7″ x 9″, Monotype on rag paper

There has always been something about that confluence of sea, sky and shore that both lulls and excites.  Though I suppose it may have begun with a long ago Cape Cod honeymoon, it surely emerged again during long, happy summer days with Jackie and Dan Schuman at their summer place in Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard.  Somehow, that sea, sky, shore combination always seemed more dramatic and compelling there than any others I’ve known.

September 2016 Print of the Month

September 2016 Print of the Month

“Magnolia Grandiflora”

29.5 x 22″, Etching

A few months ago I had a call from sculptor friend Babette Bloch telling me of a drawing of mine soon coming up at auction. I recognized it as a 1980’s favorite done during a summer’s stay north of San Francisco in Marin where the magnolias grow huge and white and unlike anything I’d ever seen.

I made a series of three drawings of cut blooms set under the brilliant overhead skylight, thinking of them as “Rembrandtesque” flower portraits.  They were later exhibited at the Arkansas Arts Center Drawing Annual and then at Staempfli Gallery in New York.

I found that the auction was of the personal collection of Ruth Carter Stevenson, founder of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth—who’d owned it until her passing in 2013.

After bidding and buying it back, I felt it would be an exciting image for a gravure etching—and with the guidance of master printer Lothar Osterburg, created an edition of twenty.

August 2016: Print of the Month

August 2016: Print of the Month

“Summer, Donegal”

7″ x 9″
Monotype on rag paper.
I’d traveled to artist Derek Hills’s remote corner of Ireland to paint landscapes together. Within days, he was gone, summoned to Sweden to paint the queen. Setting out alone, was sketching on a sunny Donegal hillside when the rain began. Gathered my soggy sketch pad and ran for shelter. Years later, came across the drawing and decided to use it for a monotype. Just before printing, I decided to add the rain.