Throughout its history, printmaking has been used to tell stories, whether in partnership with a written text or through images that stand alone. In this course you will draw inspiration from narrative traditions in Italian art and from a personally significant myth, poem, or story. Printmakers and graphic storytellers Ursula West Minervini and Jonathan Poliszuk will guide you in creating of a series of prints that explore a text of your choosing. Friday trips to Rome and to the Fabriano Museum of Paper and Watermark will inspire us and deepen our understanding of illustrative imagery and printmaking in the history of Italian art.
We will study two printmaking techniques in which bright marks are pulled from a dark ground: Reductive Monotype and Woodcut. You will work in monotype to explore broadly and develop your ideas, choose one or more images to develop more purposefully in woodcut, and then combine the techniques to create expressive, colorful images.
Monotypes are unique prints. In reductive monotype a plate is coated with a layer of printing ink and light tones are scraped, dabbed, or brushed away to create a luminous, gestural image, which is printed by hand or with a press. The process is superficially similar to drawing or painting, but the image undergoes a transformation in the transfer of ink from a prepared plate onto printing paper. Working in monotype invites exploration, risk-taking, and an openness to surprise and discovery.
Woodcut is perhaps the oldest form of printmaking, and is inextricably linked with the history of books and illustration. The surface of a woodblock is inked and printed after carving away all but the intended design. The carving process is meditative and purposeful, and many identical or varying impressions can be produced from a single carved block. The technique lends itself to bold, graphic expression, but is also capable of producing subtle textures and intricate detail.
In our first week, you will begin by working rapidly through a series of reductive monotypes, boldly exploring multiple aspects of your chosen text. Through this exploration, you will arrive at themes and compositions that you wish to work with more purposefully, and undertake the design and carving of one or more woodcuts.
In the second week Ursula and Jonathon will guide you through the nuances of the printing process. You will create editions, explore layered color printing, and combine techniques in prints that meld the graphic impact of woodcut with the expressive fluidity of monotype. The class will culminate in a group show in which students will present their new body of work.
For more information, contact us.