Proposal for The California Printmaker
I began inventing imaginary cells in 2016 to distract myself from making socio-political work, the focus of my printmaking for the previous 40 years. This biological focus eased my mind from the all-consuming contentious 2016 Presidential election campaign which was more like a cannibalistic circus then a demonstration of civil democracy. This conceptual shift towards beauty and wonder soon occupied my printmaking practice.
Simultaneously, a media shift towards print collage took place. I created an artist book Between the Burners to aid the transition from politically motivated printmaking to more celebratory printmaking. The project’s intention was to get politics out of my head with a single ambitious print focused work. The book pages collage repurposed older prints (back burner issues) with new prints (front burner issues) made specifically for the book. Print collage entered my studio practice.
The above described “conceptual shift” and “media shift” is evident in new print projects presented here. Projects take form as monoprints, print collages, artist books, and print installations.
Media Shift 2016
The 48 page artist book Between the Burners marked a media transition that influenced forthcoming Cell Projects. The book’s aim was to culminate a long history of issue based work–to get politics out of my head with a single work. Conceptually, the book juxtaposed past political concerns with new concerns facing society in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Back burner issues collide with front burner issues exposing the vulnerabilities of concerns facing us with each four year election cycle. The work’s media transition was the introduction of print collage, specifically, repurposing and collaging older prints (back burner issues) with new prints (front burner issues) made specifically for the book.
Conceptual Shift 2016
While traveling abroad, I watercolored cellular inventions to relax and to focus my sketchbook work on celebrating life rather than on the dramas and contradictions of politics and human behavior. Upon my return, biological focused projects occupied my printmaking practice.
Cell Projects 2016- 2022
Cell Projects is an inventory of work that addresses my exploration of wonder, beauty, interconnectedness, reason, traits, evolution, healing, aging and death. Projects take form as monoprints, print collages, artist books, and installations.
The impetus for each project below appears on their individual project pages. Individual cells developed through the planned and unplanned layering of screen printed ink, often with serendipitous and unintended results. The process was in search of new relationships with an understanding that the world is an expression of happenings, not things.
I am thankful for the opportunity to present this Shifting Gears proposal toThe California Printmaker Editorial Board