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Artist Journal August 23-August 29

Ive never been so excited to wake up at 5am to drive an hour but walking into the studio for the first time in over a year was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. (And not just because I’m lazy and dont want to print by hand anymore). I didn’t even have much to work on but I was sat down at my usual table by 7am…. For my 9am print class. I love being in the studio early in the morning. Most college students don’t seem to be early risers so I am usually one of the first in the building. I get to dance around the studio singing and having a grand ol’ time (Which I’m surprised no ones ever come knocking asking me to keep it down) and its so peaceful. Not to say i dont also enjoy time in the studio with other people working, particularly as ive progressed into the upper levels of printmaking getting to see the print 1 students working on their prints and getting to be there to offer help.

This is my last semester at Oneonta and true to form I’ve made sure to pack a plate high. Ive been Incredible fortunate enough to have a few of my pieces featured in The Jean-Parish Award Gallery Show this October after receiving the scholarship last fall. Additionally I’ve been granted the opportunity to put together my own solo show this semester. Printmaking has provided me the opportunity dive deeper Into my creative process as an artist and while I still am very much a ‘product’ based creator printmaking has given me the chance to include the process In the product. This concept is the basis of my solo show titled ‘Working Proof’, the label given to prints that are part of the journey to the final piece and will not be included In a final edition. 

In the span of a little over a month I have to…

-Complete start to finish the 5 layer reduction print that will be the focal point of the show, I’m going to save one piece from each layer i print so viewers can see side-by-side how the layers build. 

-Complete a layered print on sheets of plexiglass that will be free standing in the gallery space for people to walk around to see the layers of the print, as well as stand In a specific spot to see all these layers merge together to create the final print. 

-Complete a mini version of the plexiglass print for gallery viewers to hold in their hand to be able to build the print themselves

-Reprint any previous prints that aren’t the quality I’d like on display.

            A monumental challenge? Yes. One I’m so beyond excited to tackle and accomplish? A BIGGER Yes. Ive kind of split my semester in two in terms of my printmaking course and up until the beginning/mid October it’s all about putting this show together and then getting it set up in the gallery. Then once the show is up and set I get to take a deep breath and start to really play with my printmaking (I absolutely love the work I’m doing for the show but there’s so many techniques and materials i want to mess with that will have to wait. Printing on darker paper, printing on unconventional things, mixing in some artist books practices, etc. My biggest challenge in the first half is time working against me, It’s a tall order in a month and I also have other classes that I need to spend some time on. The second half my challenge will be ensuring that while I’m playing with these new materials and techniques I’m still designing and executing finished pieces that I’m proud of and hopefully have some sense of cohesion with each other. Luckily i love to schedule and plan ahead so Im confident in my ability to stay on track for the show. This semester is going to be so much, and I’m so excited to see how much i grow as a person and an artist. I’m getting first hand experience working with a gallery director to put together a show and getting to continue exploring all that relief printmaking has to offer. 

Student Teaching Wrap Up & Overall Updates

Wow… the last month or two kind of got away from me. Classes and life both ramped up at the same time it seems, seems like only a week or two ago i was writing my first post on here and now I’m wrapping up my Teaching Assistant course with the Print 1 students. As part of the final students are asked to answer some questions about their experience with printmaking throughout the semester, as well as how their predictions from the first week of classes turned up. I had answered similar questions in my first post way back in January. Overall while I think I was being a tad dramatic about the difficulties of me reacquainting myself with some methods I hadn’t worked with in a few semesters. There was a slight hill I had to climb in the beginning of the Intaglio project but my earlier guess was correct in that printmaking is like riding a bike, once you learn you can never really forget. My biggest goal was to be able to get a sense of whether teaching at the college level is something that would appeal to me as well as really be able to help the students and feel like i taught them something. I feel as though throughout the relief projects in particular, especially for those who chose linocut, i was given this opportunity to share the tips and tricks ive picked up in my short time as a printmaker. They say everyone wants to feel important and i feel most important when I’m given the chance to help a student and further their passions. I’m ending this semester with new questions for myself. Before high school was really the only area ive been interested in teaching but now after getting to work with Rhea the opportunities for student development and engagement at the college level is something I definitely enjoy. With the start of summer break fast approaching I have many plans on the horizon for the coming fall and its going to be full steam ahead as i move into my final semester of undergrad.

In other news I’ve started work on a new print series that I will be working on over the course of the summer into the fall semester. I’m focusing on Bonsai trees, their diversity in form, texture, and movement through linocut prints. Here is a test print from the very first in the series. I’m unsure of if this print will make it to the final collection or if it will simply end up on the cutting room floor as a test print. Which wouldn’t be a complete waste especially with another project i will be working on going into the fall semester of putting together a solo show of both my personal print collections as well as the process of printmaking from design to the drying rack. I’m really looking forward to this and am hopeful that I’m awarded the ability to produce the show.

Up

12 in. x 18 in.

Linocut on Mulberry paper

2021

Artist Journal 5 ~ March 1-7

This was a very busy week, It always seems like I have 17 deadlines all at once. It is one of the unfortunate downfalls of being an art major. Generally professors do 4-5 projects over the course of the semester which results in many deadlines lining up. Luckily in terms of the class I’m a Teaching Assistant in the students have moved on to their first choice project. They get to choose to either work in intaglio drypoint like the first project or work in relief woodblock like the second. I’m using this time to make sure I stay on track with my own work while aiding the students with their designs. In terms of my own work I’m currently juggling a drawing for my Advanced Design class as well as a book series for Artist Books. Both of which have been slow going to start but are really starting to gain momentum. I also need to begin work on my next project for Digital Painting. This class is interesting in that its asynchronous, there is no set meet time for the class as a whole. It feels like an independent study which has its good and bad. Ive done independent studies before but in areas/materials I was more than comfortable with. I don’t have a lot of experience with digital painting so its been a trek so far. Ive been lucky enough to have great professors who are always there to help and it makes things a million times easier. I do know that I have got to be a little more disciplined with this class moving forward so I dont fall behind.

Artist Journal 3 & 4 ~ February 15-28

WOODCUT PRINTING!! Finally being back on familiar ground feels so nice. We have moved into the ‘crash course’ on woodcut prints. This is a method of teaching that I quite like, giving the students the opportunity to try a material and see what they can do with it before really getting trenched in what a woodcut should be. Doing a woodcut in roughly a week often feels clunky and like there are a million and one issues but the students come up with the most brilliant solutions to these road blocks. By the time they get to their second woodcut where they’re given more time for designing and planning as well as execution of the prints the entire process seems less daunting for the students.

I worked on my own woodcut alongside the students and came up with this little raccoon design. The prompt they’d been given was to show their ‘Avatar’ some form of representation of themselves from spirit animals, deities, and portraits to scenes they resonate with. Its always interesting to see the paths they take when given an open-ended prompt like the avatar. Raccoons are one of my favorite animals and I thought it would be the best way to demonstration some techniques with woodcut carving as well as planning and designing for a woodcut as it deals more in shapes rather than line. Part of this project Rhea gave me the opportunity to do a live demo, my first for a college level course. It’s crazy all the little things I do while working on my own prints that are so second nature I’d forget to mention them, luckily with Rhea I was well guided and like to think my first demo didnt go half bad. Additionally I was able to push this woodcut a little beyond the project and show the students a glimps of the type of printing i myself have gotten into a lot lately. Reduction prints. Using the same block and layering colors to get the finished print. I did a quick and easy 3 colored on for my raccoon (I say 3 because i include the paper tone when i count my colors),

Artist Journal 2 ~ February 1 – February 7

This is my second entry and I am already stumbling, but I’m determined to get the hang of keeping a blog and getting my thoughts down not just for my own use in the future but perhaps my trip ups will aid someone else. This is also teh (<— if you see this just know I meant to type ‘the’ and for what ever reason muscle memory has now made my fingers want to hit the ‘h’ last, I will try to edit these as much as possible but that tends to be my most common and overlooked mistake) second week of classes. It’s strange the way my brain looks at tasks, while I am a TA in printmaking and it is technically a class for me I dont have the same drag to work on stuff for it or wake up in time to hold my own version of ‘office hours’ for the students. Instead Mondays and Wednesdays I’m up before my alarm ready for the day. I experienced a similar situation roughly two years ago now when I was give then opportunity to student teach at my old high school. It’s crazy how when you truly enjoy your work it no longer feels like working. These situations have only solidified my desire to be a teacher in the near future.

Currently in the Printmaking 1 class, an intro into various printmaking techniques and methods, the students are working on drypoint prints, and intaglio process where a sharp scribe/needle like tool is used to scratch lines into plexiglass (What the students use) or more commonly metals such as zinc or copper. These scratched lines then act as little trenches to hold ink. The intaglio process is the most closely related to drawing as the marks you make on the material is what will print, as opposed to relief printmaking where it is the surface left over that makes the print. This isn’t a form of printmaking that I have had a lot of experience with since I myself took Print 1 almost two years ago, but its been a fun experience being able to work along side the students and see what theyre coming up with and to see how they individually respond to the materials, ive found it hard so far getting out of my relief printing mindset. David, our lab tech for the studio spaces, made an excellent point about the importance of understanding the style of printmaking youre using and what type of print it will give you. Dry points often have a scratchy jagged quality to them as getting smooth lines and flat areas of value can be difficult. This is why I believe Davids wolf print turned out so well. He leaned into the dry point and what it could give him and in the end he made a print that has a Erie sort of life to it, every time I look at the print i feel as though I’m out camping in the winter time (Something I’d never actually do unless its in a well heated cabin) and then through the almost whiteout snow you can make out the figure of a black wolf staring back at you. It’s a very successful print in my eyes. I went with an amulet design with a sigil in the middle and most of my issues came from trying to work against the material. I am enjoying how its turning out so far tho and am excited to continue pushing on it.

Hello!

This is my first post on my new website and I’m so excited to start this new experience. Here I will be able not only share my art with you all but also document my journey becoming an educator. I am currently enrolled in SUNY Oneonta as a BFA Studio & Digital Art undergrad student and then after I graduate I will be moving on to grad school to get my masters in education. This semester I will be working as a Teachers Assistant in the Print 1 course at SUNY Oneonta. It is an introductory course giving students the opportunity to try a wide range of print materials and techniques, now with the added bonus of teaching them how simple it can be printing with materials readily available around them. This will be my first time in a college classroom on the ‘other side of the isle’. I look forward to helping students develop their skills as printmaking and hopefully show them how fun and limitless printmaking can be, maybe even help them fall in love with the art the same way my mentor helped me. One challenge I think I will face will be reacquainting myself with some methods and techniques in printmaking, such as intaglio printing. I have already started to watch videos on it as well as getting use to the new tools and I’ve found its a lot like riding a bike, only this bike has a sharp tool that I may or may not have stabbed myself with on accident in the past. All things considered I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity to not only continue developing my skills as an artist but also continue my path to being an educator

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