From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Archive for the ‘play’ Category

New Love

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IMG_4546I finally tried printmaking and I’m in love.  This semester I have a graduate level class with a master printer and printmaking has me.

I have a lot of mediums under my belt, variously considered art or craft or industry depending on the time period and who you ask and I always want to learn new ones.  For my grad program I decided not to add to that list without good reason.  That said, printmaking makes so much sense to so much of what I am working with that when this class came up in my last semester I had to have it.  It is a technology bridge between handmade and digital.  It is multiplicity with variation,  I can print on fabric.  I can digitally etch or cut a plate at Techshop and then bring it in and print on it, or continue to work it by hand.

I decided to restrict myself to a simple idea- the weave and the grid, the digital/binary and the organic (part of my fascination with weaving is that it is both an ancient craft and the basis for binary computing).  Every plate will be some version of this and I intend to start layering those plates.  Inside that there is so much I can do!  The two plates I have so far are a “Broken Grid” laser-etched (the black and white image here) and a hand-carved woodblock of a loose and dissolving plain-weave. The joyful discovery of today was that after printing on canvas (to paint on/sew through later) I can use the plate again on paper and get the texture of the canvas cloth in the paper print.  I’m loving the layers possible with this.   I also came up with a new idea of how to use sewing in the printing process which I haven’t yet seen.

I’ve got two laser-cutter dates this week and PLANS.

The other thing I love about the printmaking experience?  It’s community based.  Much like a ceramics studio, printmaking takes multiple sets of hands and people pooling resources to have it work.  The atmosphere is relaxed, congenial, supportive, and questioning in a positive way.  It isn’t every artist for themselves, it’s a place where people are helping each other make art.  I really missed that.  It happens in other disciplines through collaborative work, but it’s palpable in both ceramics and printmaking, and getting my hands achy with tools and sticky with ink feels like coming home.

Written by Mary Corey March

February 15, 2014 at 11:22 am

Playing with text

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As we revisit memories they degrade and change and become confused. The time and place one is in now will flavor that memory. This was an exercise of writing “memory” over and over in different handwriting styles which each evoked different times and places for me. Gradually the meaning of the text itself is lost.

I seem to have become a text artist, at least in part.  Today’s offering is me playing.  I need to play more.  A lot of amazing work can come out of it.

I took a fantastic class last semester entitled Tex(tile).  It dealt with Semiotics, fiber art, fashion, symbols as text, text in art and fashion, metaphor in fiber techniques and materials… it was fabulous and right up my alley.

This semester I’ve got a text art class “This is a mirror, you are a written sentence” (after the text art piece by Luis Camniter) exploring text in art both in the studio and in reading.  I am also taking my first proper printmaking class at the graduate level.  It made sense since I’m interested in the reproduced, evolving, reinterpreted image/text and the craft/art/high tech juxtopositions.  Printmaking was high tech and is now almost craft as a medium (in the sense that these things can be automated, but we do them this way for a certain human texture, process, pride in work, quality, etc.).  The results of any process can be art, medium has nothing to do with it.  Printmaking also has a history of text mixing with image.

I’m going to continue on my large scale projects, but I’m going to make a point of playing with smaller scale ones.  Also of doing some painting and drawing more often.  One thin I’m looking forward to about printmaking is that it combines drawing and sculpture so neatly.  If you paint multiple colors/washes onto a plate you even get an element of painting too.

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Written by Mary Corey March

January 28, 2014 at 1:36 am

Winter Play

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IMG_4049It’s too easy to forget while immersed in the incredibly serious and surprisingly rigid world of educated art practice and commentary how important it is to PLAY.

During the holiday I made a snow woman (the little one is my daughter’s snow-child and the space alien thing is my husband’s).  The simple act of making something purely for the fun of it brought back all kinds of creative ecstasy that I’ve been missing in the studio.  I had an hour and a half of freezing fingers and smiles until the snow got too soft and wet and I had to leave it alone and let the detail go.  That feeling of having to be almost physically torn away from one’s work… it’s been missing.

Making something for the joy of making, even knowing it will melt tomorrow- this feeling must not be forgotten.

Mind you- I love intellectual exercise too.  I love delving into concepts and history and experimenting with ideas and thinking about how to get the participant/viewer to reach certain points… but it’s not the same as simply playing and finding out what will happen.

Play is important.

 

 

 

 

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Written by Mary Corey March

January 8, 2014 at 11:48 pm