I started taking a Printmaking and Encaustics Fusion Intensive art workshop a couple of weeks ago. It’s once a week for two and a half hours and is taught by Kim Hartman Colligan and Julia Jensen at the River Gallery School of Art in Brattleboro, VT.
Let me be clear… I am not experienced at all in painting, printmaking, or encaustics. In fact, I didn’t know anything about printmaking and I had never even heard of encaustics. Luckily, no experience is required. So to start, let me educate you in what I learned about this particular kind of printmaking (apparently there are many different kinds), in case you are not familiar with this medium.
We created what are called monotypes using non-toxic inks, pigment sticks, and other media. We designed layers using textures, plant material, and multiple plates. We were able to choose textured items, such as bubble wrap, feathers, grid materials, textured wallpaper, etc. Next, we painted over the textured materials and pressed them onto a clear acrylic board to create a composition. Once the composition was to our liking, we placed the acrylic together with a piece of blank soaked paper and put them through a large roller so that the inks adhered to the paper for the finished design.
It was always such a surprise to see the end result as it looks so different on the paper than it did on the acrylic. Some of the textures actually made some cool imprints onto the paper. So, I am going to show you some of the fun I had, but please remember that this is all new to me. In my mind’s eye, it looks very much like a child could do, so be kind and don’t judge!
I had fun with textures by laying down some ribbon and rolling paint over it onto the acrylic, which created those white tree-looking patterns on the left of this print and in the middle of the magenta center area of the following print.
These prints were only a portion of what I made and I hope to make more. I have been having a blast in this workshop. I find that the time flies and I think of absolutely nothing other than the art I am creating. I feel like a kid in art class, but with more artistic freedom. At first, the freedom felt overwhelming. I was given a blank acrylic board, a palette of various inks and media, and set in front of box full of textured supplies. I felt paralyzed with choices. Which colors to choose? Which supplies? What do I want to make? I would walk around and see what others in the workshop were designing, which helped give me ideas, but mine turned out much different than those around me.
These prints are only the starting point of the workshop. Portions of them will be used (if I want them to be) for making encaustic, multi media collage pieces.
Next week, I will share some information about encaustic collages, and perhaps how I incorporated some of these designs into those collages. Again, please be kind, it’s all new to me and completely out of my comfort zone. But that’s good isn’t it? That’s how we grow and learn and become creatively inspired. At least I feel inspired every time I’m in the workshop.
How about you? Have you ventured out of your comfort zone and tried something new lately?
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,
Red Barn Artworks... A small company with a big passion to create meaningful art from everyday photos.