A Fun Art Workshop – Printmaking!

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.

For printmaking…

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,

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16 Responses to “A Fun Art Workshop – Printmaking!

  1. This reminds me of the sort of stuff with which my mom was involved when she became the manager of a textile-based wallpaper outfit. The key point of that effort is while she brought home some of their wares, she did not make those wares part of our home…

    Good luck in this class. It should expand your creative horizons and bring a smile (albeit a tired one after the commute and the 150 minute class) to you countenance.
    Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA @ Cerebrations.biz recently posted..Isn’t there an easier way?My Profile

    • suerae says:

      Thank you, Roy. I don’t always like what I am creating, but it does seem to make me happy anyway. The beauty of this class is that you can rip up what you don’t like and start new, or you can use just pieces of the work you produce. Very satisfying creatively!

  2. From what I’ve seen of your other work you have a great eye for color and layering. This looks right up your alley! Very interesting post.
    Carolina HeartStrings recently posted..CAROLINAS A TO Z: McCLELLANVILLE, SCMy Profile

  3. Caro Ness says:

    I love this! Wish I was more visually creative…
    Caro Ness recently posted..The BirdwomanMy Profile

    • suerae says:

      Thank you Caro! I am surprised that your literary creativity doesn’t spill over to your visual creativity. Perhaps you should try something like this – you might like what you see!

  4. Sarah Cartwright says:

    wow love this post thanks for posting :)

  5. No, no, please don’t put yourself down. Of course, first attempts may look like what a child does – because a child is doing it for the first time, too! I enjoyed seeing these various textures. It does seem to be a long distance to travel though – hope it continues to be worth it to you. As to your question about venturing out of my comfort zone: I do not usually participate in the visual arts, but I keep thinking about how much I enjoyed mosaics as a child, buying little kits with plastic tiles that stuck onto a sticky board. My Dad would help me mix the groat and I would apply it. We have a local mosaics studio that gives classes. I’m a bit scared of handling broken glass so doing this mosaic work would definitely be an “outside my comfort zone” thing. However, there is something about the mosaic process that really appeals to me. I keep saying “when I retire, I am going to try it.” Maybe I should before I retire- and it’s only 5 or so miles from my house!
    Alana (@RamblinGarden) recently posted..UnpreparednessMy Profile

    • suerae says:

      Actually, Alana, Brattleboro, VT is about 9 miles from my house in NH. We live just over the NH border, which makes it pretty easy. Brattleboro is a very creative and artistic community, which makes it an ideal place to participate in such a class. Oh! And you should definitely try a mosaics class! That would be something I think I would also find very interesting. It seems like there is so much you can do with mosaics. I think you might find it very worthwhile. :)

  6. Muriel says:

    It is beautiful. As for me, I once tried to do some ‘batiks’ when I was in Indonesia. I hadn’t realised that it was such a labour of love. And believe me, what you are doing is ten times better what i would have done…
    Muriel recently posted..Am I Still An Expat?My Profile

    • suerae says:

      Oooh, batiks sound interesting, however I have no idea of what goes into making them. And I don’t believe anything I do could be better than you!

  7. Sophie Bowns says:

    I love your prints (particularly the 1st one!) They’re so pretty!
    Sophie Bowns recently posted..Azure- Chapter 17My Profile

  8. LeAnne says:

    That’s awesome, Suerae! Your prints look beautiful! I know exactly the feeling of getting lost in the art. It is such an amazing experience and so freeing…and addicting. :) I am somewhat familiar with encaustics since I have a couple artist friends who work in that medium. One of them wants me to do a workshop also. It seems very interesting so I may give it a go! You’ve caught the bug so there’s no stopping you now! Enjoy!! Love you!!

    • suerae says:

      You should definitely do the workshop, LeAnne! I think you would be hooked! It’s hard to stop once you start with encaustics, because you can continually change what you’ve created, over and over again! xxoo

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