STATEMENT

Artist

As a printmaker my current focus is to push against the boundaries between printing and the act of drawing. Specifically how drawing materials and methods intersect with the vast system of resists, screens and hidden reversals inherent in printmaking. At this crossing point, I am able to build up layers and images that have distance from their original material and process, allowing atmosphere to take precedence and direct the visual conversation. 

I find myself contemplating a sense of place more and more as the scenes pass by, day by day. Photographs of the land around me are taken regularly and quickly as I move along my travels. Some are occasional, others are daily routine. I record my shifting view and lay abstracted impressions upon them. Drawn line patterns, and rows of pochoir printed dots - forming photographic imagery, are laid in colored pastel over the surface of wax creating emotive landscapes that play with visual perception, place, time, and fictitious vantages.

Process

I am in love with exploring landscape imagery these days. Everything about it. Walking and driving the lines, photographing little slices of my surroundings, thinking about horizons, all of it. I especially love being in the landscape of our creative time, and the encouragement towards process experimentation. The melding of all the past and present artistic movements, and the interplay of this historic subject with our emerging techniques and discoveries. It feels like a true melting of artistic canons, and the cusp of near limitless potential because of this openness. 

 

Seeing though a veil of captured dots is something I came to very early in my arts literacy and print education. I was in my undergraduate years when Photoshop and the equipment needed to run it became accessible to everyday people. I almost instantly figured out a way to bring that way of talking into my very first printmaking projects. Seeking out techniques and materials (both traditional and emerging) to add to my image making vocabulary, I’ve been attracted to that edge between staunch tradition and naive innovation ever since. 

 

For my current body of work I developed a lo-fi printmaking method. Partly as a solution to my home bound studio practice with young children in the wings. Equally it’s a rising to the challenge of working printed images with wax, a luminous material I’ve gravitated to for nearly 20 years. Utilizing digital technologies, hobby-grade fabrication machinery, & industry plastic materials I have been able to produce highly detailed pochoir screens in plastic, and use them to build up non-editioned mono prints in soft pastel on wax.

 

I often say I arrived at the Encaustic painting process through the back door. Normally one would mix colored pigments into wax melted with varnish, applying the colored material in a molten form to panels (or any semi-porous surface). But, I’m not a painter. I tend to think like I’m preparing for the printing press, planning layers differently, and I began working this ancient technique backwards. Applying dry pigments to a wax surface and fusing the two together with a gentle heat source. Beginning with drawn line work I quickly craved my dots and photographic imagery, setting me on the path to develop this interesting process to meet my creative needs. 

© 2015 by Karen Gallagher Iverson

Leave your email address for occasional studio updates.