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Friday, August 3, 2012

Printmaking in Santa Fe, NM, Part 2

Wednesday, July 25th: Dan started off the morning with a demonstration of printing the relief plates we had made in Echo Canyon. He showed us how to ink the intaglio part with a very soft scrub brush since the relief was so deep, and roll up the top, choosing the colors for each print. We gave him all of our plates and he started picking them at random, not knowing whose plate was done by which artist. He inked each of our plates himself for the first prints. The interesting thing was the synchronicity at work: he managed to pick colors that somehow reflected each person's personality. My print ended up blue and red-orange. I was wearing clothing in shades of blue-grey and had arrived with orange sunglasses on my head that morning.
My plate inked by Dan Welden.
Hot on the press!
Besides printing all day, we also stopped for a lunch-time pot luck BBQ hosted by Don and Dan; they bought salmon, shrimp, and veg for the grill and we all brought the rest: garlic bread, chips and salsa, green salad, fruit, homemade ice cream (Amaretto apricot and blueberry Limoncello made by Karen, the one student from Santa Fe), plus ice tea, beer and wine. The food was fabulous and it didn't rain during lunch for once!
Mmmmmm.
Don's famous disappearing shrimp.
After the leisurely lunch, I spend time developing more plates to print tomorrow. We only had a couple of days left! 

Thursday & Friday, July 26th & 27th: More plates, proofs, and playing with Akua inks, trying out inking some plates à la poupée, creating some monoprints, then printing over them with an intaglio plate, blend rolls, etc.
Experiments with combining two different plates.

Most of the prints I created in the workshop are proofs and experiments; several will be either be turned into mixed-media pieces.  The plates will be worked on some more- printed again and again until I end up with some satisfactory pieces. I've just joined a studio co-op with a printmaking studio, so I will be able to print at least one full day per week! I'm so excited.
Another Echo Cyn. relief with a blend-roll, still damp and wavy.
Fig. 17, The Dark Twin, A.P.
Fig. 13, The 13th Sign experiment, combining two intaglio plates.
The last day, we had a critique of sorts. We all put out a sampling of our projects so everyone could take a look at what we had created while Dan made comments on the direction we seemed to be going in, our successes and things we could work on. His feedback was invaluable. The variety of work that came out of this workshop was incredible.
Table O' Prints.

Group photo.
After this, we went to the five-story Bell Tower patio bar on top of the La Fonda Hotel downtown and sampled their wonderful handmade, fresh margaritas while watching the sun set. A fitting ending to a fabulous workshop!
I would not hesitate to take any Dan Welden workshop again and will be planning on taking another next summer, if not sooner. Of course I highly recommend Making Art Safely; you will learn how to be safe in your own studio and stay healthy. Most traditional printmakers take this for granted, but your own health is crucial if you want to be an energetic and productive artist past your 50's and 60's, and beyond!

Look for Printmaking in Santa fe, NM: part 3, in the next few days!
A view from the top of Santa Fe.



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