Six Women Printing
October 22 – November 21, 2020
“Six Women Printing” celebrates the work of women artists and also illuminates the differences between art printing techniques and reproduction printing (giclee). Six female artists hailing from Corvallis, Portland, and Eugene each have a unique approach to their chosen technique. Although they are all printmakers, these artists utilize different printing techniques including lino and woodcut, drypoint in plexiglass plates, letterpress, a mixture of techniques combined with collage and cyanotype, and a hybrid photographic technique.
Gail Owen (Portland) specializes in linocut reduction prints. The same plate is used for all colors, each time cutting away more material. It requires careful planning and analyzing how the colors will overlap. This approach is something called “suicide printing”. Owen ups the planning requirements by using the same plate in a repeating grid, having the images go seamlessly from one square in the grid to the next.
Jessica Billey (Corvallis) works in woodcuts and created smaller pieces specifically for this exhibit. She recently exhibited work at The Arts Center which was created for The Big Ink. Billey enjoys the process of carving wood, even if it takes a physical toll. After a design is decided on, she feels the carving itself has a meditative element. As a musician, she appreciated the rhythm.
Edith Wolfe (Corvallis) uses a traditional technique in a new material: drypoint in Plexiglas. In drypoint, the artist scratches directly into the plate and the burr will give a soft line.
Julia Lont (Corvallis) works in letterpress, developed to be able to print text, combined with images. Lont is mostly focusing on images but combines text as well. Her Farmers Market poster is a collectible!
Suzanne Ponsioen (Eugene) uses a technique that is strictly speaking not a printing technique, but photography. She builds small still lives of transparent objects and then uses cyanotype printing to create abstracted images from these objects.
Marcy Baker (Portland) makes collages or chine-colle prints with parts of her own prints and uses all kinds of hybrid printing methods.
These techniques set themselves apart from reproduction printing such as giclee, and are called “hand-pulled prints”. Printing techniques are intended for multiple copies, but they require so much handwork that from one print to the next, small nuanced differences are possible and even likely. Real reproduction technology, such as offset and giclee, can make either 2 or 2000 prints, all of the same nuances. It does not matter how many are printed. “Hand-pulled prints,” can be identical, but most have subtle differences between each other. When printed in “editions” of limited numbers, each work still stands on its own.