Monday, October 29, 2007

I Heart Art

Every time I go to the Torpedo Factory, I am infused with the creativity of those who work and display their creations there. I want to do something splendid like the beautiful prints I saw today.

The Temple Micah Lunch Bunch outing today was to the studio of Isabel Field, a printmaker of many years. We got to see first-hand just why good prints cost so much, as she went through the many steps necessary to create a multi-color work of art and often one that is reproducible in quantities of 20, 30, or even 50. She talked about how painters originally showed a disdain for printmakers, putting them on a lower rung of the art ladder. But today printmakers are recognized as being on par with the finest artists in the world.

It’s the interplay of color and shading and shape and texture that makes the prints we saw so interesting. Some artists even choose to vary the color in the reproductions of the same print.

I found it just a little sad that the wooden block for the print must be destroyed after the requisite number of prints has been made so that it cannot be further used. It is slashed in a way that is supposed to render it unusable. The artist talked about once buying a Chagall print for $50 only to discover later that it had been illegally reproduced from a slashed block.

Seeing all the possibilities this art medium holds made me want to take a class in printmaking. The Torpedo Factory offers excellent instruction for all levels and ages of students through its Art League School. My friend Celia and I had been hoping to take a class there and it may well now be printmaking. Who knows? Maybe there’s a Grandma Moses in all of us just waiting to emerge!

8 Comments:

Blogger Ruth D~ said...

Grandma Moses . . . she keeps me ssane when I feel that it is too late for me to start. Go for it. sign up for the print making course.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Go for it! I took a class there once and loved it.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I think the slashing of the wood block is bizarre. Is that to create value for the prints? Weird.

It's a really cool art form though. Hope you sign up for a class! Maybe that's what you'll be selling next year at Eastern Market!

8:18 AM  
Blogger riseoutofme said...

Fly with it Barbara!

I did a course in printmaking many moons ago and was absolutely blown away by the possibilities it offered.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- I think the "slashing" was to protect the artist so someone couldn't take the wood block and just keep turning out prints. I actually thought it would be cool to hang a wood block after it was retired from printing.

As for Eastern Market, let's wait and see the first print before turning it into a cash cow!

All -- I'm going to check out the class schedule and maybe find someone to take the class with me. It's always more fun to have a friend along.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- I think the "slashing" was to protect the artist so someone couldn't take the wood block and just keep turning out prints. I actually thought it would be cool to hang a wood block after it was retired from printing.

As for Eastern Market, let's wait and see the first print before turning it into a cash cow!

All -- I'm going to check out the class schedule and maybe find someone to take the class with me. It's always more fun to have a friend along.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I don't find it sad, I find it silly.

Why would you destroy something that is perfectly good? Except to show that you can or to create an artificial scarcity.

This post talks to me in a way you probably didn't imagine.

I see it as a post of denial and exclusion - not on your part, but on the part of the artists. And we accept their position as good and right without even questioning it.

1:46 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I so love the Torpedo Factory,. There's something about it that makes the art juices flow.

Go for it! No time like the present...

3:59 PM  

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