If I had to guess how this past semester would have gone, I – like most people – wouldn’t have guessed that there would be a global pandemic that would have happened. Instead, I would have predicted that with the final week of classes starting tomorrow, I would be putting all of my finishing touches on final projects and starting to study – or at least looking over a study guide – for my women in the visual arts history course.
Instead, I am sitting here in the early hours of a Sunday morning, watching the HBO series The Newsroom on the TV in my living room by using a USB cord to stream the show from my iPhone to the TV while trying to figure out what I want my final prints to look like.
For a few weeks, I did a decent job of doing daily drawings and keeping up with my art history course moving online. Some of the drawings I have done are:
I basically have this week left of regular classes and then my semester ends on May 7th and here is what I have learned about myself: having limited face-to-face interaction with my peers isn’t the way I like to interact with people, serving house arrest would be no cake walk for, and that I’m tired of these “once in a generation events” like this and 9/11 and other events have happened during my life time.
Lithography, or the art making stones talk as my professor calls it, was an interesting class to take. Litho is the closest printmaking method to drawing; litho is the method of essentially using grease markers to draw on a stone and some chemistry to make the piece a piece of artwork.
Ballons, Watercolor, and Silkscreen
The first litho print I did was inspired, impart, by Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ after it was shredded at auction back in October.
Banksy has been on my mind since last spring semester when I did a research paper involving him and Shepard Fairey as graffiti artists. When I saw the news that a Banksy piece was shredded at auction, it gave me the idea to use the general balloon shape and clouds for my print. Granted, my print did turn out to be a bit closer to sperm.
One of the professors at USD pointed out how the clouds looked more like sperm then clouds, he suggested to use color to play with a bit gender. Especially since he knows that I have an interest in working with subject matter that deals with gender.
Since I also have an interest in silkscreen as a printmaking method, my litho professor wanted me to explore using silkscreen with litho to see how I can push my prints.
Adding the use of silkscreen came to discussion after a trip I got take with the USD Art Department in March. During the trip, we went to Highpoint Press where we saw Julie Mehretu’s ‘Entropia,’ which was a 32 layer print that combined litho and screen printing. This combination made me interested in seeing how litho and silkscreen can be used to work together; but Mehretu’s use of the two methods also lead me to become interested in using watercolor.
This is why when I worked on this first print, the thought of going the direction of using watercolor came about. I’m happy that it did, cause it has lead me to start thinking on how I can utilize watercolor with other printmaking techniques; which is nice since I’m taking an intro to printmaking class next term.
After the first critique in litho, I was given a better sense of how to progress with the next couple of litho prints.
One of the take aways that I was given was how it was clear that I enjoyed the line making aspect of lithography. And after also getting told to be more deliberate with my design, I had fun creating another balloon/sperm print:
I wanted to figure out how to be better at how to have better verity within my litho prints.
Another thing I wanted to use watercolor in another litho print.
While I was working on my second balloon print, I used the some litho plate to also create a print in which I explored a weird perspective…without meaning to.
By ‘without meaning to,’ I specifically mean that I had different intentions for the print, but as we know, life happens and I had to readjust after realizing my perspective was off.