Last May I participated in a class with Julia Talcott at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. In this class we carved 24″ X 36″ linoleum blocks and created big black and white prints. We printed the blocks using a steamroller.
Over the last few months I worked on additional linoleum block prints and now I have a series of four prints completed. I worked at MIXIT Studio in Somerville during the summer to print the four pieces in editions of ten. The prints are inspired by the Hokusai show I saw recently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the work of John James Audubon.
Since 2007, the Monterey Peninsula College printmakers have devoted the first Saturday in May to printmaking. What began in the Monterey Bay Area of California has become a worldwide event, with printmakers participating from over a dozen countries, on five continents. We didn’t even know this as we planned to print fifteen large (24″ X 36″) linoleum blocks at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA on May 2nd, 2015. A class taught by Julia Talcott was culminating in a Big Print Day where we were using a steamroller as a printing press. And we were accidentally part of an international day devoted to printmaking! My two prints were designed as an homage to Audubon’s large-scale bird paintings. One is a wading bird and the other is a flying bird where the wingspan fills the three-foot length of the linoleum block. The backgrounds of the two prints are filled with swirls and patterns and circles and stars and comets.
Fifteen artists worked together rolling out ink and wrangling huge sheets of paper and cleaning all of the blocks and rollers over and over throughout the day. All thirty prints that we made on May 2nd were big and bold and black and white.
We also printed a Charles River Alphabet organized by Leslie Evans, with 26 artists participating. We each chose a letter and created an image of something associated with the Charles River.