“Water Marks”–What Lies Beneath the Surface

“Water Marks”, the current exhibition at Pacific Grove Art Center (PGAC), features approximately 50 Monterey Bay area printmakers who have created etchings, woodcuts, screenprints, monotypes and mixed media prints focusing on the theme of water surrounding our beautiful Monterey peninsula.   The Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) Printmakers is an association of artists who are passionate about printmaking in all its variety of forms and techniques.

This exhibit is analogous to a “watermark” in that  the artwork requires more than a casual viewing.   Printmaking can be breathtaking in its variety and visual expressivity, even when focused on a specific theme such as water.  Far from diminishing originality, the “Water Marks” exhibit flourishes in its wide-ranging interpretation of water with unexpected embellishments, subtleties, and creative charm.

All prints in the gallery add multi-layered connotations to what water means to our lives.   For example, Evelyn Klein’s “Giverny” evokes the famous gardens of Monet in a photoetching with drypoint and subtle chine collé (decorative paper).  Donna Kooyman uses the solar print to reveal lunar phases in “#1 Blue Moons” and Linda Marcellini uses similar techniques in “Our Vital Resource”, a more abstract interpretation of undulating water. Patricia Colman, in “Dance of the Sea Kelp”, takes the organic plant and creates layers of color and mystery underneath the seaweed with paint. In “Sea Fans”, a mixed media piece including collage, intaglio and watercolor, I suggest not only the hypnotic tangents and curves of water but also the organic material beneath its surface.

A reception with the artists was held last Friday, February 22, and the public is invited to make their own prints on Sunday, March 2, 1:30-4PM. The exhibit closes on April 4.

Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12-5PM and Sunday, 1-4PM. Pacific Grove Art Center is at 568 Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove. For more information contact the center at 831-375-2208 or go to their website at www.pgartcenter.org.

Paper, Scissors, Print–Jennifer D. Anderson Workshop

From complex paper cutting, origami, paper sculpture, to book making, this is an ever-expanding area of design that is gaining in popularity and evolving in new directions.  These intricate paper designs are exhibited in  museums  throughout the world and have become another exciting medium of expression for many designers who wish to combine the digital with more conventional methods of art.

Jennifer D Anderson is an artist and educator who has an innovative style of combining printmaking with paper art techniques including a lacy cutting-style reminiscent of ancient Chinese paper cuts and Mexican wedding banners.  I was fortunate to attend one of her workshops  at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC), and gain a different perspective on paper, how it is made, its physical properties (absorption, weight, sizing, fiber content, machine made vs. handmade) and how to utilize paper for mixed media printmaking.  The two-day workshop started with an overview of European and Asian papermaking, their differences, and different cutting and gluing techniques for each.  For those of you who haven’t tried pasting papers of different types and weights to another sheet of paper, believe me it is not easy! Here is my mixed media piece from the workshop.    

Laminating and pasting were demonstrated in detail (see YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_7JQOtOhoA for step-to-step demos).  The twenty workshop participants learned how to use digital images, laminating several transparent images together, and combine them with traditional printmaking styles (intaglio and woodcut).

Jennifer received her MFA from the University of Georgia and has taught workshops at the J Paul Getty Museum and the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. Currently assistant professor of art at Hollins University,  those of you in the Bay Area can view her current work of cameo-like prints of anatomical images at “Visceral Intuition,” an exhibition at the MPC Gallery that ends April 13. (Jennifer Anderson’s website is: www.jenniferdanderson.com)