Is this still printmaking?

As I consider what work to include in an upcoming printmaking exhibit, I do start to wonder if my work is still considered printmaking. I’m no longer as interested in creating things in editions. I’m reveling in being able to create one of something — with my successes and mistakes confined to a single work. But the question is still there. Consider my latest monoprint collage, Aeon.

Aeon. Monoprint Collage, 18 x 18in, $475 ($575 framed)

Printmaking needs to have a plate or a screen…

Some of the parts of Aeon are recognizable printmaking. The blue matrix is a linocut, easily repeatable. The dark blue sections with lighter squiggles are created from monotypes overprinted with silkscreen. Some areas are created with several layers of ink marked with solvent. The opalescent areas are created with a palette knife and the leftover ink colors.

Aeon. Monoprint collage (detail)

What about photographs … or ephemera?

Other parts are created with cyanotypes — from negatives of my own images. How is photography different from printmaking? Sections of old maps are also included. Some of them were altered with monoprinting. Others remain just as they were created decades ago. Now we’re venturing into the realm of mixed media, and I’m not a fan of this term.

Thankfully the printmakers in my city are a welcoming bunch, so Aeon will be part of the Bloomington Printmakers show at The Vault at Gallery Mortgage (121 E 6th St, Ste.1). Opening reception is Friday, December 6th from 5 – 8pm. The exhibit will run until January 27th (9 am – 5pm weekdays.)

 

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3 Replies to “Is this still printmaking?”

  1. I’m primarily working in mixed-media and am not a fan of the term either because it can be confusing. It often represents something like crafty fun, vs. fine art. I think the world is big enough for all kinds of creativity! But I wish there were more words to go with all the variety. I think the mix of printing and collage (and collaging using paper you’ve printed) that you’re doing is both interesting to see and to make. Thanks for sharing you process with us –
    Julia

    1. Thanks Julia! Perhaps in 2020 we can come up with a word. Even “assemblage” doesn’t quite capture things…
      Happy creating,
      Elizabeth

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